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 Friday, February 21, 2014

China Telecom has become the country’s second operator to launch 4G services, having activated its Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) network in 100 cities late last week, South China Morning Post writes. The 4G service is currently only available via USB modems, although a compatible MiFi router is also available to support other devices. In terms of pricing, Telecom’s offerings range in price from CNY70 (USD11.47) per month with 1GB of data, to CNY280 per month for 10GB. Meanwhile, China Unicom, the nation’s second largest provider by subscribers, is expected to weigh-in next month with the launch of its own TD-LTE network. Both Telecom and Unicom intend to rely heavily on Frequency Division (FD)-LTE for their 4G networks, whilst China Mobile will use the home-grown TD technology exclusively. However, sector regulator the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIT) has not yet signalled when it intends to make FD-LTE licences available.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Friday, February 21, 2014 4:01:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Proximus, the mobile arm of Belgian fixed line incumbent Belgacom, has become the first of the country’s operators to launch LTE-based services in Brussels. In a press release confirming the development, Belgacom noted that the introduction of 4G in the capital had not been possible until now, but pointed to new legislation as having allowed it to begin rolling out it network in the city. It noted that, on the back of the amended ordinance of the Brussels Capital Region, it has been able to activate some of its antennas in Brussels based on the current standard of three volts per meter (3V/m), saying that at launch around 20% of the capital’s population is within the network footprint. Looking ahead, the company has said that it will look to ramp up the infrastructure switch-on once Belgian authorities implement decrees which will introduce a new standard of six volts per meter (6V/m). In terms of an expected timetable for a city-wide rollout, Belgacom has said that it expects it to take ‘12 to 18 months to develop a high-quality network with sufficient coverage for customers’.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month Belgacom revealed that Proximus was upgrading all of its customers to 4G at no additional cost. With the company saying that it wanted ‘to let all its customers benefit from the best mobile experience’, it confirmed that over a two-week period it will activate access to its LTE for pre- and post-paid customers, while both residential and business subscribers will benefit from the automatic upgrade. In making the announcement Belgacom also confirmed that its 4G infrastructure is now available in some 260 cities and municipalities, with more than 50% of the population within the network footprint.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Friday, February 21, 2014 3:55:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Saudi Telecom Company (STC), the country’s leading mobile operator in terms of subscribers, has launched what it claims is the country’s first Long Term Evolution Advanced (LTE-A) network, local news agency Ameinfo reports. Khalid Al Biyari, STC Group’s senior vice president for Technology and Operations, said: ‘STC’s LTE-A network investments aim at enriching the company’s customer experience and consolidating its leadership in the Saudi market … We expect these network developments will continue until [STC] can provide data rates of 1Gbps.’

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, STC launched its commercial 4G LTE mobile broadband network in September 2011, and by October 2013 coverage had been expanded to 76.1% of the population (around 7,000 sites). Going forward, the firm aims to achieve coverage of 90% of the population by end-2014.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Friday, February 21, 2014 3:50:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

T-Mobile Hungary, the mobile arm of national fixed line operator Magyar Telekom, has revealed plans to double the population coverage level of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile network, from the current level of 40% to 80% by 2015. The operator launched its first 4G services in January 2012. It now offers a range of around 30 different LTE-capable devices from six different manufacturers, including the newly launched Apple iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Friday, February 21, 2014 3:30:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telekom Slovenije has announced on its website that its 4G LTE mobile broadband network now spans 182 base stations covering 72 Slovenian towns and over 50% of the population, including some rural areas. Coverage has grown from 157 active base stations in 55 towns in August. Telekom’s cellular unit Mobitel launched the LTE network commercially in March and expanded 4G services to pre-paid users in September. It currently offers theoretical down/upload speed limits of 100Mbps/50Mbps.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Friday, February 21, 2014 3:28:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Canada has completed its auction of frequencies in the 700 MHz band, awarding 97 licences to eight companies for a total CAD 5.27 billion. The government said the results of the 22-day auction mean there will be at least four operators able to offer services in every region. Operators will also be able to expand LTE services to rural areas. 
The big winners of the auction were the existing mobile operators. Bell acquired 31 licences for CAD 566 million total, Telus bought 30 licences for CAD 1.143 billion and Rogers Communications took 22 licences for CAD 3.292 billion. Videotron also acquired seven licences for CAD 233 million, MTS acquired one licence for CAD 9 million, and SaskTel bought one block for CAD 8 million, focusing on their home regions.

Newcomer Bragg took four lots of spectrum for CAD 20 million, and Feenix took one for CAD 0.3 million. Two participants, TBayTel and Novus, did not acquire any spectrum, and one licence went unsold.

Bidders have until 05 March to pay 20 percent of the spectrum fees, with the remainder due by 02 April. The next major auction in Canada will be the 2,500 MHz band, scheduled to begin in April 2015.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Americas | LTE | Mobile | Spectrum
Friday, February 21, 2014 10:59:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 18, 2014

China Telecom has officially launched its TD-LTE service on 14 February, which will be expanded to almost 100 cities. In the initial phase of the launch, the 4G service packages include monthly, half-yearly, and yearly plans. The operator also said it has over ten models of data devices available that support the network. Monthly plans start at CNY 70 for 1 GB of data and range to CNY 280 for 10 GB of data per month, while the six month plan costs CNY 300 for 6 GB, and the one-year plan is priced at CNY 600 for 12 GB of data.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 9:31:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ooredoo announced recently that it has reached a milestone in its nationwide roll-out of Qatar's first and only 4G services, with the recent activation of its 500th LTE site in Qatar.

The 500th site that was completed and activated was required for a complete nationwide network, as the company surges ahead with its plan to make Qatar's fastest-ever mobile broadband accessible for everyone. The activation of the 500th site means that the 4G service range now extended to cover the whole country.

The rise of 4G has created a spike in data usage across Qatar, as people download films, educational material and mobile apps faster than before. It has also delivered an improvement to customers using 3G and even 2G networks, as the migration to 4G has freed up space on the legacy networks.

Ooredoo's 4G service is available for both postpaid and prepaid customers with a range of packages, starting from QR15 per week for Hala customers, and including Ooredoo's new Shahry Smart Packs which offer a bundle of minutes, SMS, mobile data and access to 4G Key for QR175 per month.

Ooredoo currently provides the only network in Qatar offering customers access to 4G services. It is seeing particularly strong demand from small businesses looking to use 4G as the backbone for their offices' mobile operations. Using 4G enables companies to teleconference in high-definition, adding sharpness and clarity to international meetings.

Source: Qatar Tribune.

Thursday, February 13, 2014 10:29:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

EE and Three have confirmed they are working together on bringing better 4G connectivity to rural areas.

The mobile operators have long had a partnership after one part of the EE joint venture, T-Mobile, signed a network-sharing deal with Three in 2007, enabling shared infrastructure and customers to roam on to each other’s networks.

This network share has continued following the T-Mobile and Orange merger to create EE back in 2010.

This latest agreement will not be on such a grand scale, with no sharing of spectrum or antennae, and will not include investment in addition to the companies' pre-existing 4G budgets.

However, it will enable them to share the costs of backhaul and civil engineering for 4G sites in the most rural 20% of the UK where the return on investment is likely to be much lower.

When it comes to the switch on of 4G services, it will be up to each individual company when they do it and which equipment they use – EE deploys Huawei networking gear, while Three has a deal with Samsung.

A spokeswoman from EE said: “The new framework increases cost efficiencies as we continue our roll out of 4G to cover more than 90% of the UK population by the end of the year. This is part of our £1.5bn three-year investment to significantly differentiate the EE network in terms of the people we connect and the experience they receive.”

We contacted Three for a statement but it had not returned our request at the time of publication.

EE was the first to market with 4G services after Ofcom allowed it to repurpose its existing spectrum allocation in 2012 to use it for the faster data offerings. Three, however, was the last of the major mobile operators to begin its roll-out and only started offering 4G in December 2013.

Source: ComputerWeekly.com.

Thursday, February 13, 2014 10:27:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to "Kazakhtelecom", the digitalization rate was 98.19%. About 1750 km of fiber-optic communication lines have been built in Akmola, East Kazakhstan, West Kazakhstan, Kostanay, Karaganda, Pavlodar, North Kazakhstan and South Kazakhstan regions. Further modernization and development of rural communication CDMA / EVDO allowed to cover more than 3700 rural settlements.

In 2013, within the development and modernization of the telecommunications network, the company continued work on the projects: building of FTTH networks, implementation and construction of a network communication standard 4G LTE, the development of highway network, construction of rural communication network WLL CDMA 450, the introduction of IP TV, modernization and development of local networks.

In addition, work has been continued on the implementation of wireless Internet access of  fourth-generation standard LTE. In 2013, the network was deployed in Aktau, Aktobe, Atyrau, Karaganda, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Shymkent, Zhezkazgan, Temirtau, and  expanded in Almaty, Astana and their suburbs. In other regional centers pilot zones were organized. About 110,000 subscribers were registered.

As a result of the completion of III phase of the strategic project "Construction of FTTH networks” included into the Industrialization Map of Kazakhstan, about 15 500 houses and more than 7300 cottages were covered by fiber-optic networks. In the past year, the works on the development of IP TV services were carried out in Astana, Almaty and in all regional centers. The network capacity was more than 246,000 points of connection by year-end.

Source: Kazakhstan 2050.

CIS | FTTH/B | LTE
Thursday, February 13, 2014 10:23:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 11, 2014

GSA, the Global mobile Suppliers Association, confirmed today a new milestone for LTE with 268 LTE networks now commercially launched in 100 countries.

The number of countries where LTE service is commercially available has grown 56% since 2012.

Alan Hadden, President of the GSA, said: “Ghana, Peru, Zambia and most recently Cambodia are the latest nations to commercially launch 4G/LTE. The global appeal and acceptance of LTE technology in emerging markets as well as developed economies is clearly proven. The industry should celebrate this great success story.”

The full list of 268 commercially launched LTE networks is available on the GSA website for registered site users to download. Visit www.gsacom.com and follow the link to the “Interim Evolution to LTE report: 268 LTE networks launched in 100 countries”.

Full details of all LTE market developments including network deployments and service launches worldwide will be included in the next update of the authoritative Evolution to LTE report, which will be published by GSA very shortly. The Evolution to LTE report is the most widely read and referenced source of information about LTE for the industry and is a free download for registered site users.

 

Source: GSA.
LTE
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 3:44:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 31, 2014

Vodafone Hutchison Australia has announced that it now has more than one million devices connected to its 4G network. Having commercially inaugurated its LTE-based infrastructure back in June 2013, the operator claimed that the strong uptake for its 4G services had been made possible by the fact that it operates its network on ‘high-quality spectrum that can handle a lot of customers, huge volumes of traffic and still offer fast data speeds’.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, at launch Vodafone claimed that speeds on its 4G infrastructure would reach 100Mbps, faster than those of its rivals Telstra and Optus in most areas due to it having access to 2×20MHz of contiguous spectrum in the 1800MHz band, unlike its competitors. ‘Vodafone customers in 4G areas with compatible devices will have access to speeds that are among the fastest, not only in the country, but in many parts of the world,’ said the then VHA CEO Bill Morrow at the time.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Friday, January 31, 2014 3:59:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Russian mobile giant MegaFon confirmed that it has switched on its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in Chelyabinsk, the 50th such location to be covered by the 4G technology. Michael Dubin, MegaFon’s executive director of mass market business development, commented: ‘In less than two years, MegaFon’s [LTE network] already covers 50 regions of the country. Today, approximately 37% of Russia’s population could potentially use the mobile internet access at speeds up to 150Mbps. MegaFon has the largest federal 4G network. The pace of development – given the vast Russian territory – could qualify for a world record.’

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Friday, January 31, 2014 3:57:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Russian mobile operator MTS has started providing its LTE services in the city of Obninsk in the Kaluga region, reports Cnews.ru. The operator launched its network using LTE FDD. Most of the city has already been covered, and the whole area should be covered by the end of the year. MTS currently runs LTE networks in the city of Moscow and Moscow region, as well as in Tambov, Amur, Trans-Baykal and Pskov regions and in North Ossetia republic. The operator plans to launch its LTE services in around 600 agglomerations across the country by the end of 2014.

Source: Telecom Paper.

CIS | LTE
Friday, January 31, 2014 3:41:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone CR has issued a press release on its web site announcing that it has extended the service coverage of its ‘Turbo Internet’ branded 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in the 900MHz band to the area of Litomerice, part of the Liberec region north of Pilsen. The move forms part of an ongoing 4G rollout programme that will see services available over 300 base transceiver stations (BTS) by the end of this year, and across the whole country by end-December 2014. With additional rollouts expected during the rest of this month, Vodafone says coverage will include central Bohemia, south Pilsen region and northern Bohemia by the year end. To stimulate take-up, the carrier is offering residential and business users a CZK2,000 (USD100.5) discount on smartphones/tablets compatible with its 900MHz network. The discount, however, is limited to packages costing a minimum CZK690 per month on a 24-month contract.

Source: TeleGeography.

Europe | LTE
Friday, January 31, 2014 3:36:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 22, 2014
The Peruvian unit of Spanish telecoms group Telefonica has launched commercial LTE services in seven districts of the capital Lima. According to a report by Peru21, Movistar has activated its 4G network in downtown Lima, La Molina, Miraflores, San Borja, San Isidro, San Miguel and Santiago de Surco. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Movistar was awarded one of two 40MHz (2×20MHz) spectrum licences in the 1700MHz and 2100MHz paired bands (also known as Advanced Wireless Services [AWS] spectrum) for 4G services last year. The cellco paid for USD152.23 million for the concession, which has a duration of 20 years.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 10:45:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 06, 2014

Malaysian mobile network operator U Mobile has begun offering Long Term Evolution (LTE)-based services in Subang Jaya, Sunway, Puchong, Berjaya Times Square and Taman Molek Johor Baru, the Sun Daily reports. The aforementioned locations have been chosen for the initial phase of the cellco’s 4G rollout due to them being areas where there is already a high level of data usage. Looking ahead, U Mobile has said it aims to extend its network reach ‘within the next few quarters’, with it aiming to upgrade its existing infrastructure with LTE technology.

In terms of uptake, meanwhile, Wong Heang Tuck, the wireless operator’s COO and acting CEO was cited as saying: ‘We are targeting the current 3G data users. Currently, the 3G adoption is very healthy and in terms of growth of subscribers of 3G, U Mobile is the fastest growing in terms of data adoption.’ With a view to enticing customers to upgrade, U Mobile is offering a promotional LTE device bundle plan until 31 January 2014 as part of which customers can benefit from a MYR100 (USD31) discount on a range of 4G-compatible devices. Further, existing customers that already own an LTE-enabled handset or device can take advantage of the increased speeds on offer immediately, simply by sending an SMS to U Mobile to opt-in for 4G access; the cellco has confirmed that its existing 3G data plans will allow access to the LTE network at no additional charge.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Monday, January 06, 2014 11:19:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new government task force in Kenya is to study the possibility of spectrum sharing among operators to help spur the development of 4G mobile services in the country. Joseph Tiampati of the ICT ministry told local news paper the Daily Nation: ‘Spectrum is a national resource that must be managed and used openly to benefit the whole country.’ Total Telecom reports that the latest moves to promote spectrum sharing – probably in the 700MHz-800MHz band – are a tacit admission by the government that an earlier plan to deploy a nationwide 4G network under a public-private partnership agreement has been shelved. Kenya was home to some 31.3 million mobile subscribers at the end of September, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, with the market contested by four operators: Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom/Orange and Essar Telecom (yu).

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, January 06, 2014 11:15:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telekom Slovenije, which offers mobile services under the Mobitel brand, has announced that its 4G LTE network has reached 86 Slovenian towns and cities and 55% of the population, up from 50% two months ago, while its users can now choose from 32 LTE devices including tablet computers, mobile phones, and USB or MiFi modems. Furthermore, a new service, ‘Hitri Internet LTE/4G 20’ offers any users with LTE-capable devices and USIM cards free access to the LTE network, with data usage simply charged according to the user’s existing data plan or deducted from their data allowance. The service, activated via a user text message, does, however, cap maximum mobile data throughput at 21.6Mbps download/5.76Mbps upload – i.e. the same theoretical limits as a HSPA+ service, although the LTE-based network promises higher actual speeds. From 1 January 2014 Mobitel users can also choose the new ‘Hitri Internet LTE/4G 100’ service which allows LTE speeds of up to 100Mbps/50Mbps (download/upload) for EUR6 (USD8.25) per month.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Monday, January 06, 2014 11:14:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 31, 2013

Vodafone Ireland will switch on 4G Mobile Broadband services on Monday 14th October in six cities and 23 towns across the country1. Customers living and working in these areas will be able to avail of high speed 4G mobile broadband for €29.99 per month (ex VAT) which includes a 20GB data allowance. Vodafone will also have a 4G smartphone offer for Christmas, and details will be announced shortly.

Vodafone's 4G rollout is an essential element of an overall nationwide network enhancement programme to make Ireland’s leading network even better for all customers. This programme focuses on delivering 4G while, in tandem, involves broader nationwide network enhancements. Given that approximately 70% of Vodafone's customers already have 3G phones and only smaller numbers of people have 4G phones, Vodafone is delivering data to areas nationwide where there is currently voice coverage which means that customers can immediately benefit from high speed data if they have a 3G phone or modem. In addition, this programme delivers crystal clear calls with High Definition Voice, exclusively to Vodafone customers and also advanced coverage quality so that all customers have an improved indoor and outdoor experience.
4G will deliver a step change in data services with speeds of up to 10 times faster than 3G and 4G devices on the Vodafone network are capable of speeds of up to 75Mbs. Customers will now be able to watch video content online without any buffering and upload pictures to social media in seconds. 4G will enable businesses to be more productive and provide greater flexibility with significantly enhanced connectivity while out of the office.

Source: Vodafone.

Europe | LTE
Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:38:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Lithuanian regulator (RRT) has completed its auction of spectrum in the 800 MHz band.

Three operators have gained 2 x 10 MHz of contiguous spectrum in the Baltic state's digital dividend auction.

BitëLietuva paid LTL 1.01 million (€0.3 million) for its licence for 791–801 MHz paired with 832–842 MHz. This licence mandates the company to roll out coverage to gradually increasing areas of the country, culminating in at least 4 Mb/s for at least 95 per cent of households by 2020.

Omnitel and Tele2 each gained two duplex blocks of 2 x 5 MHz spectrum that have no coverage conditions attached. Omnitel paid LTL 5.1 million (€1.5 million) for 801–811 MHz paired with 842–852 MHz, while Tele2 only paid LTL 2 million (€0.6 million) for its 811–821 MHz paired with 852–862 MHz.

All of the licences are due to expire in July 2030. Lithuania has completed the auction ten months after the deadline of January 2013 set by the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme.

Source: Policy Tracker.

Europe | LTE | Spectrum
Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:36:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

South Africa operator Telkom has launched HomeOffice LTE, promising twice the speed and three times the quality of standard 3G services. The company is so confident on its ability to offer a great experience, it guarantees the quality promised or money back, no questions asked. Telkom said in a statement it has good reason to be confident about the claim. The company's LTE network was built on allocated 2300 MHz spectrum and therefore did not require refarming of some of its existing mobile technology spectrum. Telkom has a total 60MHz of this spectrum, which it said enables the delivery of far higher capacity per sector than any other local operator. Download speeds of Telkom's HomeOffice LTE typically range from 20Mbps to 50Mbps, although peak speeds can go as high as 90Mbps. Upload speeds range from 5Mps to 10Mbps with peak speeds of 25Mbps. Over 700 currently active LTE sites have been deployed nationally with a focus on the major metros. A further 300 sites are currently being integrated into the network nationally for further support. Many of these are located in areas where that have yet to be serviced by fixed-line options.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Africa | LTE
Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:33:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Estonian mobile network operator Elisa has announced that its 4G LTE network now covers 100% of the capital Tallinn. The development comes just over a month after the cellco launched 4G services using 800MHz spectrum, having been granted such frequencies by the Estonian Technical Surveillance Authority (ETSA) in early August 2013; previously it had offered LTE using only the 1800MHz and 2600MHz frequencies. The operator has highlighted the benefits of its lower-band spectrum when it comes to coverage enhancements, particularly for reaching customers indoors.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in rolling out 4G services using the 800MHz band last month Elisa claimed that it could provide superfast mobile broadband to 95% of the country’s territory via the combination of its 800MHz infrastructure and its existing 4G networks operating over the 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands. Meanwhile, having deployed 240 new base stations for its 800MHz 4G network at launch, the operator noted that it had more 820 4G base stations in operation, including those deployed for its existing infrastructure.

 

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Thursday, October 31, 2013 8:41:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 03, 2013

Ireland's Eircom has launched the country's first LTE service, through its mobile brands, Meteor and eMobile as part of both bundled and standalone offerings.

The service is now live in Dublin, Carlow and Athlone, providing coverage to 1.2 million people, almost 30% of the population.

Over the coming weeks, rollout will continue and by the end of December 2013, 43% of the population will have 4G service.

There will be no price premium charged for LTE services provided by Meteor and eMobile. To encourage customers to test the service, 4G users have access to free unlimited 4G data until March 2014.

During the autumn of 2012, eircom acquired the necessary spectrum to deliver 4G services as part of the Irish Government's spectrum auction, conducted by ComReg.

Source: Cellular News.

 

Thursday, October 03, 2013 8:49:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The smallest of Venezuela’s three cellcos by subscribers, Digitel, announced the official full commercial launch of its 4G LTE mobile broadband network on 9 September, following a limited post-paid-only launch in July in selected areas of Greater Caracas, Maracay and other mainly central and western cities. Over the last few months the cellco has been expanding and optimising the 1800MHz LTE network, whilst also upgrading and expanding its 3G HSDPA+ network to augment its high speed mobile internet coverage. The rollout so far has seen Digitel activate over 230 LTE base stations, or 60% of the projected 385 cell sites planned for this year, initially concentrating on the most densely populated areas in order to capitalise on the demand for data services, with a medium-term goal of installing more than 800 LTE base stations. Meanwhile, it has upgraded more than 500 3G base station sites nationwide with an end-year goal of migrating over 1,000 base stations to IP protocol.

Digitel’s 4G LTE services are already available in parts of Caracas (mainly in eastern sections of the city), La Guaira (in Capital Region), Maracay, Cagua, Valencia, Puerto Cabello, Turmero, La Victoria, Guacara (all in Central Region), Araure, Barquisimeto, Acarigua (all in Central-Western Region), Valle de La Pascua, Calabozo (both in Llanos Region in the centre of the country), Maracaibo, Cabimas, Ciudad Ojeda (all in Zulian Region in the far west), Margarita (in the Insular Region of islands off the north coast), Puerto La Cruz and Lecheria (both in Eastern Region).

Digitel said that LTE will ‘soon’ be available in additional areas, including the remaining uncovered zones of Caracas, Valle de La Pascua and Calabozo, as well as Coro, Punto Fijo (both in Central-Western Region), Anaco, Barcelona, Maturin, Cumana, Carupano, El Tigre (all in Eastern Region), Ciudad Bolivar, Puerto Ordaz (both in Guayana Region in the east of the country), and parts of Andean Region (in the west), thereby spreading the network to all Venezuelan Regions.

Three ‘Smart Plan’ data, voice and text packages are available for 4G users, and the LTE network is open to all pre- and post-paid customers from the official announcement of commercial services. Users with compatible devices – which currently include a Huawei-built Android-based smartphone, a BlackBerry model or alternatively a USB modem – may acquire an LTE U-SIM card to activate 4G-speed data services.

Over 5,000 post-paid customers with suitable 1800MHz-compatible devices were able to use the network in its early launch phase, the company revealed, and while delays have been caused by a shortage of foreign currency in Venezuela with which to buy 4G network equipment and LTE-capable handsets or other devices, a Digitel spokesperson said that it has requested to import one million LTE phones, ‘a figure consistent with the number of users who want this technology’. The target figure represents over 15% of Digitel’s current user base of roughly 6.5 million.

Having previously reported that it had spent USD400 million on the rollout of its HSPA+ network since Q4 2011 (a figure that included fibre-optic/IP backbone expansion/upgrades and 3G/4G mobile broadband spectrum acquisition), the company has now upped that investment, announcing this week that it has spent over USD600 million on the launch of LTE and HSPA+ combined, including the necessary frequencies and fibre/IP build-out to support the radio network deployment. Digitel’s investment budget for full-year 2013 is USD268 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, October 03, 2013 8:45:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 30, 2013

Today, O2 and Vodafone have officially launched their LTE services in the United Kingdom. However, Vodafone's LTE network is available only in London, while O2 offer's its 4G services across three cities - London, Leeds and Bradford at the moment.

The 4G LTE networks across the UK is dominated by EE, which is currently offering 4G in 100 markets in the country. EE also has the government's spectrum license and all the other carriers need to buy the spectrum through an auction from the Ofcom regulator.

Both Vodafone and O2 are currently offering a wide range of usage plans for its potential consumers. Currently, Vodafone's LTE services starts at £26 a month and offers 2 GB of data with unlimited text messages and voice minutes. On the other hand, O2 has a similar offer at the same price tag, but the carrier gives only 1 GB of data with free messages and calling minutes.

Along with the launch of LTE networks, Vodafone and O2 have also announced that they will start selling 4G enabled smartphones. Check out the source links below for more information.

Meanwhile, Three announced its plans to roll out its own 4G network from the December 2013 and the carrier will begin its campaign from London, Manchester and Birmingham. The expansion of Three's LTE network is expected to be quite rapid next year and the carrier is expected to have over 80% of its consumer base on 4G by the end of 2014 and 98% by 2015.

Source: GSMArena.

Europe | LTE
Monday, September 30, 2013 7:34:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Orange has launched its LTE network in the Principality of Liechtenstein. Orange’s 4G network currently covers 91 percent of the Liechtenstein population. Orange has announced it will offer its 4G speeds to all customers in the country, both existing and new, with no additional costs and regardless of their subscription.
 
Orange’s 4G subscribers will be able to access mobile internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps, which will be gradually increased to 150 Mbps. Orange 4G is available with the Orange Me subscription for CHF 15 per month, or with the Orange Me prepay tariff for CHF 1 per day.
 
Customers will be able to test Orange’s 4G services at the 2013 fair in Vaduz on 4 and 5 October. In addition to the 4G demonstrations at the stand, customers will also be able to win 4G smartphones every day.
 
MVNO Telecom Liechtenstein uses the Orange network, and starting mid-October, all Telecom Liechtenstein customers will also have access to 4G services.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Europe | LTE
Monday, September 30, 2013 7:31:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Peru’s Ministry of Transport and Communication (MTC) has announced that the Agency for Promotion of Private Investment (ProInversion) has successfully completed the sale of two 20-year, 40MHz (2×20MHz) spectrum licences in the 1700MHz and 2100MHz paired bands (also known as Advanced Wireless Services [AWS] spectrum) for 4G services. Movistar was awarded the ‘A’ block of 1700MHz/2100MHz frequencies for USD152.23 million – more than double the USD63.4 million reserve price – whilst Americatel Peru, the Peruvian arm of Chile’s Entel, won the ‘B’ block of AWS spectrum with a bid of USD105.51 million.

Deputy communications minister Raul Perez-Reyes noted that on top of the USD257 million payment for the authorisations, the licensing would also lead to investments totalling around USD800 million over the next ten years. The official added that within the next six years 234 districts would be covered by Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks: ‘We’re going to grant at least four million families access to high speed mobile internet in the following years.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 6:58:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 22, 2013
The AEK has confirmed that the countries incumbent mobile operators have won the tender for LTE licences. T-Mobile, VIP, and One all offered to pay a one-off fee of 10.3m for the 20-year licences, slightly in excess of the 10m targeted by the regulator.

Source: screendigest.

Monday, July 22, 2013 9:36:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 19, 2013

Korean operator SK Telecom says that more than 150,000 subscribers have signed up for its LTE-Advanced network just 14 days after its launch, according to a Yonhap News report.

This makes for a take-up rate of more than 10,000 new subscribers a day — an indication of how eager consumers are for a service that is double the speed of SK Telecom’s LTE service and a whopping ten times faster than a standard 3G network.
 
Late last month, SK Telecom unveiled the world’s first LTE-Advanced network which went live in Seoul and a further 42 cities across the Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong-do districts. The latest Yonhap News report says the network is now available in Seoul and 43 other major cities in South Korea.
 
The service will offer speeds of up to 150 Mbps, with SK Telecom saying that a 800MB movie can be downloaded in less than a minute.
 
In the Yonhap News report, SK Telecom expressed confidence that more customers will sign on to its LTE-Advanced network as smartphone manufacturers step up their game to produce phones compatible with the network. Samsung launched its Galaxy S4 LTE-A smartphone on the same day that SK Telecom took the wraps off the network with an initial batch of 200,000 units.
 
The report noted that LG Electronics and local manufacturer Pantech are planning to release smartphones running on the LTE-Advanced network soon.
 
Other telecom operators are also hopping onto the bandwagon, with LG Uplus also planning to commercialize its LTE-Advanced network this month — which will reportedly be available in Seoul and other major cities during the third quarter of this year, and will roll out to other regions by the end of 2013.

Source: TNW.

Friday, July 19, 2013 7:14:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 15, 2013

France’s largest mobile operator in terms of subscribers SFR has announced the launch of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network for residential and business subscribers in Toulouse, the sixth Arrondissement in France to benefit from SFR’s superfast mobile broadband technology. According to the company’s press release, more than 80% of the population in the Arrondissement is now covered by the network, including Toulouse, Colomiers and Tournefeuille communes, though the company plans to extend the 4G coverage to 100% of the population by the end of 2013.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, SFR introduced LTE services offering a theoretical maximum speed of 100Mbps in Lyon at the end of November 2012, and later on expanded its 4G network to include Montpellier and Paris La Defense, while in March 2013, Marseille became the fourth Arrondissement with LTE coverage. Two months later 4G was launched in Lille, though the company announced that it will accelerate the LTE rollout in the second half of 2013 with the total number of cities with 4G network coverage set to reach 55 by the end of the year, including Nantes, Toulon, Grenoble, Rouen, Avignon, Montpellier, Saint-Etienne, Rennes, Metz, Nancy, Orleans, Clermont-Ferrand, Angers, Reims, Caen, Chambery, Amiens and Annecy, to name a few.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Monday, July 15, 2013 7:52:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telekom Slovenije disclosed that its 4G LTE mobile broadband network was expanded to three additional towns last week – Lasko, Trebnje and Vipava – taking its total to 42 towns/cities and more than 40% of the country’s population. Subscribers to the company’s Mobitel network can now choose from 15 LTE devices, including handsets, tablet computers, USB modems and ‘MiFi’ mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, with the latest addition to the 4G range being the BlackBerry Q10 phone.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Monday, July 15, 2013 7:50:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 10, 2013

ICE Celular has launched its 2.6GHz LTE network in the west of the Greater Metropolitan Area of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, reports TeleSemana. The service will connect at speeds of between 10Mbps and 20Mbps via a USB modem. A wider commercial launch in major urban centres will take place in July, and the service will gradually expand until it is available to more than four million subscribers, although ICE provided no fixed timeframe for this expansion.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:03:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Omani telecoms operator Nawras has embarked on the second phase of its nationwide network modernisation programme, which will see mobile broadband speeds boosted and network coverage widened. Work will begin in Quriyat and in September will continue along the Batinah coast from Al Suwaiq towards Shinas. At present, all Nawras sites in Salalah are being upgraded as capacity is doubled along with the speed of the Nawras 3.5G network. In addition, 4G LTE technology is being deployed in the city to support residents and visitors attending the annual Salalah Tourism Festival in August. ‘We have already delivered a huge difference in the broadband internet experience of our customers living and working in the area covered by the first phase of Network Turbocharging,’ said Nawras chief executive Ross Cormack, adding: ‘With faster speeds and greater capacity, Nawras is making it easier and more enjoyable to be online with a pre-paid or post-paid broadband internet plan.’ So far, Nawras has invested around OMR60 million (USD155 million) in the first phase of its ‘Network Turbocharging’ programme, which includes upgrading the core network, building new base stations and adding 3.5G technology to every existing 2G site from Al Bustan to beyond Al Musannah. Furthermore, last month a third 3G data carrier was activated on the 900MHz frequency band, increasing the speed, capacity and indoor coverage of Nawras’ mobile broadband services.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | LTE
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:00:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Korea's SK Telecom has launched the world's first commercial LTE-Advanced network, along with the first phone running the faster network technology, the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A. Customers will have access free based on their existing data plans, and the service will initially be available in central areas of Seoul and 42 cities in Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong-do, as well as 103 university areas. SK plans to expand the service with seven supporting smartphones by the end of this year and reach 84 cities covered.
 
The network offers up to 150 Mbps, double the speed of the existing LTE network. It employs carrier aggregation and coordinated multi point technology to enhance coverage and bandwidth, and SK plans to add enhanced inter-cell interference coordination next year.
 
The first LTE-A phone will be available in red exclusively to SK, and the carrier has ordered an initial 20,000 units. Samsung said LG Uplus also plans to offer the phone in blue, and Qualcomm announced KT will also carry the phone. The device features the new Snapdragon 800, 2.3GHz quad-core processor from Qualcomm, as well as a 2,600 mAh battery, 5.0-inch full HD screen, 13 megapixel camera, Android 4.2 and 32 GB internal storage.
 
The faster speeds on LTE-A are expected to support SK's popular content services. New additions will include a group calling service for up to four users, based on the 3G videoconferencing service but with better video and audio quality, and full HD (1080p resolution) over the Btv mobile video streaming service (550,000 subscribers) from early July. The company will also launch 'T Baseball Multiview,' to enable users to watch two different games on one screen in July. T Baseball is a free baseball broadcast service optimized to the LTE network. Launched in August 2012, the service has 1.1 million users.
 
In addition, SK Telecom plans to launch 'T Freemium 2.0,' an upgrade of its free multimedia content package with TV shows, music videos and sports highlights and introduce in August an HD video-based shopping service with six channels on one screen. Also, SK Telecom's music portal MelOn opened a new service category to allow users to listen to original CD quality music by downloading FLAC files.
 
To further boost content creation, SK Telecom will hold the contest 'LTE-A i.con' to support applications optimized for the LTE-A network.

Source: Telecom Paper.

LTE
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:57:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 05, 2013

AT&T announced 35 new LTE markets today, bringing the grand total to 326 and coverage for more than 200 million people.

AT&T said it expects to cover 300 million people with 4G LTE service by the end of 2014, with 90 percent of its planned 300 million POPs by the end of this year.

New locations range from sea to shining sea, including areas of Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, as well as Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota, Texas, Washington, California, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Source: pcmag.com.

Friday, July 05, 2013 1:25:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Verizon Wireless announced that Parkersburg, West Virginia became the 500th market in the US with access to Verizon's LTE network. The Verizon Wireless LTE network now covers over 99 percent of Verizon Wireless' 3G network. The LTE network is available to 298 million people in 49 states, and Alaska will receive the service from next month. First launched in December 2010, the network now carries 57 percent of all data traffic on the operator's network.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Friday, July 05, 2013 1:22:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Sri Lanka Telecom’s mobile subsidiary Mobitel says that its 4G LTE mobile broadband services are now live in Colombo, Jaffna, Kandy, Hambantota, Galle, Matara and Kalutara, following the announcement at the end of last year that the network was ready for commercial launch. Mobitel’s website says that the areas currently offering LTE coverage are: Colombo (Nugegoda town, Mount Lavania town, Pamankada town, Bambalapitiya, Kollupitiya, Slave Island, Fort, Colombo University, Nugegoda Town Hall and Borella); Jaffna (Jaffna town, Jaffna University and Pallali airport); Kandy (Kandy town, Peradeniya University and Digana); Hambantota town; Galle town; Matara town; and Kalutara town; as well as the university campuses of Kelaniya and Moratuwa; and Katunayake Airport (north of Colombo).

Devices supporting LTE in the 1800MHz band may be used on the new 4G network, whilst all Mobitel users with ‘Mega Internet’ broadband packages can enjoy the service at no additional charge on top of their existing tariffs, using either a dongle or smartphone. Additionally, all other post-paid voice, pre-paid and post-paid broadband package subscribers (with no ‘Mega Internet’ plan) can use LTE free of additional charge with a smartphone only (no modem access).

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:24:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) has announced that it has activated LTE services for customers in parts of Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Newcastle and Wollongong. The company claims that speeds on the network will reach 100Mbps, faster than those of its rivals Telstra and Optus in most areas due to it having access to 2×20MHz of contiguous spectrum in the 1800MHz band, unlike its competitors. ‘Vodafone customers in 4G areas with compatible devices will have access to speeds that are among the fastest, not only in the country, but in many parts of the world,’ said VHA CEO Bill Morrow in a statement. The cellco says that for now only existing subscribers who have 4G compatible devices will be able to sign up for the new service, but noted that it will begin signing up new customers in July.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:20:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
SK Telecom announced that it today launched the world's first LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service through smartphones. SK Telecom's LTE-A covers the entire Seoul, central areas of 42 cities in Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong-do, and 103 university areas. Furthermore, the company will gradually expand its LTE-A coverage to 84 cities across the nation. The company achieved such a milestone in only less than two years after commercializing the nation's first LTE service in July 2011. LTE-A offers ultra-fast network speeds of up to 150 Mbps, which is two times faster than that of LTE, and 10 times faster than 3G network. For instance, LTE-A users can download an 800MB movie in just 43 seconds. With the commercialization of LTE-A, the company expects to further improve customer satisfaction in mobile Internet services, and increase the use of ultra fast video contents and other diverse mobile value added services.

Source: SK Telecom.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 7:12:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 03, 2013

Cosmote Romania is aiming to expand its 4G LTE network to over 160 towns and cities next year, according to a report by HotNews which cites the company’s director of services Marius Maritescu. Late last month Cosmote announced the commercial launch of LTE services in Bucharest, Otopeni, Ploiesti, Cluj, Iasi, Sinaia, Busteni and Predeal, enabling subscribers to experience maximum transmission speeds of up to 75Mbps/37.5Mbps (down/uplink). Cosmote also offers DC-HSPA+ speeds of up to 43.2Mbps in 159 cities and over 1,000 localities across Romania, covering over 49.5% of the population. In addition, 21.6Mbps HSPA+ technology is offered in a total of 189 cities, giving Cosmote 3G coverage of 73% of the population.

 

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Monday, June 03, 2013 7:51:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Australia’s Telstra has announced a milestone in the deployment of its 4G LTE network, revealing that it has switched on it 1,500th base station. Commenting on the development of the telco’s fourth-generation infrastructure, Telstra’s networks executive director Mike Wright noted: ‘The programme is now running at pace and is on target – our technicians are now installing literally dozens of 4G base stations each and every week.’ Despite the achievement, the executive was keen to note that Telstra has committed to rolling out more than 2,000 4G base stations by the end of the financial year (June 2013). As a result of the work carried out so far, Mr Wright reiterated that Telstra aims to reach 66% population coverage for its 4G services by the end of next month, while noting that the network footprint already takes in all state capitals, and more than 100 regional and suburban locations.

Meanwhile, in terms of customer uptake, Mr Wright was cited as saying: ‘We now have over 2.1 million services connected to our 4G network and as the network grows we obviously expect that number to grow with it.’

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Monday, June 03, 2013 7:47:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Lebanese cellco Alfa has commercially launched its LTE 4G mobile broadband network, with coverage initially in central Beirut, offering data services for USB dongle modems, tablets and Wi-Fi routers for post- and pre-paid users, with support for 4G mobile handsets ‘coming soon’. Alpha built its 4G network in cooperation with European vendors Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks, and according to the operator’s press release, its planned deployment of around 300 active LTE base stations by the end of 2013 will cover roughly 40% of the population, representing approximately 25% of a 1,200 base station network necessary for nationwide coverage. The LTE coverage footprint will be expanded to Jounieh and Kesrouan by November this year, while other cities are scheduled to receive coverage in 2014, including Tripoli, Sidon and Zahle. Alfa, which is state-owned but managed by Egypt’s Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT), is offering consumers (post- or pre-paid) several new data packages aimed at 4G usage, including 10GB, 20GB and 40GB bundles (costing USD99, USD119 and USD149) whilst business customers can purchase packages up to 100GB (USD249). Voice call support for 4G handset users (via the 3G/2G network) is expected by the end of June 2013, Alfa has disclosed, whilst it estimates that voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) will be available on the network by the end of 2014.

Users outside of 4G coverage zones will automatically access 3G data services. At the launch, Lebanon’s minister of telecoms, Nicolas Sehnaoui, said that further 3G coverage improvements would also be going ahead to provide comprehensive high speed data services (whilst stating that the 4G launch will take some of the data traffic pressure away from 3G networks). Sehnaoui noted that Alfa and rival cellco Touch would complete respective projects to deepen 3G indoor reception, strengthening their 3G coverage in many locations, ‘between the end of August and the end of this year.’

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | LTE
Monday, June 03, 2013 7:45:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thailand’s third largest cellco True Corp yesterday became the first operator in the country to launch commercial 4G mobile services by switching on its 2100MHz network offering both 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 3G W-CDMA/HSPA services. At launch True’s new network is limited in scope, comprising 500 LTE base stations and the same number of cell sites offering 2100MHz 3G services, compared to its existing 3G 850MHz network of 13,000 base stations nationwide. As reported by the Bangkok Post, the 4G network covers densely populated areas including Bangkok’s central business districts of Siam Square, Silom Road and Sathon Road, and will be expanded to 15 major provinces this year including Chon Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Surat Thani and Ayutthaya. True added that by year-end it will increase the number of its 4G and 3G base stations on the 2100MHz spectrum to 2,000 and 5,000, respectively, while its total 3G 850MHz base stations will also rise, by around 1,000 to 14,000 this year. True’s 4G subscription packages start from THB699 (USD23.70) per month for an ‘unlimited’ data service – aimed at users of the handful of LTE-compatible devices currently available in Thailand, whilst the average price per MB (THB1) for its 3G users is half the cost of data access on True’s 2G network. True’s management stated that the operator will spend an additional THB15 billion on network expansion this year, and is aiming for ‘six million 4G subscribers by year-end compared with 3.2 million at present for 3G’.

The launch of True’s 4G/3G 2100MHz network came the day after market leader Advanced Info Service (AIS) officially launched its commercial 2100MHz W-CDMA/HSPA network. AIS soft launched 2100MHz services on 9 April to existing customers with compatible devices, targeting at least 200,000 users in the introductory month, but at the official launch on 7 May it declared that it had exceeded this expectation, reporting that it already had 800,000 3G 2100MHz users.

Thailand’s second largest mobile operator DTAC confirmed yesterday that it will stick to a plan to commercially launch its 2100MHz 3G network in June.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:54:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 06, 2013

Cosmote Romania has announced the launch of commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in Bucharest, Otopeni, Ploiesti, Cluj, Iasi, Sinaia, Busteni and Predeal. Initially the cellco’s LTE network is accessible via two USB dongles, each priced at RON99 (USD29.5) and the Samsung Galaxy Note LTE 10.1 tablet, costing RON1,369. The 4G launch allows end users to experience transmission speeds of up to 75Mbps/37.5Mbps (down/uplink). Lampros Iskos, chief technical officer for Cosmote Romania, commented: ‘The gradual development of our 4G network and product portfolio is ongoing, in alignment to our broadband development strategy which is the main pillar in our investment plans’.

Cosmote currently offers DC-HSPA+ speeds of up to 43.2Mbps in 159 cities and over 1,000 localities across Romania, covering over 49.5% of the population. In addition, 21.6Mbps HSPA+ technology is offered in a total of 189 cities, giving Cosmote 3G coverage of 73% of the population.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Monday, May 06, 2013 9:27:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MIC Tanzania (Tigo), a 100% owned subsidiary of Luxembourg’s Millicom International Cellular (MIC), has extended its GSM network with the switching on of a new cell site in Kakola Kahama in the north western region of the country. In a statement, Tigo public relations officer Elias Bandeke said that the latest service expansion forms part of ongoing efforts to improve its coverage, and will soon see launches in Mwanza, Tabora, Mara and Kagara. Tigo Tanzania recently switched on a new tower in the remote area of Kasulu-Kigoma, he added.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Tigo Tanzania had a total of 6.043 million mobile subscribers at the end of 2012, including an estimated 70,000 3G users, giving it a market share of 22.8%. The other layers in the market are Vodacom Tanzania, Airtel (formerly Zain), Zanzibar Telecommunication (Zantel) and the mobile arm of national PTO Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL).

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE | Mobile
Monday, May 06, 2013 9:26:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Macau’s Bureau of Telecommunications Regulation (DSRT), the territory’s total mobile subscriber base shrank marginally to 1.551 million at the end of March 2013, down by a net 2,000 users in a month. Nearly all subscribers are now 3G customers, with just 0.3% using 2G-only services. Macau’s active fixed voice lines also decreased in March 2013, by 500 in a month to 160,637, while the number of fixed broadband internet subscribers rose by 650 to 145,993.

Source: TeleGeography.

Broadband | LTE | Mobile
Monday, May 06, 2013 9:25:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Zain Bahrain has announced the launch of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, following in the footsteps of rival cellco Batelco which launched its 4G network in February. Zain Bahrain’s general manager, Mohammed Zainalabedin, told reporters that the company has invested USD100 million in network deployments, part of which has been spent on the rollout of LTE. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at the end of 2012 Zain’s share of Bahrain’s wireless subscriber market stood at 31.5%, just behind second placed operator Viva (32.5%) and Batelco (35.9%).

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 10:36:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Vodafone Germany has confirmed that it now covers all 81 major cities (100,000+ residents) in Germany with its LTE network. It is also expanding coverage to smaller cities with over 50,000 residents, to reach more than 160 LTE cities. Vodafone Germany's LTE network now covers more than two-thirds of the country, serving around 50 million people.

Source: Telecom Paper.

LTE
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 10:32:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Algerian government wants to complete its acquisition of Djezzy before launching 3G and 3G+ services, said ICT minister Moussa Benhamadi. Agence Ecofin reports that the government is ensuring that no operator is favoured by launching 3G before Djezzy. Under Algerian law, no company under receivership or undergoing a change in shareholder stucture is allowed to bid for a licence. The minister expects the government to close its purchase of 51 percent of Djezzy from Vimpelcom in around 2 weeks. Algeria originally called for 3G licence bidders in October 2011, hoping to launch services in the middle of 2012. It has announced the imminent launch of 3G several times since.

Source: Telecom Paper.

LTE
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 10:31:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 21, 2013

Uruguay's telecoms regulator Ursec has awarded spectrum to mobile operators Claro and Movistar for a total of USD 64.2 million, El Pais reports. The licenses cover the next 20 years. Claro and Movistar will use the spectrum to provide 4G services across Uruguay.
 
Movistar won four spectrum blocks in the 1900MHz frequency band, and Claro received two blocks in the 1900MHz band and two blocks in the 1700/2100MHz band.

State-owned operator Antel did not participate in the bidding process but will have to pay USD 38 million for reserved spectrum. Antel will receive one spectrum block in the 900MHz frequency band and four blocks in the 1700/2100MHz band.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, March 21, 2013 9:48:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 04, 2013

Vodafone New Zealand has commercially launched LTE services. The service is live now in parts of Auckland, and Vodafone will expand it to more suburbs every week. LTE services will go live in parts of Christchurch in May, and parts of Wellington in August or September. To get the LTE service, customers pay an extra NZD 10 on top of their existing plan while on higher value plans the upgrade is included.

The LTE network uses equipment from Nokia Siemens Networks in the 1800MHz band. NSN supplied its Single RAN and Flexi Multiradio Base Station, as well as upgraded 2G, 3G and 4G networks with its Mobile Switching Center Server and Multimedia Gateway. In addition, the company provided its Circuit Switched FallBack voice system that enables the LTE network to transfer customers to 2G and 3G networks in order to make and receive voice calls on 4G smartphones.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, March 04, 2013 10:59:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 22, 2013
  • Five winning bidders to deliver future mobile competition in the UK
  • 4G services from a range of operators expected within six months
  • Research measuring 4G speeds to be conducted at the end of 2013

Ofcom has today announced the winners of the 4G mobile spectrum auction.

After more than 50 rounds of bidding, Everything Everywhere Ltd, Hutchison 3G UK Ltd, Niche Spectrum Ventures Ltd (a subsidiary of BT Group plc), Telefónica UK Ltd and Vodafone Ltd have all won spectrum. This is suitable for rolling out new superfast mobile broadband services to consumers and to small and large businesses across the UK1.

The auction has achieved Ofcom’s purpose of promoting strong competition in the 4G mobile market. This is expected to lead to faster mobile broadband speeds, lower prices, greater innovation, new investment and better coverage. Almost the whole UK population will be able to receive 4G mobile services by the end of 2017 at the latest.

A total of 250 MHz of spectrum was auctioned in two separate bands – 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz. This is equivalent to two-thirds of the radio frequencies currently used by wireless devices such as tablets, smartphones and laptops.

The lower-frequency 800 MHz band is part of the ‘digital dividend’ freed up when analogue terrestrial TV was switched off, and is ideal for widespread mobile coverage. The higher-frequency 2.6 GHz band is ideal for delivering the capacity needed for faster speeds. The availability of the two will allow 4G networks to achieve widespread coverage as well as offering capacity to cope with significant demand in urban centres.

Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: “This is a positive outcome for competition in the UK, which will lead to faster and more widespread mobile broadband, and substantial benefits for consumers and businesses across the country. We are confident that the UK will be among the most competitive markets in the world for 4G services.

“4G coverage will extend far beyond that of existing 3G services, covering 98% of the UK population indoors – and even more when outdoors – which is good news for parts of the country currently underserved by mobile broadband.

“We also want consumers to be well informed about 4G, so we will be conducting research at the end of this year to show who is deploying services, in which areas and at what speeds. This will help consumers and businesses to choose their most suitable provider.”

Widespread 4G coverage

Ofcom has attached a coverage obligation to one of the 800 MHz lots of spectrum. The winner of this lot is Telefónica UK Ltd. This operator is obliged to provide a mobile broadband service for indoor reception to at least 98% of the UK population (expected to cover at least 99% when outdoors) and at least 95% of the population of each of the UK nations – England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – by the end of 2017 at the latest.

Source: Ofcom.

Europe | LTE | Mobile
Friday, February 22, 2013 8:28:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 18, 2013

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is inviting proposals from domestic companies or partnerships between domestic and foreign companies for a 3G licence in the country. The regulator will auction off four 2.1 GHZ licences and assign one licence to state-owned mobile operator Teletalk. One licence in the auction will be awarded to a new entrant but it will not be reserved for them. A total of 40 MHz is available in blocks of 5 MHz with bidders limited to two blocks, or 10 MHz, and one licensee will be eligible for three blocks if any block is left over after the auction. The base price for the auction has been set at USD 20 million per MHz. Licensees will also be allowed to use the spectrum for 4G/LTE services. Applications must be in before 12 May and the BTRC is planning to hold the auction on 24 June this year.

Source: Telecom Paper.

LTE
Monday, February 18, 2013 11:20:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 24, 2013

Brazilian mobile network operators TIM Brasil and Oi SA have announced plans to share 4G networks in the country, to allow them to offer ultra-high speed cellular services in the host cities for the FIFA Confederations Cup (Copa das Confederacoes) – Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Fortaleza, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. In a joint statement on 18 January, the two carriers said the decision to share the deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE) network infrastructure will yield savings of between 40%-60%, enabling them to be more competitive against other mobile carriers. The new services are expected to be ready in April, in time for testing ahead of the football tournament which kicks off in June 2013. The partnership agreement is still to be approved by the national watchdog Anatel.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 10:08:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Israeli Minister of Communications director-general Eden Bar-Tal says tenders for 4G frequencies will be completed soon, Globes reported. Bar-Tal said the 2013 work plan, which the ministry is currently discussing, includes the allocation of 4G frequencies. Bar-Tal said that he not only intends to hold the tender, but to complete the allocation of frequencies so that mobile carriers will be able to prepare, and even begin the planning and establishment of the new network this year.
 
Bar-Tal plans to allocate 1,800 megahertz frequencies, which are available for use to Pelephone, HOT Mobile and Golan Telecom for LTE networks. He said Cellcom and Partner Communications, which already have frequencies in the range, will have to use them and will not be eligible to acquire additional frequencies.
 
The director-general said the tenders committee is due to convene and decide on the structure for the allocation and the number of frequencies. The committee is also due to decide on the allocation terms, since if it turns out that one of the carriers is not establishing a mobile network, it will not be able to receive an allocation of frequencies.
 
Another question that the committee, or the ministry, will also have to decide is what will happen if Cellcom or Partner decides to use their frequencies and rush to set up 4G networks, while the other carriers have no such option because they lack frequencies.  The ministry of communications' position is that it will prevent such a situation from developing, but it has yet to explicitly clarify the matter, said Globes.

Source: Telecom Paper.

LTE
Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:48:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Maxis yesterday shooed in the new year with the launch of Malaysia's first commercial LTE services in parts of the nation's Klang Valley.

The incumbent operator announced the commencement of services in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Damansara Utama, Desa Sri Hartamas, Bandar Puchong Jaya, Bandar Sunway and Cyberjaya.

Maxis, which was one of eight operators to receive a 2,600-MHz 4G license in early December, has committed to invest 500 million ringgit ($164 million) towards rolling out its LTE network over the next few years.

The company will initially be offering modem based wireless broadband services over the network. The plans come with between 3GB and 48GB of data, split evenly into peak and non-peak periods, for prices ranging from 48 ringgit ($16) to 158 ringgit.

Maxis said in a statement that service offerings will be extended to smartphones and tablets “very soon,” but did not provide further details.

CEO Sandip Das said the company will also soon be ready to provide value-added 4G enabled services to its subscribers, thanks to its “robust partnerships” with device makers and content providers.

He said Maxis' 4G subscribers can expect real-world average speeds of between 10-Mbps and 30-Mbps.

Source: Telecom Asia.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 9:38:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) launched the world’s first converged Long Term Evolution (LTE) FDD/TDD network on 18 December as scheduled. At the official launch one of its two network technology suppliers Ericsson demonstrated the world’s first live seamless bi-directional LTE FDD/TDD interworking on the converged 4G network. Ericsson was the sole supplier for CMHK’s LTE FDD network – which launched in April 2012 – while in July CMHK awarded ZTE and Ericsson contracts to expand the capacity and coverage of its 4G network by deploying LTE-TDD (TD-LTE) technology, aiming for dual-mode coverage of over 70% of the territory. According to CMHK both vendor companies have an equal share of the network construction project, with ZTE supplying equipment for the network in primary commercial areas of Hong Kong while Ericsson is responsible for the remaining areas. In its own press release Ericsson says it has delivered TD-LTE radio access infrastructure as well as network management using Ericsson OSS-RC (Operation Support System for Radio and Core) and an Evolved Packet Core network expansion and upgrade.

As part of the launch Ericsson also assisted CMHK and parent China Mobile with the first TD-LTE roaming services between Hong Kong and mainland China. The launch event showcased a series of applications based on TD-LTE data roaming between Hong Kong and Shenzhen in China’s Guangdong Province. The demonstration was supported by the LTE FDD/TDD converged commercial network in Hong Kong, as well as the TD-LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC), In-Building Solution (IBS) site and universal SIM (USIM) deployed by Ericsson in Shenzhen. The demonstration showcased real-time high-definition video interaction between the two cities on TD-LTE networks for the first time, involving the LTE FDD/TDD dual-mode terminal in Hong Kong providing roaming to Shenzhen, as well as the TD-LTE terminal in Shenzhen providing roaming to Hong Kong.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 9:35:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Claro, the Brazilian unit of América Móvil, became the first carrier to launch LTE services in the country. Claro announced that LTE services are now available in the cities of Recife, Campos do Jordão (SP), Paraty and Buzios (RJ). Commercially branded as 4GMax, the service will be offered as part of phone and modem chip packages.

Although Claro was granted 40 megahertz of spectrum in Brazil’s June spectrum auction, the carrier started services in Recife using just 10 megahertz. Claro said it will gradually ramp up the service. In the cities of Campos do Jordão, Buzios and Paraty, Claro is using all 40 megahertz of spectrum.

Claro stated that it will meet Anatel’s requirement to provide LTE coverage for all the FIFA Confederations Cup host cities by April 2013. Coverage in the remaining cities will follow Anatel’s schedule.

Located in the northeast, Recife is the capital of the state of Pernambuco. According to Claro, Recife’s entire population is covered with 3G networks, and 93% of the state of Pernambuco’s urban population is covered by the carrier.

Claro is offering packages and plans above 5 gigabytes. The devices compatible with Brazil’s LTE technology are Motorola’s Razr HD, which costs about $314 (R$649), and Samsung’s Galaxy SIII, which costs about $479 (R$999); however, these prices are attached to the company’s contract plan: Claro Unlimited 200 4G. As for modems, Claro offers the Huawei E392 for about $153.50 (R$320) when attached to the contract plan dubbed Claro Internet 5GB. The pricing plans may vary according to region.

Source: RCR Wireless.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 9:30:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Sri Lankan mobile network operator Mobitel has announced the launch of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network on a commercial basis, having conducted trials of the 4G technology as far back as May 2011. At that date the cellco said it achieved mobile data speeds of up to 96Mbps (downstream) and 49Mbps (uplink). In this latest development, Mobitel claimed that the opening of the new infrastructure to the public would ‘enable it to provide an enhanced and diversified service to its customer base’. Looking ahead the cellco has also noted that it expects to ‘yield the best out of the mobile 4G/LTE services’ by taking advantage of the fibre network operated by its parent company, Sri Lanka Telecom.

Meanwhile, the country’s largest cellco by subscribers, Dialog Axiata, has announced its own launch of LTE technology in Colombo. According to LteWorld.org, the operator has introduced Time Division Duplex LTE (TD-LTE) services in the capital, with coverage expected to be extended to all of the country’s major cities and towns in ‘the immediate future’. Prices for the market leader’s LTE services start at LKR1,400 (USD10.95) per month for a connection offering downlink speeds of 4Mbps and 25GB data usage allowance.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 8:55:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 20, 2012

Telenor Norge claims it has become the country’s first operator to enable access to Long Term Evolution-based (LTE-based) services via mobile phone. With access having previously been restricted to those connecting via USB dongle, the operator has confirmed that from yesterday customers with 4G-compatible mobile handsets will be able to utilise its LTE network. It notes that it has put in place an ‘automatic solution’ which provides voice access over Telenor’s 3G network, while customers are transferred to the LTE infrastructure – where it is available – for web surfing and internet access.

Alongside this development, Telenor has also named a number of new locations which it plans to extend 4G coverage to by Christmas, with those being: Drammen, Fredrikstad, Sarpsborg, Skien, Porsgrunn and Kristiansand. Looking further ahead, the 4G footprint is expected to expand further in the New Year, with Telenor naming Tromso as another location where the network will be switched on at that date. In addition to expanding 4G across the country, Telenor’s managing director Berit Svednsen reiterated that the operator is also continuing to develop its third-generation infrastructure, noting: ‘90% of Telenor’s mobile customers have 3G coverage where they live, and the continuing expansion will ensure as much as 95% coverage. By the end of 2015 nine out of 10 Norwegians will also be able to use 4G from Telenor.’

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Telenor Norge unveiled commercial LTE services in eleven cities and towns across the country in October 2012. At launch the 4G network was available in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Lorenskog, Sandnes, Lillestrom, Asker, Baerum, Lofthus in Hardanger and Longyearbyen.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:39:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Korean communications provider SK Telecom has seen its LTE subscriber base exceed 7 million on 12 December, achieving its 2012 target for LTE subscribers. The company launched LTE services in July 2011. The LTE subscribers make up 26 percent of SK Telecom's total mobile subscriber base, the Korea IT Times reports. The company said that LTE uptake was boosted by the launch of the Apple iPhone 5 and that it signs up 60,000 customers per day on average. The company expects to end the year with 7.4 million LTE subscribers and expects to double the base to 14 million before the end of next year.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:29:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodacom South Africa’s 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network has been rolled out to Cape Town, several weeks ahead of schedule the company said in a statement yesterday. Vodacom launched LTE in October this year with 70 LTE-enabled base stations and has since increased that total to more than 500. CTO Andries Delport commented: ‘On average we’ve lit up another seven LTE sites every single day for the past two months and hit our target of 500 LTE base stations a month early.’ Vodacom’s 4G network is now available in the central business district, Stellenbosch, Atlantic Seaboard, Waterfront and Century City areas of Cape Town, as well as throughout Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:25:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Romania has inaugurated commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in the capital Bucharest, with the cellco noting that at launch customers in areas including the central and northern area of the city, and the tourist regions of Prahova Valley, Bran-Moieciu and Poiana Brasov could access the superfast mobile broadband service. With the cellco noting that its new network offers downlink speeds of up to 75Mbps and upload speeds of up to 37.5Mbps, it has also revealed that customers signing up for any of its new 4G tariffs on a two-year contract will have no data usage caps for the first six months. Initially, those customers looking to take up the cellco’s 4G offering will only be offered a USB modem or tablet, although Orange Romania noted that it expects to introduce a smartphone option soon. For now, the two devices on offer are the Orange Huawei E392 modem, which is offered free with any LTE tariff, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 4G tablet price starts at EUR309 (USD403), dependent on the plan taken.

With the operator’s LTE coverage initially available in only a limited area, Orange Romania has confirmed that those on its 4G tariffs will be able to connect to its 3.5G network in those regions where the new infrastructure has yet to be rolled out. The cellco has highlighted the fact that its customers currently have access to downlink speeds of 14.4Mbps nationwide, while 21.1Mbps speeds are available in ‘over 13,000 locations’.

Further, it also noted that it has now deployed DC-HSPA technology, offering theoretical downlink rates of 43.2Mbps, in 331 locations, including 18 of the country’s larger cities, those being: Arad, Baia Mare, Brasov, Bucharest, Campia Turzii, Cluj, Codlea, Constanta, Iasi, Mangalia, Oradea, Satu Mare, Sacele, Sibiu, Targu Mures, Timisoara, Tulcea and Zalau.

Source: TeleGeography.

Europe | LTE
Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:20:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­Switzerland's Swisscom has launched its LTE network, with coverage in 26 locations today. The new network will cover 70 percent of the population by the end of 2013.

The launch follows a LTE pilot project in seven tourist regions and the cities of Berne and Zurich. Frequencies of 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz are used to transmit the LTE signal.

The company said that it will invest around CHF 1.5 billion (US$1.6 billion) in the expansion of its mobile network by 2016.

The Swisscom 4G/LTE network will be able to provide theoretical peak rate speeds of up to 150 Mbps during phase one and reach up to 300 Mbps at a later date.

Source: Cellular News.

Europe | LTE
Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:17:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 14, 2012

In the wake of slowing subscriber growth NTT East and NTT West have cut prices for their fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service by 34%, from JPY5,460 (USD67) to JPY3,600. The move is widely seen as a measure to stem the flow of customers leaving fixed broadband services in favour of mobile broadband platforms such as Long Term Evolution (LTE). According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, NTT’s net addition of FTTH subscribers fell from 2.046 million during the twelve months ending June 2010 to 1.756 million in the twelve months ending June 2011, and fell further to 1.277 million over the twelve months to June 2012. Australian technology news site Delimiter cites sources at NTT East and NTT West as being convinced that the main reason for the slowing FTTH take-up is due to many younger users preferring not to pay for a household-based FTTH service when they are already paying for their own smartphone LTE data plan. Unlike its smaller rival KDDI, NTT is prohibited from offering FTTH and LTE from its subsidiary NTT DoCoMo in a single bundled offering.

Source: TeleGeography.

FTTH/B | LTE | Tariffs
Friday, December 14, 2012 11:08:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Orange Moldova has announced the commercial launch of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services. ‘From today 4G technology is available to all persons and entities in [the capital] Chisinau and its suburbs,’ said Ludmila Klimok, general director of Orange Moldova, at a press conference. The move follows a commercial launch of LTE by InterDnestrCom (IDC) in April 2012, and a limited test launch of LTE by another rival, Moldcell, last week.

Source: TeleGeography.

CIS | LTE
Friday, December 14, 2012 11:04:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

AT&T Mobility has announced that its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network now covers more than 150 million people across 103 cities, surpassing its original target of 100 cities by the end of 2012. This new coverage figure is more than double that offered at the end of 2011. AT&T plans to expand LTE coverage to 250 million people by end-2013 and to 300 million by the end of 2014.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Friday, December 14, 2012 10:56:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Claro Puerto Rico has announced the full commercial launch of 4G LTE mobile broadband services for handset, modem and tablets users in 19 of the island’s 78 municipalities, including the three largest cities, San Juan, Ponce and Mayaguez, promising mobile data speeds of up to 30Mbps. Company president Enrique Ortiz de Montellano, quoted by news site El Nuevo Dia, said the company has invested over USD230 million over the last year in the deployment of fibre-optic network infrastructure and 4G wireless access, adding that LTE coverage would be available ‘throughout the island’ in the first quarter of 2013. Having announced a ‘soft launch’ of LTE technology in San Juan around a year ago, Ortiz de Montellano explained that the delay in bringing a commercial 4G service to market had a lot to do with waiting for the right range of smartphones to become available. At launch the cellco is offering the Motorola RAZR HD XT925 LTE handset as an exclusive in the country, while on its website it also advertises the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE i747 and Nokia Lumia LTE 900 handsets. A 4G modem, the ZTE MF820 USB LTE, is also offered on the site, as is 4G connectivity for compatible tablets.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:55:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Telefonica Ireland, which trades under the O2 brand name, has revealed that it will begin deployment of a 4G LTE network in the first half of next year. The cellco issued a statement of intent after recently securing spectrum in the 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands, saying that it plans to invest EUR200 million (USD255 million) to upgrade its network to LTE over the next three years. ‘4G will significantly change the way consumers use their mobile devices and will transform our ability to meet customer demand for new products and services as they move to adopt smartphones, mobile modems and tablets in ever greater numbers,’ said Telefonica Ireland CEO Tony Hanway.

Source: TeleGeograhpy.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:42:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 26, 2012

Zain Kuwait has announced that it has launched 4G services under the brand name Wiyana Connect 4G LTE. In a press release the company stated that the country’s first nationwide Long Term Evolution (LTE) offering is available for all compatible mobile phones, tablets, routers, hotspots and dongles. CEO Omar Alomar said: ‘We are very proud to launch the new service. This service is available for the first time nationwide.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, rival cellco Kuwait Telecom Company (Viva) launched LTE services in December 2011, however coverage of that network is believed to be restricted to central areas.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, November 26, 2012 12:27:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Irish telecoms regulator has completed its auction of radio spectrum and raised EUR481.7 million (US$613 million) from the mobile networks, with commitments to pay up to EUR372.95 million (US$474.7 million) by 2030 when the licenses expire.

The auction awarded spectrum rights in the former GSM-only bands (900 MHz and 1800 MHz) and in the 800 MHz band (the so-called 'Digital Dividend') which became available on 24 October last following the switch-off of analogue broadcasting.

The spectrum is being provided in a technology-neutral manner.

This auction saw the release of 140 MHz of paired spectrum, more than doubling the 64.8 MHz of paired spectrum currently assigned in these bands.

Frequency Band

License Period

Hutchison 3G

Meteor

Telefonica O2

Vodafone

800Mhz

2013-2015

-

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2015-2030

-

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

900Mhz

2013-2015

2 x 5Mhz

2 x5 Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2015-2030

2x 5Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

1800Mhz

2013-2015

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

-

2 x 15Mhz

2015-2030

2 x 20Mhz

2 x 15Mhz

2 x 15Mhz

2 x 25Mhz

Upfront Payment

EUR51.14m

EUR144.78m

EUR124.93m

EUR160.85m

Total Spectrum Usage

EUR53.87m

EUR99.64m

EUR99.64m

EUR99.64m

Total

EUR854.64 million

 

Announcing the results of the auction, ComReg Chairperson, Alex Chisholm said: "The assignment of these spectrum rights by ComReg has been one of the most significant pieces of work undertaken by ComReg. It is a vital step that promotes competition and allows the next generation of advanced mobile services to be made available to Irish consumers and businesses from next year."

License holders must attain and maintain a minimum coverage of 70% of the population and to attain this coverage obligation within 3 years, while they may use spectrum rights in multiple bands to achieve the coverage targets, at least 50% of the coverage requirement (i.e. 35% of the population) must be met using spectrum rights in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz and/or 1800 MHz bands.

Source: Cellular News.

Europe | LTE | Mobile
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 1:33:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 15, 2012

South African mobile giant Vodacom has tripled the number of Long Term Evolution (LTE)-enabled base stations on its network from just under 70 at launch in October 2012, to over 200 in Johannesburg. According to MyBroadband.co.za testing has now begun in Cape Town. Zunaid Dinath, Vodacom’s sales and distribution officer, added that the cellco has increased the number of LTE devices on sale at Vodacom World in Midrand and selected Vodacom outlets in Gauteng. LTE services are currently only available to contract customers, but will be made available to pre-paid subscribers in 2013.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:12:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

America Movil’s (AM’s) domestic mobile subsidiary, Telcel, has reportedly inaugurated commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services, BNamericas reports. Telcel, which is Mexico’s largest cellco by subscribers, is understood to have made its 4G network available to customers in a total of nine cities at launch, with those being: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Queretaro, Puebla, Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Hermosillo and Merida. For now, LTE-based services are restricted to post-paid customers only, although AM CEO Daniel Hajj was cited as saying that pre-paid options will be offered in the future.

Six LTE-compatible handsets are being offered to those customers looking to take up the new service, including the Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE, while Telcel has noted that the iPhone 5 will be available from January 2013. Pricing for the 4G service ranges from MXN499 (USD38) per month for a 500MB usage allowance, rising to MXN899 for a 700MB allowance.

Mr Hajj is also cited as saying that approximately 35% of Telcel’s mobile subscriber base currently uses data services, broken down as 20% which access data via its 2G network and 15% which connect via the 3G infrastructure. Having noted that data usage had increased tenfold over the past three years, Telcel has said a similar growth rate is likely in the wake of its 4G launch, with Mr Hajj reportedly saying that the cellco expects between one and three million people to adopt 4G within a year.

Meanwhile, with Telcel reportedly set to invest around USD3.95 billion on network upgrades between 2012 and 2014, at least USD1 billion of which will be spent on 4G equipment, it has said that it aims to expand coverage to 26 cities covering 65% of the population by April 2013.

Source: Telegeography.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:05:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Philippine mobile operator Smart Communications has linked its Manila cell sites via fibre optic cable. The operator has connected 100 percent of cell sites in metro Manila to the PLDT group's fibre infrastructure as part of its Fiber in the Loop (FITL) project. The operator also announced that it has made its LTE broadband service available in more cities across metro Manila. Some ten cities are now covered by LTE, the company said.


Source: Telecompaper.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 1:50:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 13, 2012

America Movil’s (AM’s) domestic mobile subsidiary, Telcel, has reportedly inaugurated commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services, BNamericas reports. Telcel, which is Mexico’s largest cellco by subscribers, is understood to have made its 4G network available to customers in a total of nine cities at launch, with those being: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Queretaro, Puebla, Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Hermosillo and Merida. For now, LTE-based services are restricted to post-paid customers only, although AM CEO Daniel Hajj was cited as saying that pre-paid options will be offered in the future.

Six LTE-compatible handsets are being offered to those customers looking to take up the new service, including the Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE, while Telcel has noted that the iPhone 5 will be available from January 2013. Pricing for the 4G service ranges from MXN499 (USD38) per month for a 500MB usage allowance, rising to MXN899 for a 700MB allowance.

Mr Hajj is also cited as saying that approximately 35% of Telcel’s mobile subscriber base currently uses data services, broken down as 20% which access data via its 2G network and 15% which connect via the 3G infrastructure. Having noted that data usage had increased tenfold over the past three years, Telcel has said a similar growth rate is likely in the wake of its 4G launch, with Mr Hajj reportedly saying that the cellco expects between one and three million people to adopt 4G within a year.

Meanwhile, with Telcel reportedly set to invest around USD3.95 billion on network upgrades between 2012 and 2014, at least USD1 billion of which will be spent on 4G equipment, it has said that it aims to expand coverage to 26 cities covering 65% of the population by April 2013.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:52:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The European Commission has today decided to add another 120 MHz to the radio spectrum portfolio for 4G technologies, such as LTE (Long Term Evolution), around the 2 GHz band. This band is currently solely used for UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) wireless communications, known as 3G networks. The Decision makes it mandatory for Member States to open the relevant spectrum by 30 June 2014 at the latest, and lays down harmonised technical conditions to allow coexistence between different technologies. On this basis the EU will enjoy up to twice the amount of spectrum for high speed wireless broadband as in the United States, namely around 1000 MHz.

Source: European Commission.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:50:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 08, 2012
Italy’s largest cellco by subscribers, Telecom Italia Mobile, will launch LTE services on 7 November, according to COO Marco Patuano. At launch the company’s 4G network will cover Milan, Turin, Rome and Naples, and coverage is expected to extend to a further 20 cities by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Vodafone Italy is expected to unveil its LTE offering on 30 November, while 3 Italia is planning to inaugurate services by the end of 2012. Wind has yet to announce a launch date, and two weeks ago called on its rivals to pool their resources to help roll out a national wholesale LTE network

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:22:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 29, 2012

Norwegian telecoms group Telenor has announced that its domestic subsidiary, Telenor Norge, has launched commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in eleven cities and towns across the country. Initially the new 4G network will be available in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Lorenskog, Sandnes, Lillestrom, Asker, Baerum, Lofthus in Hardanger and Longyearbyen. Looking ahead the operator says it will subsequently continue deployment of the technology with a view to achieving nationwide coverage, and has revealed that it expects Tromso to be the next location to gain access, in the first quarter of 2013. With Telenor estimating that one in three Norwegians will be able to take up its 4G services by end-2012, it has claimed that ‘in 2015 as many as nine in ten’ will have access to its LTE-based products. At launch, meanwhile, Telenor has confirmed that its LTE services will only be accessible via PC, laptop or tablet, although it noted that mobile handsets users should be able to connect to the services ‘in good time for Christmas’.

Commenting on the development, Berit Svendsen, CEO of Telenor Norge, said: ‘The current rapid development of digital services places increased requirements on the mobile network, and with 4G we are taking an important step towards increased capacity and faster speeds,’ adding: ‘Telenor’s aim is to provide the best experience of mobile broadband on the market … We will have the best coverage, quality and capacity, and we will continue to lead developments in this area.’

Source: Telegeography.

Europe | LTE
Monday, October 29, 2012 3:58:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Kyrgyzstan’s National Communications Agency has allocated spectrum for WiMAX and Long Term Evolution (LTE) to a total of twelve companies, writes Tazabek. AsiaInfo, Global Telecom Asia, ToTel, Aknet, Kurulush Invest, T-Com, Fraton Plus, Aytel, Foris Telecom, WTT, Saima Telecom and Intranet KG have all been awarded spectrum according to the report, although it does not state which operators were awarded what frequencies.

Source: Telegeography.

CIS | LTE | Wifi WiMax
Monday, October 29, 2012 3:56:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Canada’s largest cellco by subscribers, Rogers, announced yesterday that it has extended its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to cover an additional 18 cities and regions. The company’s 4G infrastructure now covers almost 60% of Canada’s population, and additional rollout later this year and into 2013 will lift coverage above 60%. Since becoming the first Canadian operator to launch LTE in July 2011, Rogers says it has seen an 80% increase in data usage, and that it expects this to grow six-fold by the end of 2016.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:37:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telefonica’s Mexican wireless unit has revealed that it has nearly completed the rollout of the first stage of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. In a press release Telefonica Mexico announced that initially its 4G network will be available in three locations, those being: the Polanco area of the capital Mexico City; Zapopan in the state of Jalisco; and the city of San Pedro in Nuevo Leon. The new service is expected to launch sometime this month. In making the announcement, Telefonica Mexico also noted that it expects to spend more than MXN3 billion (USD234 million) on its LTE rollout between now and end-2013.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:36:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Chronicle.lu, Orange Luxembourg has confirmed that its under-deployment Long Term Evolution (LTE) network is set to launch on 29 October, with an unlimited monthly data subscription available for an introductory price of EUR39 (USD50.2). Although no LTE-compatible handsets are believed to be in the pipeline, the network will be offered to customers using USB dongles, Mi-Fi personal access points and 4G tablets. At a live feed LTE demonstration Thierry Iafrate, the cellco’s director of marketing and CEO Patrick Ittah confirmed that 4G coverage is currently available to 70% of the Grand Duchy, with theoretical transmission speeds of up to 50Mbs/20Mbps (down/uplink). In 2013 coverage will be extended to 90%, with speeds increased to 150Mbs/75Mbps.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month Orange’s rival Tango confirmed that its own LTE launch was set for 1 October, giving it a clear advantage over its competitors in the race for 4G domination. In addition, it is believed that Tango will offer LTE-compatible smartphones at launch.

According to the GlobalComms Database, third-placed player Orange was authorised by the Institut Luxembourgeois de Regulation (ILR) to carry out a six-month LTE trial during the second half of 2010, in conjunction with parent company France Telecom-Orange and French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent. Although the trial concluded with a successful demonstration in front of the local press, the operator revealed that the deployment of LTE in the 2.5GHz frequency band was likely to present a serious risk of interference to neighbouring countries, effectively sending the ILR back to the drawing board.

Source: Telegeography.

LTE | Tariffs
Monday, October 29, 2012 10:35:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Saudi cellular and internet operator Mobily has announced that its Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) 4G network has now been expanded to cover 31 cities. The 2.6GHz wireless broadband network, which is operated by Mobily subsidiary Bayanat Al-Oula, launched in September last year according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, and is eventually expected to cover up to 85% of the Saudi population.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 10:30:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 01, 2012

T-Mobile Austria has revealed that its in-deployment Long Term Evolution (LTE) network is currently available to over 650,000 citizens in Vienna, Linz, Graz and Innsbruck. The cellco has indicated that its network will be further expanded in 2012. In December 2010 T-Mobile contracted Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies to roll out the remainder of its LTE network, simultaneously upgrading its GSM infrastructure. The contract runs until 2016. Previously, T-Mobile estimated that at least 25% of the Austrian population would be using 4G technology by 2013.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 01, 2012 1:28:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MTN South Africa has announced LTE network plans and says it expects to have 400–500 LTE sites live by the end of 2012. CTO Kanagaratnam Lambotharan said the mobile operator already has 250 sites ready to go, and it's aiming to launch in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. It's also looking at Cape Town, he added, but said that there are some challenges to refarming the spectrum needed to roll out LTE there. This might result in Cape Town not receiving a full 2x10MHz carrier in the 1,800MHz band MTN is re-farming, Lambotharan said. According to MyBroadband, the investment in LTE forms part of more than ZAR 5 billion MTN is spending on its network in SA this year. This includes aggressive investment in the company's 3G network. So far in 2012, MTN has deployed 696 new 3G sites, with a target of reaching as many as 1,176 by the end of the year. That compares to 598 new 3G base stations in 2011. The company has also deployed a total of 317 3G base stations in the 900MHz band, covering parts of KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. As part of the focus on 3G and 4G, MTN is stepping up its roll-out of its own fibre infrastructure to connect its base stations. It now has over 1,000 base stations connected to its own fibre. 3G population coverage has reached about 65 percent, Lambotharan says, adding that the operator wants this to reach 80-85 percent by the end of 2013.

Source: Telecompaper

3G | Africa | LTE
Monday, October 01, 2012 12:45:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 14, 2012

NTT DoCoMo has announced that its Long Term Evolution (LTE) subscriber base passed four million on 22 July. The cellco’s ‘Xi’ service, which offers maximum downlink speeds of 75Mbps, is growing rapidly, having claimed 1.1 million subscribers at the end of 2011, and 2.2 million as at end-March 2012. The pace of new additions has nearly doubled in recent weeks following the introduction of a new Xi-compatible smartphone range.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:48:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to local press reports, Russian wireless giant Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) is set to launch its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network on 1 September, replacing its existing WiMAX service in the process. In an unconfirmed report that cited company representative Dmitry Solodovnikov, Vedomosti suggested that the in-deployment LTE network will have a far larger scope than its WiMAX predecessor, with some 2,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) expected to be constructed by end-2012, compared to just 200 WiMAX BTS currently in operation, serving around 70,000 wireless broadband subscribers in and around Moscow. LTE modem sales will commence on 7 August, although no price has been disclosed thus far; rival MegaFon’s LTE-suitable E392 modem is priced at RUB2,990 (USD92.90). Any WiMAX customers who have purchased a modem since April 2012 will be eligible to exchange them for free and obtain one month’s free data access, while longer-term users who make the switch will be granted three months’ complimentary LTE access as an incentive.

As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in February 2012 MTS was awarded Moscow’s first LTE licence by the Federal Supervision Agency for IT, Communications & Media (Roskomnadzor). The concession, which will allow it to provide 4G wireless services in the 2595MHz-2620MHz frequency band, will reportedly support the Time Division (TD)-LTE standard. Under the terms of its licence, MTS is required to launch its LTE network on or before 29 December 2013; the concession is valid until 29 December 2016. Slightly confusingly, the frequencies which MTS was awarded for LTE use were the same ones that Roskomnadzor ostensibly seized from the company’s former WiMAX subsidiary Comstar UTS in order to pave the way for the introduction of LTE in the capital. Previously, Sistema, the Russian conglomerate that owns MTS, demanded compensation to the tune of RUB1.5 billion from the winners of the tender, effectively demanding recompense from itself.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:42:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Dow Jones Newswires reports that UK-based giant Vodafone Group has announced plans to increase its investment in the Netherlands. The news comes not long after the Dutch network operator, the country’s second largest player by subscribers, experienced a major fire in its Rotterdam network centre in April which damaged its infrastructure and disrupted services for a large number of Vodafone NL users. The UK parent declined to put a figure on the CAPEX, saying only that it will go in improving network reliability and quality. Last year the Dutch unit invested around EUR250 million (USD305 million) in its systems, services and products in the country. The latest investment will also make it easier for the cellco to migrate to fourth-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, it added.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:31:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The government of Antigua and Barbuda has launched a multimillion-dollar Government-Assisted Technology Endeavour (GATE) project in partnership with regional telecoms operator Digicel Group, in a bid to drive the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the country. The Caribbean Journal writes that the project will focus on improving the nation’s broadband internet connectivity, along with a focus on ‘stimulating growth in innovation, entrepreneurship, job creation and sustainability’. As part of the plan, the government and Digicel hope to deploy fourth-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile technology, with Antiguan minister Dr Edmond Mansoor calling GATE a ‘bold step forward’ in preparing the country for the next two decades.

The journal notes that the GATE project has four primary components: an ICT Cadet Programme, which has already launched (in June this year), aimed at targeting school leavers to prepare them for the work environment; plans to improve internet connectivity and technology in the classroom, including using 4G LTE broadband connectivity; a plan to LTE connectivity for Antigua’s government; and the creation of a multi-purpose ICT training facility and special needs resource centre in the Michael’s Mount area of Antigua. The ICT facility will be built by Digicel on state-owned lands, according to the government.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:57:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Slovenian cellco Si.Mobil has launched the country’s first commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G mobile broadband service over a network covering parts of Ljubljana, Brnik and Bled. At launch, LTE users are being offered the Huawei E392 USB modem for use on Si.Mobil’s 4G network in conjunction with the operator’s new ‘Mobilni’ 4G internet plan, and are promised data rates of between 30Mbps and 80Mbps, with a theoretical peak of 100Mbps. Last year Telekom Austria subsidiary Si.Mobil conducted a comprehensive modernisation of its network, which offers 3G mobile broadband to over 90% of the population, and is designed to be easily upgraded with LTE technology across Slovenia, with many of its base stations already ‘LTE ready’.

Source: Telegeography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:31:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 04, 2012

NBN Co, the public private company overseeing the construction and management of Australia’s in-deployment National Broadband Network (NBN), has revealed the first locations where it expects to roll out fixed wireless broadband services. Using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, NBN Co has confirmed that, subject to final radio frequency planning and other approvals, the fixed-wireless broadband service will be made available to around 22,000 premises across 14 local government areas, with those councils expected to lodge planning proposals being: Ararat Rural City Council, Buloke Shire Council, Colac-Otway Shire Council, Corangamite Shire Council, Glenelg Shire Council, Hindmarsh Shire Council, Horsham Rural City Council, Loddon Shire Council, Moyne Shire Council, Northern Grampians Shire Council, Pyrenees Shire Council, Southern Grampians Shire Council, Warrnambool City Council and Yarriambiack Shire Council. The fixed-wireless broadband service, which will be made available to operators on a wholesale basis, will offer downlink speeds of up to 12Mbps, and NBN Co noted that facilities will be switched on in stages from around mid- to late-2014. Ultimately, the fixed-wireless broadband service is expected to be made available to around 4% of Australia’s premises.

Meanwhile, the company has also confirmed the local government areas where planning proposals will be lodged to deliver high-speed fixed wireless broadband in Tasmania, with around 32,000 premises across 28 local government areas to benefit from the service. Switch-on of the network in Tasmania is expected in the second half of 2013. Alongside the announcement of fixed-wireless broadband developments in Tasmania, NBN Co has also named a number of new locations where fibre-based broadband has been made available commercially. With services in Triabunna, Sorell, Deloraine and Kingston Beach having now come online, it is understood that around 12,800 premises in total across Tasmania can now connect to the fibre optic network. Looking ahead, the activation of the network in George Town and St Helens is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, adding a further 4,900 homes and businesses to the NBN footprint in the state.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 4:01:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Azerbaijan mobile operator Azercell has launched its LTE network in Baku, reports Trend. The network is operational in the capital city only, and the operator plans to double the coverage by the end of the year. Azercell offers USB modems supporting LTE for AZN 149, and the monthly subscription for unlimited broadband costs AZN 45. CEO Ali Agan said that the LTE launch should support a reduction in mobile data prices in Azerbaijan.

Source: Telecompaper

CIS | LTE | Tariffs
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 3:44:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 27, 2012

State-owned telco Une-EPM has begun offering commercial services over its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, the first of its kind in the country. At present the mobile broadband service is available to 80% of the populations of Bogota and Medelin, but will be expanded to Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena and Bucaramanga later this year. Une intends to achieve 90% population coverage by end-December 2012, and sign up 120,000-180,000 subscribers by that date. Une is offering pre- and post-paid plans with maximum download speeds of up to 12Mbps, with download limits of 6GB or 12GB for monthly contract subscribers and 1.2GB, 4GB or 8GB for pay-as-you go users. Post-paid subscriptions start at COP89,900 (USD49.78) per month, plus COP33,400 for the USB modem.

Commenting on the launch, Une president Marc Perret Eichmann said: ‘4G will contribute to the development of the country, putting it at the forefront of telecommunications infrastructure in the region.’

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:32:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telefonica O2 CR has announced the launch of a commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, making it the first carrier to bring 4G services to the Czech population. At launch, the new LTE network covers the municipality of Jesenice (district Prague-West) and its surroundings, serving a total population of around 10,000 people. Further, the operator says its LTE signal is also available in approximately half of the Chodov shopping mall in Prague, where its flagship ‘O2 Experience Centre’ store is based.

Telefonica O2 CR is using so-called ‘network neutral’ spectrum to support its LTE launch and is using equipment supplied by Huawei of China. The cellco’s fledgling 4G system comprises 2×10MHz of bandwidth in the 1800MHz band. From 19 June O2 customers can purchase one of two devices that support LTE with a SIM card, it says. It is offering customers an option of three tariffs for the new service, branded ‘LTE Mobile Internet’, with prices starting at CZK333 (USD16.5) per month for 2GB of downloads, rising to CZK800 for 40GB and a maximum 60Mbps/25Mbps connection.

Source: Telegeography

LTE | Tariffs
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:21:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Vodafone Hutchison Australia announced it's nearing completion of its HSPA+ network roll-out and plans to launch LTE next year. The mobile operator said that it is on schedule to complete its AUD 1 billion investment and two-year roll-out of its new mobile network by the end of this year. This includes the introduction of dual-carrier HSPA+ in the 850MHz band. The network roll-out is complete in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Canberra. Work in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne started recently, and Vodafone will complete the upgrades to all sites on the Eastern Seaboard later this year. The HSPA+ service should be available from September, and Vodafone plans to start a LTE roll-out next year. The new network agreement with Optus should also expand network coverage, to 96 percent of the Australian population from as early as April 2013. More information on the LTE timing will be released towards the end of this year, pending contract negotiations.


Source: Telecompaper

LTE
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1:25:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 22, 2012

Portugal Telecom has strengthened the coverage of its 4G network, which allows about 80 percent of the Portuguese benefit from a new mobile Internet experience.
 
This became possible following the termination of television analogue terrestrial system, which took place on April 26, freeing the frequency band of 800 MHz, in which PT acquired rights to use frequencies in the following the auction multitrack. The increased coverage will be significant (up to now stood at 20%) highlighting the quality of buildings and places in PT among the first operators at European level to provide 4G services in the frequency of 800MHz.

With the extension of coverage of the 4G network, the TMN and Meo 4G. 4G will benefit from greater speed, lower latency and better quality of experience. Together with the fiber optic network of PT, which reaches 1.6 million homes, these features enhance the supply of new multimedia services, mobility, until now only possible through fiber optics, especially television, gaming services online and mobile broadband access with speeds up to 100 Mbps.
 
PT offers two offers – TMN 4G and 4G MEO – diverse aspects that favor the use of the Mobile Broadband service, leveraging the potential of other existing offerings, such as the Meo and Musicbox This Go way, customers can access TMN and Meo transversely to an offer converged voice, video and Internet on multiple devices, with a quality experience and superior service and the most advanced in the world.
 
The 4G network in PT was recently recognized by manufacturers as a reference for operators in Europe to present the first European network qualified by the GCF (Global Certification Forum), the mechanism CSFB (Circuit Switch Back Fall), which allows voice communication 4G networks. This support, required to provide voice service for 4G smartphones, reinforces the status of the operator in terms of quality, reliability and robustness of its network of cutting edge technology.

Source: Wireless Federation.
 


 

LTE
Friday, June 22, 2012 12:04:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China’s ZTE Corporation has announced the signing of a deal with Swedish mobile operator Hi3G Access worth USD74 million to expand its 4G and 3G cellular infrastructure. Under the ‘strategic cooperation agreement’ ZTE says it will deploy several thousand UMTS/LTE TDD/LTE FDD base stations, as well as auxiliary microwave and data transmission equipment over the next three years. ‘We are very glad to ink the deal with Hi3G in Sweden where the two companies launched the world’s first multi-mode LTE network,’ said Huang Zheng, CEO of ZTE Sweden. ZTE’s ‘Uni-Ran’ solutions have been utilised to help Hi3G to integrate three modes and five frequencies into one network, with commercial operations launched at the end of 2011, under the claim of being Europe’s first large-scale LTE-based TDD network. Hi3G Sweden’s CTO Jorgen Askeroth said recently of the deployment: ‘Over the past twelve months, Hi3G Sweden and ZTE went all out to deploy the LTE network in Sweden. ZTE offers professional support and achieved the target commercial launch date of 15 December 2011. As of now, TDD performance is better than expected.’ TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that via a March 2012 contract between the two companies, Hi3G’s existing 2600MHz LTE network (launched in December in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo) is being expanded across southern Sweden using the 800MHz digital dividend frequency band.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 11:58:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The National Authority for Management and Regulations in Communications (ANCOM) has published a set of regulatory guidelines to pave the way for the introduction of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) into the Romanian wireless market. The new document explains the practicalities of authorisation, the allocation of numbering resources and the conclusion of agreements with mobile network operators, within the context of the current regulatory framework. Access agreements concluded between the existing operators and any prospective MVNOs must allow for an ‘efficient economic use of the network’, and contain non-discriminatory conditions in terms of quality of service (QoS). Further, terms must not limit the commercial autonomy of the MVNO, nor its capacity to change host operators, nor conclude agreements with several operators. Since the MVNOs will not hold frequency usage rights in view of the provision of mobile communications services, they will not pay fees for the use of the radio spectrum.

Interestingly, ANCOM says that a total of 17 operators currently authorised to provide electronic communications services have expressed an interest in operating as MVNOs, suggesting that an influx of internet service providers (ISPs) into the mobile market could be on the cards. In addition, earlier this year it was reported that any international companies unsuccessful in buying Long Term Evolution (LTE) frequencies in ANCOM’s imminent spectrum auction will be encouraged to negotiate deals with the winning bidders and enter the local market as MVNOs; the likes of US-based AT&T Inc, China Mobile and Norwegian giant Telenor have all been linked to the LTE tender.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, on 21 August 2008 ANCOM opened up non-geographic numbers in the 0ZA = 070 sub-domain for the allocation of MVNOs, which was expected to pave the way for the introduction of virtual operators in the country. Numbers were expected to be allotted in blocks of 100,000, but the scheme never came to fruition. Last year, citing the 15th annual report by the European Commission (EC), ANCOM suggested that of all current EU member states, only Romania and the Czech Republic do not allow MVNOs to operate in their respective wireless markets, although the Czech Telecommunication Office (CTU) is currently believed to be in the process of implementing similar legislation.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE | MVNO
Friday, June 22, 2012 11:54:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecom services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, today launched its 4G services in India’s IT hub – Bengaluru. Following the recent inaugural launch of Airtel 4G services in Kolkata, customers in Bengaluru have now become the second in India to have access to cutting-edge 4G LTE technology that delivers the most advanced wireless broadband experience available across the globe. As a first for the telecom industry worldwide, Airtel has also introduced ‘Smartbytes’ for 4G – thus allowing customers to buy these add on packs and continue enjoying the 4G experience even after exhausting their monthly data limits.
 
At the launch, Sanjay Kapoor, CEO – India & South Asia, Bharti Airtel said that as seen the world over, the total data usage is exploding and is doubling each year to grow to nearly 3.6 hexabytes by 2014. With the launch of 4G, India will move from being a follower in technology to matching the world in this domain. Leading from the front, Airtel is now the only operator that gives citizens of the Information Technology capital of Bengaluru, access to entire spectrum of broadband services including 2G, 3G and now 4G – thereby giving the customers never seen before data experience. Besides offering rich content, Airtel 4G will allow superfast access to High Definition (HD) video streaming, multiple chatting, instant uploading of photos and much more.
 
As part of an exciting introductory offer by Airtel, customers subscribing to 4G services will now be given a cashback for the CPE / dongle – thus bringing device cost to customers zero and paving way for mass adoption of 4G services. Airtel 4G is now also available in an all new 30GB pack priced at $57.
 
Customers on Airtel 4G can already choose from a catalogue of over 35 high quality Bollywood movie titles and leverage the power of 4G to enjoy an unmatched video streaming experience. While 10 movie titles will be available free of cost for customers during the first month, movie buffs can pay a monthly subscription of INR 149 and watch unlimited movies. Airtel will be further adding to this list of movies in the catalogue in weeks to come.
 
In 2010, Airtel had successfully bid for BWA license spectrum in Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai) circles. The company has launched its 4G LTE services in Kolkata and Bengaluru and is currently working towards rolling out state-of-the-art networks in remaining licence circles.

Source: Wireless Federation.

LTE
Friday, June 22, 2012 10:54:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Azerbaijan mobile operators Bakcell, Nar Mobile and Azercell have signed a protocol on the introduction of LTE, reports Trend. The coordination of frequencies will be carried out by the operators themselves under the protocol. Ali Abbasov, the Minister of ICT, said that LTE licences won't be necessary for the deployment of LTE networks. The Ministry has set a three-month deadline for the launch of LTE services.

Source: Telecom Paper.

CIS | LTE
Friday, June 22, 2012 10:01:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Everything Everywhere, the joint venture between British cellcos Orange UK and T-Mobile UK and the country’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, has highlighted the continued shift in its subscriber mix towards post-paid services and increased smartphone uptake following the release of its financial results for the first three months of 2012. The operator reported a service revenue of GBP1.503 billion (USD2.4 billion) for the quarter, down 2.5% against the corresponding period a year earlier, with regulated mobile termination rate (MTR) cuts cited as one of the core drivers for the decline. Excluding the impact of MTR reductions, Everything Everywhere said, service revenue actually increased by 2.9% compared to 1Q11. Underlying growth, meanwhile, was driven by a 7.3% year-on-year increase in post-paid subscribers, with the operator recording 151,000 net post-paid additions in the first three months of 2012 alone. Further, it noted that it was continuing to enjoy some success in upgrading some of its existing customers to higher value contracts. At end-March 2012 49% of the operator’s total customer base was on a post-paid tariff option, up from 45% a year earlier. With the company also reporting that 71% of its post-paid customers had a smartphone, Everything Everywhere noted that such uptake was driving non-voice revenues, with the company seeing a 17% year-on-year increase in data revenues in 1Q12. At the end of March 2012 the cellco’s total subscriber base stood at 27.219 million, down from 27.729 million at the end of the previous quarter, and representing a 9.4% drop from the 30.028 million it had at end-March 2011. Fixed line broadband subscriber numbers at the end of the reporting period totalled 713,000, down from 752,000 a year earlier.

Alongside its financial results, Everything Everywhere also announced that it has launched what it claims is the UK’s first live trial of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in the north of England. The cellco is utilising 1800MHz spectrum under a trial licence to test the 4G technology, and has noted that it will roll out the service over the coming weeks in the Threlkeld area of Cumbria to around 50 local residents. The trial will run until the end of July 2012, and the operator said that it will use the project to ‘test the network performance ahead of potential further rollout by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval’.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 9:49:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Russian mobile giant MegaFon has revealed plans to launch a Time-Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) network in Moscow to complement its existing 4G MVNO arrangement with Scartel (Yota). According to Interfax, MegaFon has already deployed over 300 TD-LTE base stations in the capital, but is unable to launch commercial services as the regulator forced it to relinquish spectrum in the 2.57GHz-2.62GHz band, as utilised by its subsidiary Synterra, in preparation for the long-delayed frequency auction.

Meanwhile, MegaFon’s LTE MVNO is poised to go live in Moscow on 14 May, after launching in Novosibirsk during the last week of April. Going forward, unconfirmed press reports have also suggested that the network will launch in Krasnodar this week. Cities including St Petersburg, Samara, Vladivostok, Ufa and Kostroma have all been earmarked for 4G connectivity by the end of 2012.

In related news, last week saw MegaFon announce the launch of Russia’s first ever LTE-suitable tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9. Branded ‘LTE MegaFon Edition’, the new product will only be available in MegaFon retail stores.

Source: TeleGeography.

CIS | LTE | MVNO
Friday, June 22, 2012 9:44:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Croatian Agency for Post and Electronic Communications (HAKOM) has confirmed that it will hold an auction for wireless frequency licences in the ‘digital dividend’ (790MHz-860MHz) band in the second half of 2012, which are earmarked for the nationwide expansion of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband networks. The telecoms regulator told SeeNews that the spectrum being freed up in the switchover from analogue to digital terrestrial TV broadcasting will be distributed among existing mobile operators to raise ‘several hundred millions of kuna’ (HRK100 million = USD17.5 million). Actual pricing and auction rules for the 2×30MHz frequency sale will be finalised by the government, HAKOM added. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that two Croatian operators, T-Hrvatski Telekom and VIPnet, switched on the country’s first commercial LTE networks using the 1800MHz frequency range late last month.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Friday, June 22, 2012 9:43:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Portugal Telecom (PT) has announced that its mobile unit, TMN (Telecomunicacoes Moveis Nacionais), now offers Long Term Evolution (LTE) coverage to 80% of the Portuguese population, a significant increase on the 20% figure available when the network launched in March this year. PT CEO Zeinal Bava said that TMN and its rivals have been able to extend network coverage over the course of the last week following the switch-off of the country’s analogue television network on 26 April, which freed up a large portion of 800MHz spectrum that the operators are entitled to use. According to Bava, the operator intends to extend coverage to more than 90% of continental Portugal and the outlying islands by the end of 2012. At launch PT offered two distinct tariffs: ‘Hyper’ and ‘Mega’, which offer maximum download speeds of 50Mbps and 100Mbps respectively; monthly price plans start at EUR49.99 (USD65.57).

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE
Friday, June 22, 2012 9:42:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Regional US operator Pioneer Cellular has inaugurated its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in selected parts of six counties in central and western Oklahoma, adjacent to the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, Telecompetitor reports. Additional base stations are expected to be lit over the course of the next ten months, as the cellco’s network deployment gathers pace. When completed, the network will cover more than 260,000 people in 21 counties across nearly 17,000 miles of central, western and southern Oklahoma.

The network launch, which took place towards the end of last month, means that Pioneer Cellular technically becomes the first participant in Verizon Wireless’s ‘LTE in Rural America’ programme to go live, narrowly beating Wisconsin-based Cellcom, which launched LTE earlier this week. Pioneer Cellular CEO Richard Ruhl told the website that the company will initially offer three devices for use with the network: a MiFi hotspot, a USB dongle and a fixed home router. Within 30 days he expects the cellco to offer LTE-suitable mobile handsets. Pricing will be ‘comparable’ to the amounts charged by Tier 1 carriers, although Pioneer is also expected to unveil a number of multi-play offers leveraging its fixed line business.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Pioneer was one of the first regional carriers to join the LTE in Rural America programme, back in December 2010. It began testing its LTE network twelve months later, and indicated that it expected to launch commercial LTE services this spring. In May 2010, prior to its commercial LTE launch, Verizon Wireless revealed that it was looking to partner with an unspecified number of rural operators in an effort to speed up its LTE deployments. The cellco planned to lease pockets of its 700MHz spectrum to rural carriers so that they can roll out LTE networks of their own, over which Verizon will have roaming rights. Verizon said that it would not insist that the rural carriers used Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson as their LTE infrastructure vendors as Verizon has done, but noted that there may be some benefits from economies of scale through sharing vendors.

Source: United States.

Friday, June 22, 2012 9:41:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Netherlands’ leading cable operator by subscribers Zesko Holding (trading as Ziggo) has launched a fourth-generation mobile network based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology for business users in the country, using its spectrum in the 2600MHz band. At launch the service is being offered to customers with an ‘Internet Plus’ cable broadband subscription in the cities of Breda, Zwolle and Oss – branded as 4G LTE Mobile Broadband. However, the cableco is not planning to extend its LTE offer to the consumer segment, preferring instead to focus on the more lucrative business sector where it is claiming 4G LTE Mobile Broadband transmission speeds of up to 100Mbps/40Mbps (downlink/uplink). By launching a commercial 4G service Ziggo has stolen a march on the nation’s incumbent cellcos – KPN Mobile The Netherlands, Vodafone and T-Mobile – which are currently still deploying their LTE networks. As such, the commercially availability of 4G for the average man in the street is not looking likely until 2013/14.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database writes that the Dutch market regulator the Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority of the Netherlands (OPTA) and the government successfully completed the auction of 2600MHz frequency licences for WiMAX and/or LTE services in April 2010. The spectrum was broken up into blocks of 2×5MHz (paired) and 1×5MHz (unpaired), and a minimum of 38 licences were offered, sub-divided into at least 25 blocks of spectrum comprising 13 paired and twelve unpaired. Five firms were each awarded licences, namely: Ziggo 4, a company led by the chief financial officers of domestic cablecos Zesko Holding (Ziggo) and Liberty Global Inc’s UPC Nederland division; Tele2-Versatel, KPN Telecom, Vodafone Netherlands and T-Mobile. The five firms paid a total of EUR2.6 million (USD3.5 million) for the licences, which are valid until 2030 and will allow operators to use the 2600MHz band to provide next generation services such as TV broadcasts, web conferencing and online gaming.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, June 22, 2012 9:40:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Azerbaijan mobile operator Bakcell announced that it plans to raise the prices of on-net calls for subscribers of its SevimliCIN, SevinCIN and QoshaCIN tariffs from 15 May. The current AZN 0.04 per minute rate for on-net calls at off-peak hours will be raised to AZN 0.06 per minute for subscribers of the SevimliCIN tariff and to AZN 0.08 per minute for subscribers of the Sevin CIN and QoshaCIN tariffs.

Source: Telecom Paper.

CIS | LTE | Tariffs
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 9:57:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hrvatski Telekom launched commercial LTE-based 4G network in Croatia. The first LTE base stations are located in Zagreb, Rijeka, Osijek and Split. The plan is to expand the LTE network coverage to other urban areas in Croatia in the upcoming period as well. The LTE-based services as well as the coverage maps will be presented and available to the customers in a couple of days.

In 2010, HT had a live presentation of the implemented 4G test network, and in 2011, it's customers in Zagreb, Rijeka and Split tested all the advantages this technology offers to the users. Furthermore, in March 2011, HT presented in Rijeka the highest download data rates in the mobile network in Croatia. On that occasion, operator arranged a video conference call between Zagreb and Rijeka using the LTE technology.

"By implementing the mobile network LTE in combination with the improvements in the fixed line data rates, we have confirmed one more time our leading position on the market," said Božidar Poldrugaè, HT Management Board Member and Chief Technical and Chief Information Officer.

Source: LteWorld.

LTE
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 1:58:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 16, 2012

Almost half of all households and businesses in Sweden can get broadband with a theoretical rate of at least 100 Mbps. Fibre accounts for the entire increase. This was shown in the 2011 Broadband Survey conducted by the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS).

PTS’s Broadband Survey shows that 49 per cent of all households and businesses in Sweden have access to broadband with a theoretical rate of at least 100 Mbps. This represents an increase of approximately five percentage points compared with 2010. This increase is due to fibre being rolled out in the access network.

“A high level of interest in fibre can be seen from both operators and all of the village and local associations around Sweden that are making investments. The survey also shows that an increasingly large proportion of consumers are choosing to purchase the fastest subscriptions. This paves the way for further positive developments in access to fast broadband,” says Göran Marby, Director-General of PTS.

Just over 500,000 households had the fastest subscriptions in October 2011, and this increase corresponds to approximately 140,000 subscriptions.

The Broadband Survey also shows that there was a rapid increase in 2011 in access to broadband with LTE (referred to as ‘4G’) where we live and work, predominantly in larger urban areas. Approximately 48 per cent of households had LTE coverage in 2011, which may be compared with just over a tenth of a per cent in 2010. Access to LTE is expected to increase in areas outside urban areas and small districts in the future in pace with operators rolling out LTE in the 800 MHz band.

The proportion of households and businesses in Sweden residing in, or in the proximity of, a property that is connected to a fibre network increased from 54 per cent to 60 per cent between October 2010 and October 2011.

Source: PTS.

LTE
Friday, March 16, 2012 4:19:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

­The GSA has published an update to its Evolution to LTE report which confirms 301 operators, which is over 50% higher than a year ago, have committed to commercial LTE network deployments or are engaged in trials, technology testing or studies.

242 firm commercial LTE network deployments are either in deployment, commercially launched, or are planned in 81 countries. Another 59 operators in 14 additional countries are engaged in LTE technology trials, tests or studies.

57 LTE operators have launched commercial services, which is 40 higher than reported by GSA one year ago. Commercial LTE services are now available in 32 countries,

Alan Hadden, President of the GSA, said: "LTE services are being introduced at an accelerating rate. We have again raised our market outlook. GSA forecasts at least 128 LTE networks will be in commercial service by end 2012."

LTE commercial network launches per year:

  • 2009 = 2 networks launched
  • 2010 = 15 networks launched
  • 2011 = 31 networks launched
  • 2012 = 9 networks launched (to March 12, 2012)
  • GSA end 2012 forecast = 128 networks

Source: Cellular News.

LTE
Friday, March 16, 2012 4:17:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 09, 2012

The largest U.S. mobile service provider Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) launched an in-home wireless broadband service –– HomeFusion Broadband –– based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.

Verizon introduced this service in rural and remote homes, which do not have access to DSL or cables. The service will be available initially in Birmingham, Alabama, Dallas and Nashville, Tennessee later this month.

The company will charge $59.99 per month for 10 gigabytes (GB) of data and an initial fee of $199.99 for installing the antenna device either on an outside wall or at the roof. Home Fusion provides download speed of 5 to 12 megabits per second and 2 to 5 megabits for upload.

Verizon is further seeking the deployment of 4G services to rural areas using tower and backhaul assets and its 700 MHz spectrum. We believe Verizon’s expansion into rural areas will drive subscriber growth and improve the churn rate, leading to higher growth and profitability. In addition, Verizon is ahead of its largest rivals AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S) in providing home broadband services.

Verizon continues to lead the wireless industry with the expansion of both its 3G and 4G mobile broadband networks. As of January 23, 2012, Verizon deployed 4G LTE services in 195 markets, covering more than 200 million people.The company expects to expand its 4G network to its entire nationwide 3G footprint by mid-2013, compared with the previous forecast of year-end 2013.

Source: Daily Markets.

Friday, March 09, 2012 1:03:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 22, 2011

According to Tech Central, MTN South Africa plans to double the number of 3G base stations in service across the country during the next two years to 6,000, extending wireless broadband access to previously underserved parts of the country. However, in order to do so, the cellco must re-farm a block of pre-existing spectrum in the 900MHz band. Chief technology officer Lambo Kanagaratnam said that MTN hopes to have 150 900MHz 3G base transceiver stations (BTS) in service by the end of 2011, with 900MHz services extended to around 1,000 BTS within the next twelve months. Within two years the operator hopes to cover between 80% and 85% of the South African population with its 3G network. Rural areas earmarked for coverage include: Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the Free State, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.

In related news, Kanagaratnam said that the cellco will continue to press ahead with its trials of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, despite the lack of available frequencies in the country. As such, MTN intends to demonstrate the 4G service – which it piloted in Gauteng in July – in Cape Town at the AfricaCom conference this week.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 11:34:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bell launched its next-generation high-speed wireless network in areas of Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener Waterloo and Guelph Wednesday.

The Ontario network, based on a technology called long-term evolution (LTE), "will deliver amazing data access speeds — at least three times faster than the Bell HSPA+ network originally launched less than three years ago," said Wade Oosterman, president of Bell Mobility in a statement ahead of Wednesday's launch.

The company said it expects typical speeds for the network to be between 12 and 25 megabits per second. Bell's HSPA+ network offers typical speeds of 3.5 to 8 megabits per second and 7 to 14 megabits per second in areas where it offers HSPA+ with dual carrier technology. The company is referring to its LTE network as 4G, the same name it has been applying to its existing HSPA+ networks.

The first device able to use the new network will be the LTE Sierra Wireless U313 Turbo Stick, which went on sale at "select Bell stores" Wednesday. Bell said LTE-capable smartphones and tablets will be available later in the year.

Click here to see full article
Source: CBC News
Thursday, September 15, 2011 10:39:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Mobily have become the first operators in the Middle East to commercially deploy LTE networks.

The operators, which announced the deployment within a day of each other, have said that their LTE networks will be double the speed of the previous 3G networks and is designed around the growth in mobile data, not voice calls. Saudi Arabia’s mobile phone penetration is the third highest in the world at 188% with the majority crunching through a vast amount of mobile data, making the migration to LTE an integral move for both of the operators who, between them, account for 80% of Saudi’s mobile subscribers.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Said Jamil bin Abdullah Al-Melhem, president of STC, commented: ‘The company continues its pioneering role, and its ongoing quest to provide the most services and the latest and highest international standards. And today [STC] offers the latest mobile communication networks, 4G LTE. The information revolution is coming and to provide a quantum leap in the speed of data transfer – wherever the client – to reach to top speeds of 100Mbps’. Mobily confirmed on launch yesterday that their LTE coverage will exceed 32 cities and towns in Saudi Arabia by mid October including the capital Riyadh, which represents 85% of the most populated areas.

STC will be speaking about their commercial LTE deployment and Telecoms IQ’s LTE Deployment Strategies conference taking place in London in November. If you would like to view the full speaker line up and secure your place, please visit the event website.

Source: Telecoms IQ

Thursday, September 15, 2011 10:28:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 15, 2011

­Canada's Rogers Communications has announced the commercial launch of Canada's first LTE network, covering the Ottawa region. Rogers also announced that network rollout to Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal will occur this autumn, and that LTE-enabled smartphones from Samsung and HTC will be available later this year.

The company added that it will expand LTE coverage to a further 21 markets by the end of 2012. Rogers and Ericsson have been conducting technical trials of LTE in Ottawa and Montreal since last autumn.At launch the Rogers LTE network will be capable of maximum theoretical download speeds of up to 75 Mbps on the Rogers LTE Network. Typical download speeds can range from 12 Mbps to 25 Mbps. As device selection evolves, maximum theoretical download speeds will increase to up to 150 Mbps.

"Ottawa is proud to play a significant role in Canada's first LTE network, from the trials through to the launch today. This new technology is a significant step forward towards increasing the accessibility and enjoyment of high speed applications while enhancing the productivity and reliability of mobile communications for Ottawans" said Steve Desroches, Deputy Mayor of Ottawa.

Source: Cellular News

Friday, July 15, 2011 12:45:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 24, 2011

To wrap up what has been an eventful year for next-generation mobile broadband technology Long Term Evolution (LTE), Light Reading Mobile has compiled a list of the world's commercial LTE services.

It's quite short.

Verizon Wireless and TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN) aren't the only names on the list, however, although you would be forgiven for thinking that, considering how much attention these operators' get for their 4G (or rather, FauxG?) moves. (See Happy Birthday, LTE! .)

We count nine commercial LTE services worldwide, based on our criteria. To be included on the list, it had to be clear that a potential customer could go to an operator's shop or Website and buy a dongle (or handset in case of MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS)) and sign up to start using the services. We did not include pilot networks or user trials, where consumers or business customers may be able to use an LTE service, but do not pay for it. (See LTE Beckons in Uzbekistan .)

So here's where LTE is commercially available now at the end of 2010:

Table 1: Commercial LTE Services

Operator

Where

Monthly Price

Equipment suppliers

NTT Docomo*

Japan

¥1,000 (US$12) for 3 GB or ¥7,980 ($95) for 5 GB

Fujitsu, Ericsson, NEC, NSN

MetroPCS

9 U.S. cities

$55

Ericsson, Samsung

Telekom Austria

Vienna, Austria

€90 ($120) for 30GB, plus €340 ($453) for USB stick

Not available

TeliaSonera

Denmark

399 Danish kroner ($71)

Ericsson, NSN

TeliaSonera

Finland

€46 ($61)

Ericsson, NSN (for initial rollout)

TeliaSonera

Norway

699 Norwegian kronor ($118)

Ericsson, NSN

TeliaSonera

Sweden

599 Swedish kronor ($88) for 10Mbit/s-80Mbit/s LTE, 3G, WiFi, and 30GB of data

Ericsson, Huawei, NSN

Verizon

38 US cities

$50 for 5GB or $80 for 10GB

Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, NSN (for IMS)

Vodafone Germany

rural Germany

€69.99 ($94) per month for up to 50Mbit/s downlink, 10Mbit/s uplink, and 30GB of data

Ericsson, Huawei

* Service starts on December 24, 2010

 

 

Source: Light Reading

Monday, January 24, 2011 11:16:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New research from TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database shows that 14% of the global wireless subscriber base is now connected to a 3G network, with the regional figure varying between 35% in Western Europe to just 6% in Africa. At 30 September 2010 there were 694 million 3G users scattered across the world, from a grand total of 5.12 billion wireless subscriptions. According to GlobalComms, of the wireless total 48.6% of subscribers were located in the Asia-Pacific region, with Latin America accounting for the next largest share, at 10.7%, and Western Europe at 10.1%. The Middle East is the smallest in terms of subscribers, accounting for 279 million subscribers at the end of the third quarter, equivalent to 5.4% of the total.

3G subscriber growth is clearly driving the market as a whole. ‘Subscriptions to third generation networks increased by over 40% in the twelve months ended 30 September 2010’ said Tig Harvey, Research Director at TeleGeography. ‘Compare that figure to the 15% recorded by the market as a whole, and you get some idea of just how important the UMTS platforms now are,’ she added. What's more, the next generation of networks are now coming on stream, just in time to provide new impetus to the industry in 2011 and onwards. According to TeleGeography’s 4G Research Service there are currently 13 Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in commercial operation, with a further nine due to be unveiled before the end of the year, including high profile launches by Verizon Wireless and Japan’s NTT DoCoMo. 'Since the launch of the first W-CDMA network in 2001, it has taken ten years for 3G to achieve 14% penetration of the wireless subscriber base; this is indicative of how quickly new technologies permeate the global wireless market, and is one pointer towards the future success of LTE,' Harvey added.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 2:56:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Verizon Wireless has announced that it will launch its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network on Sunday in 39 markets and 60 airports, covering more than 110 million people. The new network will offer download speeds of up to 12Mbps – more than ten times faster than current data speeds. Tony Melone, senior vice president and chief technical officer at Verizon Wireless promised that the new network would deliver superior performance.

The first devices to use the new network will be USB wireless data modems for laptops and are expected to appeal primarily to business customers and technology early adopters. However, Verizon Wireless will announce up to five new smartphones capable of running on the network at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. These handsets are expected to use the existing 3G network for voice calls and the 4G network for mobile internet access and running applications. There has also been speculation that Apple could announce an LTE version of the iPhone 4G early next year, though both Verizon and Apple have declined to comment. Initially Verizon will offer two monthly data plans – USD50 for 5GB of data and USD80 for 10GB. It will charge customers USD10 for each additional 1GB used.

Source: TeleGeography

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 2:45:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Asia-Pacific region has overtaken North America as the home to the largest number 4G broadband wireless subscribers. According to figures from TeleGeography’s 4G Research Service, there were around 1.7 million pre-WiMAX and WiMAX customers in Asia at the end of March 2010 compared to 1.4 million in the US and Canada. With the global 4G subscriber total standing at more than 5.7 million, the Asia-Pacific region now accounts for 29% of the overall market, up from 22% a year earlier and just 6% at the end of 2006.

Click here to see full article

Source: TeleGeography

Thursday, September 02, 2010 10:11:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 30, 2010

Le régulateur des télécoms lance sa consultation afin de caler les modalités d'attribution des licences qui seront distribuées dans un an exactement.

Le très haut débit mobile poursuit son cheminement en France. Comme prévu, le régulateur des télécoms vient de lancer une nouvelle consultation publique sur les modalités d'attribution des bandes de fréquences 800 MHz et 2,6 GHz qui permettront de déployer les réseaux 4G exploitant la technologie LTE (Long Term Evolution).

L'enjeu est de taille. Alors que la 3G+ plafonne théoriquement à 42 Mb/s en download (7 Mb/s en usage pratique), la LTE permet un débit descendant théorique de plus de 100 Mb/s et montant de 50 Mb/s afin de répondre à l'explosion des usages datas et à la saturation des réseaux. La consultation s'achèvera le 13 septembre prochain. Ensuite, après quelques allers-retours gouvernement/Parlement, la procédure d'attribution sera lancée, certainement avant la fin de l'année. Situation économique peu favorable Les opérateurs pourront alors faire acte de candidature. Et les heureux élus seront connus "entre le printemps et le début de l'été 2011". Rappelons que la 4G, une réalité en Suède, est actuellement expérimentée par les opérateurs français. Pour autant, le déploiement de la 4G risque de ne pas ressembler à un long fleuve tranquille. "La consultation publique et les auditions ont souligné la maturité encore limitée, sur les plans techniques et industriels, des projets dans la bande 800 MHz, dont le déploiement s'étendra sur de nombreuses années." a précisé Jean-Ludovic Silicani, le patron du régulateur en juin dernier.

Par ailleurs, "l'articulation entre les procédures d'attribution des bandes 800 MHz et 2,6 GHz, en particulier le caractère séquentiel ou simultané de l'attribution, ne recueille pas, pour l'instant, de consensus entre les acteurs" constate-il. Enfin, le déploiement de la 4G peut se heurter à la situation économique des opérateurs. Ces derniers ont aujourd'hui tendance à limiter leurs investissements réseau et cherchent avant tout à augmenter les capacités de la 3G/3G+ qui 'en a encore sous le pied". D'ailleurs, les quatre opérateurs mobiles ont finalisé le dispositif de partage d'installations de réseau mobile 3G : sa mise en oeuvre permettra d'atteindre d'ici fin 2013 une couverture 3G analogue à celle de la 2G (environ 99,8% de la population). Cet accord porte sur des zones peu denses du territoire, incluant notamment les communes du programme national d'extension de la couverture mobile 2G en zones blanches.

Source: ZDNet

LTE
Friday, July 30, 2010 2:23:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |