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 Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Cypriot telecoms provider Cyta has commercially deployed an LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network in all urban centres and main tourist areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The network (dubbed ‘4.5G’) offers speeds of up to 525Mbps, with an option to increase the throughput to 700Mbps in the future. The operator has deployed 50 base transceiver stations (BTS) supporting the technology. Chrysis Phiniotis, Senior Director of Technology and Information at Cyta, also disclosed that the company has extended 3G coverage to 99.5% of the Cypriot population and territory, while 4G coverage has reached 75%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 12:21:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 02 June 2017

Nepal’s second largest cellco by subscribers, Ncell has announced the launch of its 4G LTE network yesterday (1 June) after it was given permission to roll out 4G services last month by the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA). All Ncell customers possessing a USIM with a 4G-compatible handset will be able access the company’s LTE network in the Kathmandu Valley, including the areas of Nagarkot, Banepa and Dhulikhel. The operator is also planning to extend its 4G network to a further 40 cities throughout Nepal, targeting 15% LTE population coverage by the end of 2017.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 02 June 2017 11:54:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 20 April 2017

Vietnamese mobile operator Viettel has announced the commercial launch of its 4G LTE network, which boasts ‘nationwide’ coverage of 95% of the population. In the space of just six months, the military-owned firm has rolled out 36,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) across the country, including all provinces and cities, as well as in remote, mountainous and island communities. Download speeds of between 30Mbps and 50Mbps are on offer, with Viettel claiming that it will market 4G packages that are ‘40%-60% cheaper’ than 3G tariffs, while it will also provide free services such as healthcare information, e-government, news, education and agriculture support via the ‘4G-Plus’ app.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Viettel began trialling an LTE network in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province in December 2015 and it was awarded a 4G 1800MHz licence by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) in October last year, alongside VNPT-Vinaphone, MobiFone and GTel Mobile.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 20 April 2017 07:20:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 30 March 2017

Vietnamese mobile operator Viettel is expected to complete its deployment of 36,000 4G base transceiver stations (BTS) by 10 April, six months after initiating the nationwide LTE rollout project. Vietnamnet quotes Viettel Corporation’s Deputy General Director Tao Duc Thang as saying that the company has dispatched 1,500 three-man teams to install 4G BTS throughout the country, including all provinces and cities, as well as in remote, mountainous and island communities, providing coverage to 95% of the population. The military-owned firm is aiming to significantly boost smartphone penetration in Vietnam and is currently offering 4G-capable devices for VND2 million (USD86.8), but plans to halve the entry-level LTE smartphone price to VND1 million in the future.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Viettel began trialling an LTE network in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province in December 2015 and it was awarded a 4G 1800MHz licence by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) in October last year, alongside VNPT-Vinaphone, MobiFone and GTel Mobile.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 30 March 2017 12:17:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 27 March 2017

State-owned Telecom Niue, the sole wireless provider on the South Pacific island of Niue (located 1,490 miles off the coast of New Zealand), has launched a call for applications for the supply of a 4G LTE network. The telco, which currently operates a 2.5G GSM/EDGE network, has invited all qualified companies to submit their proposals by 31 March 2017.

TeleGeography notes that Niue currently employs the 900MHz band for its mobile 2.5G network, which was launched by Telecom Niue in 2011. Another telecoms company, the Internet Users Society charity group (which operates as Internet Niue), deployed a free Wi-Fi network in the 900MHz band in July 2003, with internet access currently offered to roughly 70% of the island’s households.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 27 March 2017 12:42:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bluesky Cook Islands announced the ‘soft launch’ of 4G LTE services on 24 March 2017, on a network enabled with LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) ‘4G+’ technology from the outset, in partnership with Chinese vendor Huawei. The operator confirms on its website that 4G+ initially covers the islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki. The move follows its Samoan sister company’s LTE-A launch earlier this month.

The Cook Islands’ 4G upgrade also included adding more network capacity and three new cell sites to increase 2G/3G/4G coverage, particularly around the Tikioki, Central Avarua and Puaikura areas, Bluesky’s website adds. 4G-enabled handsets currently available at Bluesky Cook Islands outlets are: Apple iPhone 6s, Apple iPhone 7, Apple iPhone 7 Plus, Apple iPhone SE, Aspera R7, Aspera R8, HTC 628, Huawei GR3, Huawei P9, Samsung S7, Samsung S7 Edge and Sony Xperia Z5. Mobile customers will need to bring their handsets into the main Bluesky office in Parekura to set up the new service.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 27 March 2017 12:41:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 16 March 2017

Globe Telecom of the Philippines has launched what it claims is the country’s first commercial deployment of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) four component carrier (4CC) spectrum aggregation technology, using the 2600MHz band. 4CC, which uses four distinct and separate blocks of 2600MHz spectrum, aggregated by LTE-A eNode B equipment, effectively doubles LTE capacity to improve mobile broadband speeds in those areas covered to peak rates of up to 400Mbps. According to Globe Senior Vice President for Programme Governance, Network Technical Group, Joel Agustin, the cellco has already deployed 4CC technology in 110 sites – mostly in Metro Manila, and specifically in Makati and certain areas in Quezon City, Marikina, Antipolo and San Mateo. Agustin notes that Globe’s 2600MHz rollout is the result of its joint acquisition of San Miguel Corp (SMC’s) telecommunication assets last year which has boosted its capability to further improve its LTE rollout.

‘This is the first time that a telco operator in the Philippines is making use of this four-component carrier spectrum LTE-Advanced technology and we are maximising the potential of the new spectrum assigned to us for the benefit of our customers. This technology milestone significantly improves customer experience as smartphone penetration in the country continues to increase,’ Agustin said. Going forward, Globe intends to roll out 4CC at more than 500 sites, augmenting its Metro Manila deployment with 2600MHz coverage in North Luzon and South Luzon. The company began using its new allocation of 2600MHz frequencies in June 2016 and to date, claims to have installed no fewer than 2,600 LTE sites – including approximately 1,200 mostly in Visayas and Mindanao.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 16 March 2017 13:42:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 03 February 2017

Iranian ISP MobinNet has launched its first services using time division duplex LTE (TD-LTE) technology. The firm has migrated its 3.5GHz WiMAX networks in four cities – Tehran, Karaj, Mashhad and Kish – to TD-LTE, bringing improved data speeds for both consumer and business customers. A report from The Financial Tribune says that MobinNet plans to have TD-LTE systems live in eleven cities by the end of the Iranian financial year in March. Rival operator MTN Irancell launched its own TD-LTE networks in parts of 25 provinces in August 2016, having followed a similar migration path from 3.5GHz WiMAX.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 03 February 2017 16:02:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 15 December 2016

MTN Congo, the largest mobile network operator (MNO) by subscribers in the Republic of the Congo, has become the first cellco to launch commercial 4G services. Confirming the development in a blog post, the country’s Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Leon Just Ibombo, said that LTE-based services had officially been made available at the tail-end of last week, with a ceremony held in the presence of the country’s prime minister to mark the occasion.

With MTN offering LTE-based plans under the ‘4G Turbo’ banner, it has a number of tariffs available at launch, with residential prices starting at XAF500 (USD0.81) for a 60MB allowance at the maximum speed possible (valid for one day), rising to XAF60,000 for a 45GB data cap (valid for 30 days). In terms of coverage, meanwhile, MTN’s website indicates that at launch the 4G network is available only in selected areas of the capital Brazzaville, as well as parts of the country’s second largest city, Pointe Noire.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 15 December 2016 08:01:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 21 July 2016

MTN Cameroon, the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has expanded its LTE network to three new cities, namely Kumba, Limbe and Bafoussam. A total of eight major cities are now covered by the South African-owned company’s 4G service, equivalent to 53% of the population. MTN first launched its LTE network in Douala, Yaounde, Buea and Bamenda in December 2015, with the seaside resort town of Kribi following in May, and the firm says that services will be made available in Ngaoundere and Garoua by the end of this month.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in March 2015 MTN agreed to pay XAF75 billion (USD130 million) to renew its operating licence in Cameroon for a further 15 years, at the same time receiving permission to roll out 3G and 4G services. The firm pledged to deploy 3G and 4G services at more than 700 sites in 16 towns in the first year of rollout, before gradually expanding high speed mobile data coverage to 75% of the population by 2018.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 21 July 2016 13:30:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Tele2 Lithuania has expanded the coverage of its LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network to around 50% of the population. The ‘4G+’ high speed data service is now available in 33 towns, and subscribers with compatible handsets and data tariffs are able to access the faster rates at no additional cost. The Swedish-owned firm has also revealed that its LTE network footprint has increased to 100 towns, cities and villages, covering more than 98% of the population, up from 95% in March, and 90% at the end of 2015.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that Tele2 Lithuania’s LTE network was launched in March 2013 and utilises the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz frequency bands. In August 2015 the mobile market leader introduced LTE-A services in twelve cities – Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Siauliai, Panevezys, Jonava, Mazeikiai, Alytus, Marijampole, Nida, Palanga and Sventosios – covering 20% of the population.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 21 July 2016 13:26:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Australians in more than 130 rural and regional communities will reportedly gain access to 4G connectivity as part of mobile market leader Telstra’s AUD165 million (USD121 million) commitment to regional Australia and the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme. In a press release the operator noted that it will construct 135 4G small cell base stations in rural and regional communities across the nation, with these to be funded solely by Telstra. Such infrastructure is in addition to the 429 communities that have benefited from Telstra expanding 3G and 4G coverage under Round One of the Mobile Black Spot Programme.

With Telstra Group Managing Director, Networks, Mike Wright noting that the roll out of small cell technology was part of Telstra’s commitment to expand its 4G coverage to 99% of the Australian population by June 2017, he said: ‘We worked closely with the Federal Government to identify the communities who were eligible for this small cell technology and we are proud to be part of this important initiative which will connect so many more regional communities. We will also continue to work with the Government to identify further opportunities to deploy this innovative technology to more rural areas.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 21 July 2016 13:23:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 17 June 2016

T-Mobile Netherlands says it now offers near nationwide coverage with its LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network which was launched in January this year. The telco says that LTE-A technology has been extended to its entire 4G system, which reaches 96% of the population. The network uses carrier aggregation across the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, providing data download speeds which are double those available via the basic 4G equipment. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, T-Mobile is the third largest cellco in the Netherlands by subscribers, behind KPN and Vodafone but ahead of newest entrant Tele2.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 17 June 2016 07:25:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Singapore’s telecoms regulator, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), has laid down strict 4G rollout targets for the city-state’s mobile operators, requiring that they provide coverage of more than 95% of outdoor areas from July this year, rising to over 99% in July 2017 and more than 99% of tunnels by July 2018. The IDA has announced its rollout guidelines amid growing calls for strengthened regulation, noting that by January 2019 it expects 4G licensees to have boosted in-building signal coverage to more than 85%. Furthermore, the watchdog says that any new network operators will also have to adhere to the new standards, although they will be given more time to deploy their networks. TeleGeography notes that as at 31 March 2016, between them the country’s three incumbent cellcos – Singtel, StarHub and M1 – had a total of 4.242 million 4G subscribers, of which 3.771 million were on post-paid contracts.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 17 June 2016 07:20:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Iran’s Deputy ICT Minister has said that the government is looking to boost internet connections in the country to a minimum 20Mbps within the next five years. Barat Ghanbari says that the scheme will be backed by an investment of USD15 billion, half of which will go to the state-owned Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI). A report from Mehr News Agency quotes Ghanbari as saying that internet services in rural areas will be expanded via the deployment of 4G LTE mobile technology. For many years most residential internet connections in Iran were limited to a maximum speed of 128kbps, with the cap only lifted in September 2014.

Meanwhile, TCI is to forge stronger ties with Kazakhtelecom, with the two telcos signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) covering the development of new services and the opening of new international traffic routes between the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The two countries intend to link their respective networks either via a direct trans-Caspian cable or overland through a neighbouring country.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 17 June 2016 07:19:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 05 February 2016

France’s Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts (Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes, Arcep) has invited applications for the award of available 3G/4G spectrum in the French overseas territories (‘departement d’outre-mer’, DOM) of Guadeloupe, Guyana, Reunion, Martinique, Mayotte, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy. The watchdog will auction spectrum in the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands (yet unallocated overseas), along with additional frequencies in the 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands. All interested parties are invited to submit their applications by 10 May 2016. The regulator will award up to four licences ‘per zone’, each with specific deployment obligations; Arcep said that the authorisations in Guyana will come with obligations to improve the coverage of the two national highways (NR1 and NR2). In regards to Reunion and Mayotte, Arcep decided to set the commercial launch of 4G services for 1 December 2016, due to the ‘particularly fragile’ competition environment since the November 2014 merger of SFR and Outremer Telecom.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, back in July 2013 Arcep unveiled a ‘broad public consultation’ covering mobile frequency assignments in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz spectrum bands, with a view to facilitating the introduction of LTE. The process was successfully concluded in February 2014, and a formal tender was expected to be introduced in 1H14, only for the regulator to miss its self-imposed target.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | LTE
Friday, 05 February 2016 09:14:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Movistar Argentina has revealed that it signed up a total of 1.5 million 4G customers by the end of December 2015. At that date, the cellco’s 4G network comprised 2,500 cell towers, with LTE coverage supported in more than 300 locations across 17 provinces. Also served by Movistar’s 4G network are 25 metropolitan subway stations. Going forward, the cellco has disclosed that a voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) launch is expected to take place in early 2016.

TeleGeography notes that Movistar’s LTE network went live in December 2014, one month after it won a nationwide concession pairing frequencies in the 1710MHz-1720MHz and 2110MHz-2120MHz bands; the cellco paid USD209.14 million for the spectrum permit.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 05 February 2016 09:08:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Digicel has launched Vanuatu’s first 4G LTE network, providing coverage to subscribers in the capital Port Vila. Daily Post Vanuatu cites the operator’s CEO, Mr Yaser Maher, as saying: ‘The licence the government has given us allows us to provide the people of Vanuatu with a world-class internet service … Since Cyclone Pam, we have been focused on rebuilding, investing and innovating.’ Customers with compatible devices can access the LTE network by swapping to a new SIM card while retaining their existing phone number. An LTE Mi-Fi (personal Wi-Fi hotspot), LTE modem and LTE router are also available to purchase, priced at VUV7,900 (USD68.7), VUV14,000 and VUV12,000, respectively.

Meanwhile, Chief Technical Officer at Digicel Vanuatu, Sajjad Ahmed, confirmed to TeleGeography that the LTE service was introduced on 20 January with ‘good coverage in Port Vila’s top residential areas and central business district.’

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Digicel – which competes with sole rival Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL) in the mobile sector – launched a 2G network in June 2008, followed by a 3G service in December 2011. The operator held an estimated 89.9% of the wireless subscriber share at end-September 2015.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 05 February 2016 09:05:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Nepal Telecom (NT) has asked the country’s regulator, the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), for permission to launch 4G mobile services. The state-backed telco says it is ready to begin upgrading its systems in the country’s major urban areas as soon as the NTA gives the nod. It also plans to expand its 3G services nationwide and phase out its 2G networks. A report from the Kathmandu Post quotes NT’s managing director Buddhi Prasad Acharya as saying: ‘We want the NTA to respond to our request so that we can start the service right away.’ Acharya added: ‘We need to compete with private players. However, we cannot procure equipment as fast as they can. This has impacted our quest to make the service quality better.’ NT competes in the mobile market with Ncell, which will be controlled by Axiata of Malaysia once its purchase of TeliaSonera’s 80% interest is completed; the USD1.365 billion deal was announced last month. Another privately owned operator, Smart Telecom, is deploying a GSM network but has still to launch commercially, while United Telecom Limited (UTL) provides limited mobility CDMA-based services.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 05 February 2016 09:02:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The latest quarterly report from the Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) shows that the country has seen a surge in interest in 4G LTE technology thanks to the continuing network rollouts by mobile operators NetOne and Econet. There were 26,185 LTE users in Zimbabwe at the end of September 2015, up from just 474 three months before. The wider mobile market saw the active subscriber total rise from 11.95 million to 12.39 million over the same three-month period, with market leader Econet claiming 6.68 million users, up from 6.63 million at end-June, NetOne taking second place with 3.80 million (up from 3.38 million), and Telecel witnessing a slight fall, from 1.94 million to 1.91 million. Meanwhile, the number of mobile money customers in the country rose from 6.23 million at 30 June 2015 to 6.67 million three months later, though the total value of deposits fell by 10.5% to USD458 million due to the tough economic situation.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, 05 February 2016 08:59:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Fixed and mobile operator FLOW Jamaica has announced that it has begun rolling out 4G LTE technology on its networks. The company’s managing director, Garfield Sinclair, commented: ‘Initially we will be rolling out LTE in major high traffic sections of the Kingston metropolitan area and of the North Coast.’ He added: ‘These are indeed exciting times for the FLOW brand as we are constantly pushing the boundaries in our bid to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers.’ The operator has not revealed when it plans to launch commercial 4G services.

FLOW incorporates the businesses of LIME Jamaica and cableco FLOW following the USD3 billion regional merger last year of their parent companies, Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus Communications. The other mobile operator on the island, Digicel, acquired 700MHz spectrum for 4G in 2014 but has still to announce plans for a rollout of LTE-based services.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016 15:31:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Abdou Karim Sall, the director of Senegal’s telecoms industry watchdog, the Regulation Authority of Post and Telecoms (Autorite de Regulation des Telecoms et des Postes, ARTP), has announced that the call for applications for fourth-generation mobile licences in the country received no bids from the three incumbents – Sonatel subsidiary Orange, Tigo, a unit of Millicom International Cellular (MIC) and Sudatel’s Expresso Telecom – suggesting they may have boycotted the process over a disagreement on the licence fee. With the regulator refusing to revise its reserve price of XOF30 billion (USD49.86 million) for each of the 20-year concessions, the ARTP confirmed that on 17 December 2015 it received ‘in open violation of the Public Procurement Code and the consultation regulations (Article 3.4 and Article 7.14 of the Regulations of Call for Candidacy) … a signed letter [from the] three operators to report their concern about the licence reserve price’.

Mr Sall’s statement points out that the ARTP considers the licence fee to be appropriate, adding that it was set as a result of ‘a benchmark of over 20 countries in the world, taking into account the quality and quantity of available frequency bands (bands 700MHz, 800MHz and 1800MHz), the population, income of the telecom market in Senegal and obligations of the licence for 4G coverage. The ARTP recalls that the telecom market in Senegal represents over XOF1 trillion per year, with the rate of return (EBITDA) of operators of 20%-50%. The ARTP considers this price justified under the obligations of the licence, the market potential of 4G and the best international standards.’ He goes on to note that: ‘No formal request to postpone the date for submission of bids has been made by the operators throughout the process.’

In short, the ARTP is dismayed at what it acknowledges to be ‘the collective and coordinated non-participation of the operators’, and confirms it will take the necessary actions as a result of this shortcoming. Furthermore, the watchdog intends to restart the 4G licensing process, this time opening the call for applications to ‘new entrants [and] international telecommunications operators’ wishing to develop Senegal’s mobile market, suggesting too that the trio may have already ruled themselves out of participating and throwing into doubt the government’s planned commercialisation date for LTE-based services in the African state.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016 15:26:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The newest entrant to the Slovakian mobile market, 4ka, which is run by telco SWAN and the Slovak post office, says it has reached the 100,000 subscriber mark and plans to attract 300,000 users by the end of this year. Having launched in October, the operator now offers 4G LTE coverage to more than 50% of the population over its own infrastructure, with other areas covered by roaming agreements. The Slovak Spectator reports that 4ka is looking to have 80% network coverage by end-2016. According to the TASR newswire, 24% of 4ka’s customers have transferred their number from one of the country’s other mobile networks, which are operated by Orange Slovensko, Slovak Telekom and O2 Slovakia.


Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016 15:17:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Albtelecom’s Eagle Mobile unit has confirmed the commercial launch of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, which went live on Tuesday 1 September – the deadline previously set out by the Authority of Electronic and Postal Communications (AKEP). The telco has noted that the 4G cell sites are connected via a fibre-optic backhaul network, and claims that the new infrastructure is capable of providing data transmission speeds more than six times faster than those offered by its legacy 3G network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 13:59:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Dhivehi Raajjeyge Gulhun (Dhiraagu), the Maldives’ incumbent telecoms operator, has revealed that it has expanded the coverage footprint of its 3G network to 98% of the population. Haveeru Online writes that the expansion drive forms part of a government directive to supply 40 islands with internet access by the end of this year, although the company itself has asserted that it is on track to provide broadband coverage to all 200 inhabited islands of the Maldives by that date.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 13:57:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Italian government has approved a EUR6 billion (USD6.7 billion) scheme to develop the country’s broadband networks. Domestic telcos will be offered incentives to encourage them to expand and upgrade their high speed internet infrastructure, with the funding coming from Italy and the European Union (EU). ‘This plan is based on the principle of technology neutrality,’ Bloomberg quoted Development Minister Federica Guidi as saying. ‘The market will choose the technology in order to achieve European digital agenda targets,’ she added. It has been confirmed that incumbent fixed line operator Telecom Italia will not be required to convert its entire copper PSTN network to fibre as part of the scheme.

As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate last October, Italy’s government hopes to have a minimum 30Mbps connection available to all Italians by 2020 to help it meet EU digital agenda goals, with around half of the population able to access 100Mbps fibre-based services by that date. Wi-Fi access points will also be deployed to support the 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile networks being rolled out by the country’s four cellular operators: Telecom Italia, Vodafone, Wind and 3 Italia. Italy has the dubious distinction of having the region’s lowest broadband household penetration figure, while the country also lags the rest of Europe on broadband speeds; a July 2014 report from the European Commission (EC) placed Italy last amongst EU member states ranked by penetration of 30Mbps and above fixed internet services, with less than 20% of the population able to access higher speed services.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 13:50:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telekom Slovenije announced that its LTE mobile network, launched in March 2013, now handles more than 40% of its mobile data traffic (which increased in volume by over 40% in H1 2015). LTE devices on the network increased by around 5% every month in H1. The multi-band LTE network now covers more than 86% of the population, and coverage is expected to exceed 92% by the end of 2015.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 13:47:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In publishing its latest Communications Market Report, UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has cited increased take-up of 4G services as being behind a surge in the number of smartphone users in the country. With the watchdog having claimed that two thirds of Britons now own a smartphone, it highlighted the fact that the number of customers signed up to an Long Term Evolution (LTE)-based tariff had increased significantly, from just 2.7 million at the end of 2013 to 23.6 million a year later, taking the proportion of total mobile subscriptions that were 4G to 28% at the end of 2014, up from 3% at end-2013. Meanwhile, with regards to coverage, Ofcom claims that at least one 4G mobile broadband service is now available to 89.5% of UK premises, while four in ten people reportedly have the option to choose from all four of the country’s mobile network operators – EE, O2 UK, Vodafone UK and Hutchison 3G UK (Three). With the cellcos continuing to expand and enhance their respective LTE network footprints, Ofcom notes that rules it has introduced mean that 98% of premises should have an indoor 4G signal from at least one operator by 2017.

Ofcom meanwhile has confirmed that in the coming months it plans to publish maps enabling consumers to compare operators’ mobile coverage throughout the UK. These maps will reportedly enable users to zoom to a specific location, or simply enter a place name or postcode, and receive data on coverage for each mobile network, down to 100 square metres.

Commenting on the development of the market, Sharon White, Ofcom’s chief executive, was cited as saying: ‘Today’s report shows just how important reliable, fast internet access is to millions of consumers and businesses. Improving the coverage and quality of all communications services across the UK is a priority for Ofcom, for people at work, home or on the move.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 13:42:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 01 September 2015

Azerbaijani mobile operator Bakcell, which announced the commercial launch of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network on 5 May, says it now has 373 4G base transceiver stations (BTS) live in its network, a figure it plans to increase to 1,000 by mid-2016. However, the company has clarified that its LTE network currently remains restricted to capital city Baku. In addition, Bakcell’s 2G network covers more than 99% of the population (93% of the territory, excluding occupied territories), and comprises 2,947 BTS. Elsewhere, 3G cell sites number 1,979 and cover 85% of population and 70% of Azerbaijan’s territory (again, excluding occupied territories).

Bakcell CEO Richard Shearer commented: ‘Today, Bakcell is a leader in terms of the number and capacity of its base stations in Azerbaijan. We outpace our competitors by expanding our 2G and 3G network in order to provide high quality mobile communication and internet service to our customers all over the country, including the most remote areas. We also have the largest share of the mobile internet market in the country. Our competitors are lagging behind us both in terms of quality and capacity of the mobile internet’.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 01 September 2015 09:43:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

America Movil subsidiary Claro Panama has launched commercial LTE services using spectrum in the 700MHz and 1900MHz bands, TeleSemana reports. Initially coverage is limited to the capital, Panama City, as well as Panama West, Chiriqui and Colon, with existing customers able to take advantage of the higher speeds by upgrading to a new LTE-based tariff. Prices for Claro’s 4G services start at PAB14.99 (USD14.99) per month for a plan offering 1GB of data, 50 on-net and 50 off-net voice minutes, and ten SMS messages. Post-paid data-only plans, meanwhile, start from PAB2.99 per 200MB, rising to PAB14.99 for a 2GB monthly allowance, while pre-paid options are also available, with a 200MB option (valid for one day) costing PAB0.99, and a 2GB option (valid for 30 days) priced at PAB14.99.

Claro Panama is the third of the nation’s mobile network operators to inaugurate a 4G network. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in early March 2015, Cable & Wireless Panama introduced LTE, with rival Movistar Panama following suit later that month.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE | Tariffs
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 09:24:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Movistar Chile has launched Long Term Evolution (LTE) services for pre-paid customers, La Tercera writes. The service is the first of its kind in the country, and is available at no extra cost to users with compatible handsets and SIMs. Coinciding with the launch, Movistar has launched a new range of compatible devices with prices starting at CLP79,990 (USD115.0). The launch has also been timed to take place shortly before the operator is given permission to begin using 700MHz frequencies for LTE services. Movistar currently uses 2600MHz band spectrum for its 4G networks, whilst the allocation of airwaves in the 700MHz band it won at auction in early 2014 has been delayed by legal challenges. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, however, the Chilean transport and telecom minister announced earlier this month that Movistar – alongside Claro and Entel – would be able to use the lower frequency band shortly.

Source: TeleGeography.

LTE | Tariffs
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 09:17:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China Mobile, the world’s largest cellular provider by subscribers, has registered a 4.9% year-on-year increase in operating revenue for the six months ended 30 June 2015, booking turnover of CNY340.73 billion (USD53.23 billion), of which service revenue represented CNY299.53 billion (+0.5% y-o-y). EBITDA for the period was CNY126.86 billion, representing a 7.3% improvement compared to H1 2014, with an EBITDA margin of 37.2% (36.4% in H1 2014). Net profit, meanwhile, was down slightly at CNY57.27 billion from CNY57.74 billion twelve months earlier.

Revenue from mobile data offset the impact of falling revenue from mobile voice and messaging services, fuelled by rapid subscriber growth, itself aided by the operator’s rapid network rollout programme. At the end of June 2015, China Mobile claimed 189.66 million 4G customers, compared to 90.06 million in December 2014 and 13.94 million six months before that, with Long Term Evolution (LTE) users now representing 23.2% of its total user base. Over the same period the cellco has rolled out a network of 940,000 LTE-enabled base stations covering one billion people. Consequently, mobile data revenue grew by 41.6% y-o-y to CNY99.28 billion, eliminating the impact of declines of 16.4% and 12.0% in voice and SMS/MMS service revenue over the same period.

Meanwhile, China Mobile noted that it is considering acquiring the assets of sister company, fixed broadband provider China TieTong (CTT), with a view to becoming a full service provider.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 01 September 2015 09:16:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko on 21 July signed a decree ‘On ensuring conditions for the introduction of mobile communication of the fourth generation’, local news site IT Expert reports. According to the decree (No. 445/2015) the Cabinet of Ministers, together with the telecoms regula   tor NCCIR and other involved parties must adopt an action plan for 2015-2017 on the introduction of 4G LTE mobile services in 2017. Note that Ukraine did not issue 3G UMTS licences to its three largest mobile operators until February 2015, whilst technology-neutral usage of spectrum (e.g. 1800MHz) for 4G LTE has not yet been approved.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 01 September 2015 09:14:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

4G subscriptions in China reached 225.467 million at the end of June 2015 according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), with China Mobile accounting for 189.662 million of that figure – neither China Unicom nor China Telecom provide subscriber figures for 4G use.

The world’s largest cellco by subscribers, China Mobile has reported a recent slowdown in its overall user growth, adding just 1.812 million customers in the second quarter of 2015 to 817.196 million, compared to 8.750 million in the first three months of the year. Indeed, the operator’s 3G user base has declined sharply over the last six months, falling from 245.753 million at end-2014 to 214.815 million as the 4G segment has gathered speed with its 4G customer base more than doubling from 90.064 million to 189.662 million.

Similarly, China Unicom reported that its overall user base fell to 289.307 million at end-June from 294.751 million three months earlier, whilst its combined 3G and 4G user base climbed to 151.788 million from 151.364 million. Telecom’s customer base, meanwhile, grew to 191.440 million as at end-June 2015 from 188.820 million in the previous quarter, with its 3G/4G users making up 131.000 million of that number, compared to 124.850 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | LTE
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 07:24:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 20 July 2015

Indonesia’s five largest mobile operators by subscribers – Telkomsel, Indosat, XL Axiata, Tri Indonesia and Smartfren – have now all launched commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in the 1800MHz band, while a new entrant has also set out its stall to enter the 4G segment later this year. The Jakarta Post writes that Berca Hardayaperkasa, a unit of the diversified Indonesian conglomerate Central Cipta Murdaya (CCM), intends to launch LTE services in Bali, Makassar and Pekanbaru in October, adding its hat to an already crowded ring. The paper claims that CCM intends to invest upwards of USD150 million to roll out 4G services in the three named locations, and ultimately plans to launch in twelve cities outside Java. Operating under the brand name WiGO, Berca initially set up operations as a fixed WiMAX operator in July 2009 having secured 2300MHz spectrum – one of eight firms receiving WiMAX licences at that date.

Telkomsel has switched on its 4G network in Makassar, South Sulawesi, while Indosat’s network is now live in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, and as reported earlier by CommsUpdate, XL Axiata kicked off LTE services on the island of Lombok. Meanwhile, Tri Indonesia has inaugurated its 4G network in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, and CDMA operator-turned LTE provider Smartfren activated its network in Batam, Riau Islands, as all the main players rush to deploy advanced services following the government’s decision to open up the 1800MHz band for 4G. Telkomsel reportedly has 620,000 LTE subscribers, while XL Axiata has 200,000.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 20 July 2015 09:14:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Tele2 Latvia officially switched on its 800MHz Long Term Evolution (LTE) network on 1 July, extending 4G coverage to a total of 4,100 towns and villages, or 90% of the Latvian population, in the process. The telco notes that its 4G networks – using the 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands – were previously restricted to the capital Riga and the surrounding areas.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in late 2013 Tele2 paid LVL1.056 million (USD1.657 million) for 2×10MHz blocks of ‘digital dividend’ 800MHz spectrum, which had been freed up by the nationwide transition from analogue to digital TV. Tele2’s concession grants access to frequencies in the 811MHz-821MHz/852MHz-862MHz range and is valid for 18 years, starting from 1 July 2015.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 20 July 2015 09:13:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

MTN Uganda, the country’s leading mobile operator by subscribers, has announced the expansion of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. From today (9 July) services are available in all major towns, including Mbale, Mbarara, Lira, Arua, Gulu, Kabale, Kasese, Fort Portal, Moroto, Masaka and Jinja, as part of a ‘nationwide’ rollout, PC Tech reports. 4G coverage was previously limited to Greater Kampala and Entebbe since the technology launched in April 2013. The LTE network offers download speeds of up to 100Mbps, MTN Uganda says. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MTN had a 45% share of Uganda’s 23.8 million mobile subscribers at the end of March 2015.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 20 July 2015 09:12:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Vodafone Germany says it plans to expand its LTE network to an additional four million households by summer 2016, increasing coverage of its 4G service to 90% of the population. The UK-owned company will focus on deploying its ‘LTE Zuhause’ mobile broadband and telephony offering in rural and remote regions where there is currently no access to its cable or DSL infrastructure. The average downstream speed of the mobile broadband network is around 15Mbps-20Mbps, but Vodafone says it is working to boost the average surf speed to 30Mbps. The 4G service currently covers over 75% of Germany and is available in around 85% of all large towns and cities, as well as over half of all stadiums, airports, subways and ICE stations, and 84% of all highways routes.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 20 July 2015 09:10:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
China’s 4G user base passed the 200 million milestone at the end of May, with the nation’s trio of wireless providers adding more than 20 million net new subscriptions in that month alone, according to the latest statistics from sector regulator the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). 4G users totalled 200.774 million at the end of May, up by 22.816 million from end-April, although 3G users slipped by 10.462 million over that period to 455.842 million as customers upgrading to the newer platform outpaced the growth of new 3G users. Similarly, customers are increasingly shifting to fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections, with 85.965 million subscribers using the technology, an increase of 4.002 million compared to end-April, whilst the number of xDSL users fell by 2.985 million to 76.674 million.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 20 July 2015 08:31:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bite Lithuania, the country’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers, is aiming to expand coverage of its 4G network to 75% of the population by the end of the year, rising to 90% of Lithuanians in Q1 2016. The cellco’s LTE/LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) services have attracted around 42,000 customers since the network was launched in mid-April. 4G services were initially available in five major cities – Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Siauliai and Panevezys – as well as the seaside resorts of Palanga and Nida, but Bite says it will soon expand the network to more than 30 other major towns and cities, including Alytus, Marijampole, Utena, Ukmerge, Kedainiai and Druskininkai. The company claims that the LTE-A network (branded ‘4G+’) supports maximum download speeds of 300Mbps, with average speeds of 80Mbps.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 20 July 2015 08:29:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Laotian mobile network operator Unitel, which is a joint venture between state-owned Lao Asia Telecommunication State Enterprise (51%) and Vietnam-based Viettel Group (49%), has reportedly inaugurated a 4G network. According to Vietnamnet, the cellco is initially offering access to its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in the capital Vientiane, as well as a number of other major cities and provinces, including Savannakhet, Luang Prabang and Champasak. Looking ahead, meanwhile, Unitel plans to expand to other localities, although details of the specific locations to be covered were not revealed.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 20 July 2015 08:28:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Slovakian cellular operator Orange Slovensko has revealed that its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks now cover 51.5% of the country’s population a year after launch. Infrastructure is live in 69 cities and 89 municipalities, Orange says, complementing its 3G networks which provide coverage to 91% of the population in 138 cities and 1,392 municipalities. The operator claims that more than 20% of its data traffic is now being carried via its 4G systems, with around one million terabytes of data transferred over the LTE network in the first five months of this year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 20 July 2015 08:23:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecom Malagasy (Telma) has confirmed that it has launched 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in more than 50 cities across Madagascar. Calling the new network ‘a natural evolution of the 3G+ network’, Telma notes that it offers 4G coverage of towns and cities such as Toliara, Taolagnaro, Mananjary, Ihosy, Antananarivo, Sainte Marie, Sambava and Mahajanga. The service can be accessed via a number of compatible smartphones – including the Samsung Galaxy S6, iPhone 6, Huawei Ascend and LG G3 Beat – as well as via USB dongles and wireless router devices. The network went live on 19 June.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 20 July 2015 08:22:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 18 June 2015

New data from TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Forecast Service reveal that global Long Term Evolution (LTE) subscribers are projected to grow 35% compounded annually over the next five years, from 516 million to 2.3 billion.

To date, LTE adoption has been strongest in South Korea, where the 4G technology accounted for 63% of wireless subscribers in 2014. Close behind is the United States, where LTE overtook 3G as the leading mobile technology last year to account for just over half of wireless subscribers, and Japan, where LTE had a subscriber market share of 41% in 2014.

While LTE will continue to grow in each of these countries over the next five years to account for between 80% and 90% of their respective mobile subscribers, the rest of the world will begin to catch up. No country more so than China, where a boom in TD-LTE network deployment and soaring use of data-based services are occurring. 8% of Chinese wireless subscribers were LTE at the end of 2014; however, that number is forecast to grow to 39% by 2019, at which point China alone will account for nearly one-third of global LTE subscribers.

Despite the ongoing rise of LTE and slowing 2G and 3G growth rates, these now legacy standards aren’t going away anytime soon. In fact, 2G remains the dominant mobile platform today, accounting for 61% of global mobile subscribers. One of several reasons for this is that 90% of India’s 950 million subscribers are still connected to 2G networks. Until recently, challenges allocating spectrum resources and high 3G tariffs hampered the country’s mobile development. The situation is improving following reductions in 3G tariffs and increased adoption of smartphones, and India’s 3G subscribers are forecast to quadruple over the next five years, but they will still account for only one-third of its mobile subscriber base.

Global 3G subscribers are expected to surpass 2G subscribers in 2019, although each of these technologies will continue to account for a larger share of subscribers than LTE. ‘LTE is growing at a faster rate than 3G ever did,’ said TeleGeography analyst Mark Gibson. ‘However, while 3G subscribers are declining in the US and Europe, they continue to grow in all other regions — most notably in Africa where they are expected to increase 19% compounded annually over the next five years. Therefore, despite its rapid growth, LTE may not surpass 3G on a global basis until early into the next decade.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 18 June 2015 07:43:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Three UK is set to use 800MHz spectrum to extend its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) footprint in Wales between now and 2017. Tech Week Europe quotes Three UK’s Justin Bass as saying: ‘The addition of 4G on new low frequency spectrum will further improve connectivity across Wales and once complete, 98% of the Welsh population will enjoy an even better experience on our network.’ Meanwhile, the site observes that rival cellco Vodafone expects to cover 94% of the Welsh population with 3G and 4G once its current investment plan for the country is completed.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in December 2014 all four major UK operators committed to invest a combined GBP5 billion (USD7.7 billion) in their respective network infrastructure to eliminate areas of poor coverage following intervention from Ofcom. Each operator will be required to offer voice and SMS services to 90% of the UK’s land mass by 2017.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 18 June 2015 07:42:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The European Commission (EC) and Japan have announced that they will work together on the development of 5G mobile technologies, and confirmed that EUR12 million (USD13.1 million) of funding has already been set aside for 5G-related projects related to the Internet of Things (IoT), the cloud and big data platforms that use 5G spectrum to transmit data. The deal comes in the wake of the European Union’s (EU’s) recent announcement that it intends to ink similar agreements with countries such as China and the US. The EU commissioner for the digital economy and society, Gunther Oettinger, explained: ‘5G will be the backbone of our digital economies and societies worldwide. This is why we strongly support and seek a global consensus and cooperation on 5G.’ He went on to note that the agreement with Japan marks a potential ‘milestone on the road to a global definition of 5G, its service characteristics and standards’. The EU-Japan collaboration will focus on areas such as the most suitable spectrum bands, and which applications (e.g. e-health) will benefit most from how 5G services are developed.

Source: TeleGeography.

Big data | LTE | IoT
Thursday, 18 June 2015 07:39:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telenor Norway plans to completely close down its 3G network in 2020, some five years before shutting down its 2G infrastructure in 2025, the operator’s chief technical officer Magnus Zetterberg has revealed, according to Mobile World Live. Speaking at the company’s analyst and investor day, the executive was cited as saying that Telenor Norway would look to ‘dismantle legacy networks and eventually phase out 3G in 2020, before closing out 2G by 2025 and completing the data transition’. With regards to the reasoning behind the switch-off of 3G first, Zetterberg added: ‘It’s better to retain 2G than 3G because all the devices today are still embedded with 2G, so you will lose out without the network … 2G is still important for the [machine-to-machine] M2M market.’

With regards to Telenor Norway’s 4G system meanwhile, by the end of 2016, the company aims to have 99% of the population within its network footprint. Further technology enhancements are also planned, with Zetterberg confirming that full rollouts of both voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) and ‘4G+’ are expected to take place by the end of next year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 18 June 2015 07:37:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ooredoo Maldives, the country’s second largest wireless operator by subscribers, has made its 4G data service available across its entire mobile pre- and post-paid tariff portfolio, reports The company claims that its LTE network supports maximum download speeds of 100Mbps. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that Ooredoo began offering commercial 4G LTE services for mobile handset users in Male in early December 2013 and expanded the network to the island of Kaafu Maafushi in August 2014. Two months later the operator said it had successfully tested LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 18 June 2015 07:36:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Azerbaijani mobile operator Bakcell has announced the commercial launch of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, limited initially to locations within the capital, Baku. Available since 5 May under the banner ‘4th Sur@’, subscribers within the coverage area will be able to access speeds up to 150Mbps with promotions such as 3GB of data for AZN10 (USD9.5) per month on a smartphone; for laptop users, 45GB of data at a cost of AZN60 for three months (offered with a free LTE dongle for a limited period); or tablet users can purchase 10GB data (with a free 4G SIM card included), for AZN15 per month. Bakcell CEO Richard Shearer commented on the cellco’s future 4G coverage strategy: ‘It is in our plans to expand the network rapidly, so that it [can] cover all areas where there is strong demand and enough 4G enabled devices.’

Bakcell claims that more than 4,000 subscribers have already been using its LTE network during the ‘last two to three months’. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the operator soft-launched 4G services in December 2013 following a network upgrade to Multiprotocol Label Switching – Transport Profile (MPLS-TP) technology using Huawei’s OSN series equipment. It did, however, miss its target launch deadline of 1Q14, informing TeleGeography in February 2015 that at that time it was still testing the network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015 07:50:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Peru’s cellcos had signed up a total of 1.3 million 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) subscribers by the end of 2014, according to a new report from the nation’s telecoms regulator Osiptel. Mexican-owned cellco Claro represented 600,000 LTE users at that date, followed closely by Movistar with 500,000, whilst the newly-rebranded Entel Peru claimed some 200,000. In the fixed broadband space, meanwhile, Osiptel reported a total of 1.73 million subscribers, up 9% year-on-year and of which 41% used connections of at least 4Mbps, whilst 32% had 2Mbps connections and 9% 1Mbps.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015 07:48:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

British mobile network operator Vodafone UK has revealed that Welsh town Pontypridd has become the 500th ‘community’ to gain access to its 4G infrastructure, less than three months after fellow Welsh town Bridgend was named as the 400th location where rollout had taken place. In making the announcement, Vodafone said that the development came hot on the heels of plans unveiled last month to invest in its mobile phone services across Wales with a view to bringing both 3G and 4G connectivity to more than 94% of the Welsh population. The cellco meanwhile confirmed that its LTE-based infrastructure is now available to more than 65% of the UK population.

Commenting on the latest network expansion, Jorge Fernandes, chief technology officer at Vodafone UK, was cited as saying: ‘Our network improvements across Pontypridd will ensure users enjoy stronger 3G coverage, whilst the arrival of 4G will also help local businesses react faster to the needs of their customers. We also know that 70% of our customers use their mobile devices most in the home or the office, which is why our investment is particularly focused to improving indoor coverage.’

In total Vodafone UK is planning to spend around GBP1 billion (USD1.48 billion) on its network and services this year, while it is also implementing its Rural Open Sure Signal programme, under which it aims to bring 3G coverage to 100 remote communities for the first time, including Loggersheads Country Park and Brynesglwys in Denbighshire, Moylegrove in Pembrokeshire and Corris in Gwynedd.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015 07:45:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Lithuanian mobile operator Omnitel has revealed that the number of its LTE customers has grown from 9,500 to 111,000 in the past year. The TeliaSonera-owned company launched commercial 4G mobile broadband services in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Siauliai and Panevezys four years ago – on 28 April 2011. Since then, the network has been steadily expanded to more than 80% of the population, with over 400 4G base stations installed across the country. Omnitel extended 4G services to smartphone users in March 2014 and in December the cellco began offering LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) services to customers in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Siauliai and Panevezys.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015 07:43:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Coverage of Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks reached 50% of Colombia’s population at the end of 2014, Signals Telecom writes, citing local news outlets. Claro is reportedly in the lead in terms of coverage with 200 towns and 28 capitals served by its network, with the cellco planning to add 100 more municipalities to its footprint by the end of 2015. The Mexican-backed provider invested USD1.2 billion in 4G infrastructure in 2014 and expects spending to rise to between USD1.2 billion and USD1.5 billion in 2015. Movistar, meanwhile, serves five main cities – Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla and Bucaramanga – and 77 municipalities. For its part, Tigo/Une-EPM has extended coverage to Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Bucaramanga, Valledupar, Ibague and Cucuta but expects to roll out services to the following cities by year-end: Monteria, Riohacha, Sinceljo, Villavicencio, Neiva, Pasto, Popayan, Tunja, Pereira, Manizales and Armenia.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015 08:19:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telekom Slovenije, which operates cellular services in Slovenia via its Mobitel division, has disclosed that its 4G LTE network now covers more than 80% of the population and 200 towns, after it deployed 100 new 4G base stations in the last six months to take its total to over 400 LTE cell sites. Telekom, which currently claims a peak LTE data speed of 150Mbps, added that it plans to reach a 92% LTE population footprint by the end of this year under an overall EUR107 million (USD118 million) mobile and fixed network expansion and upgrade budget. The operator launched LTE in May 2013 and won additional 800MHz/2600MHz spectrum to augment its existing 1800MHz 4G frequency band in April 2014, TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015 08:12:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has released its latest update on telecoms services in the city-state for the month of December 2014, showing that fixed line household penetration stood at 101.3% at the end of last year, up from 96.8% in November, as total fixed line subscriptions climbed 14,800 to 1.995 million. Of these, some 1.247 million are residential connections (up 16,600) and 747,900 are corporate lines (down 1,900). According to the IDA’s figures, fixed (population) teledensity stood at 36.5% at the start of this year, up 0.3 of a percentage point from November.

In the Singapore mobile market, the total number of mobile subscriptions (2G+3G+4G) reached 8.093 million at end-December, down marginally from 8.108 million the previous month, of which only 89,800 are now 2G/GSM connections. By contrast, the uptake of Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G services continues apace, reaching nearly 3.182 million last year, predominantly post-paid (2.924 million) subscriptions, while 3G accounts for 4.608 million of the total – a figure down from 5.211 million in July 2014 due to the rise of 4G.

Turning to the fixed broadband segment, the IDA reported a total of 1.451 million connections at end-2014, of which 103,400 are corporate wired accounts. Of the total, xDSL accounts for 236,300 users (Nov-14: 243,200), cable for 503,800 (510,600), with fibre supplanting more ‘traditional’ broadband platforms, accounting for 708,000 lines by 31 December, up from 692,000 in November; other platforms accounted for just 2,600 lines. The residential wired broadband penetration rate stood at 106.0% at the end of the period under review, according to the IDA’s data.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015 08:11:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 12 February 2015

Vodafone Italy has announced that its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network now covers 80% of the population, equivalent to 3,500 municipalities. Meanwhile, the cellco’s ‘4G+’-branded LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network is now active in more than 150 locations; the upgrade was introduced in November 2014 and offers end-users downlink transmission speeds of up to 225Mbps. Elsewhere, voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) connectivity is available in Milan, Rome and Ivrea. Finally, Vodafone notes that more than 1.2 million customers have signed up to its 4G plans to date.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 12 February 2015 15:31:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 05 February 2015

T-Mobile Hungary, a wholly owned unit of Magyar Telekom (MTel), has announced that its Long Term Evolution (LTE) subscriber base reached 450,000 at the end of 2014, an increase of 70% from 265,000 one year earlier, and up from 320,000 at the end of October 2014. According to the telco, its 4G data traffic tripled during 2014.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, T-Mobile Hungary launched 4G LTE services in January 2012, initially in the capital, before expanding its coverage to around 80% of the population by December 2014. As at 30 September 2014 T-Mobile was the country’s largest mobile service provider in terms of subscribers, with 48.1% of the market, placing it ahead of the Hungarian units of Telenor (28.6%) and Vodafone (23.4%).

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 05 February 2015 11:04:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A total 20 operators worldwide have launched Category 6 LTE-Advanced networks, according to the latest report from industry group GSA. The networks supporting speeds up to 300 Mbps are available in 15 countries: Australia, Austria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. The 3GPP defines a Category 6 system in its Release 10 specifications as having a theoretical speed of 300 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink. According to the GSA, a further 22 Cat 6 networks are being deployed or in a trial phase, for a total 42 operators in 24 countries investing in the technology.

The next stage of LTE-Advanced, Category 9 as defined under 3GPP Release 11, is being tested or deployed in nine countries (Australia, Japan, Portugal, Qatar, Turkey, South Korea, Switzerland, UAE and the UK). This will increase the theoretical speed to 450 Mbps downlink.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, 05 February 2015 10:59:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Monaco Telecom has launched an LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network in the Principality under the ‘4G+’ banner, adding 800MHz frequencies to its existing 2600MHz network to deliver peak (theoretical) speeds of 223Mbps using carrier aggregation (CA) technology. The Xavier Niel-controlled operator says that at launch the service is available in the port area of Port Hercule, and that it will cover the whole of the Principality with 4G+ services this year. Although it stopped short of providing a date when this will happen, Monaco Telecom says that its nearly 35,000-strong user base will be able to benefit from LTE-A automatically – i.e. they will not be charged an additional fee to sign up and can access it via packages that start from EUR34 (USD38.1) per month for two hours of voice calls and 1GB of data. The cellular arm is selling four smartphones initially that support LTE-A, namely: Samsung Galaxy Alpha, Note and Note Edge and the Huawei Mate 7.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 09:40:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Vodafone Malta has announced that its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile data network now offers coverage to 70% of the country’s population, 14 months after its commercial launch in November 2013. Vodafone is so far the only Maltese cellular operator to have implemented LTE technology, with rivals GO and Melita still to reveal their 4G rollout plans. Vodafone accounted for around 46% of Malta’s 560,000 mobile users at the end of September 2014, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, while GO took 39% and Melita had a 15% share.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 09:35:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Dhivehi Raajjeyge Gulhun (Dhiraagu), the Maldives’ incumbent telecoms operator, has expanded its 4G LTE service to the island of Fuvahmulah (Gn) and Addu City, the country’s second largest city. In addition to these two new locations, coverage of the firm’s 1800MHz network is also available in Male’ City, Villingili, Hulhumale’, Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Villingilli (GA), Thinadhoo, Kulhudhufushi (Hdh), Naifaru (Lh). Dhiraagu’s LTE network supports maximum downstream speeds of 100Mbps, with customers experiencing average data rates of between 15Mbps and 20Mbps.

At the official 4G unveiling ceremony in Fuvahmulah, Dhiraagu’s managing director and CEO Ismail Waheed said: ‘We continue to make constant investments nationally to ensure our customers can take full advantage of the latest services on their smart devices. One of our key objectives is to give the fastest and reliable internet connectivity in the country to enhance both quality of life and economic growth of the country and the current investments on the enhancement of our mobile network is a testament to this.’ Dhiraagu currently provides 4G LTE coverage to 50% of the population, while its 3G network reaches 95% of Maldivians.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 09:33:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Movistar Argentina has activated a total of 50 LTE-4G base stations in the centre of Buenos Aires, reports local daily Clarin. Company sources said the network is already operational and that they accelerated the deployment to improve the service and decongest 3G networks. They also announced that 200,000 customers who already have 4G-enabled devices will shortly be sent the new chips that are needed to use the service.

Movistar is the first Argentine operator to launch 4G services and is expected to be followed shortly by the operators Personal and Claro. Movistar last week revealed that it had sold 100,000 4G-enabled since announcing the service in December and that the company had already installed 160 LTE base stations covering several cities in the Buenos Aires province, including Buenos Aires itself, as well as the nearby conurbations of Mar del Plata, Pinamar and Carilo.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 09:30:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Tele2 Lithuania has announced in a press release that its 4G LTE network now covers 65% of the country’s territory and over 66% of the population, providing mobile data speeds of between 20Mbp and 100Mbps for LTE handset, tablet and modem users at no additional cost. Tele2 Lithuania added that its 4G network currently consists of more than 200 LTE base stations, using the 800MHz frequency band for wide coverage across urban and rural/highway zones, alongside the 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands to meet coverage and capacity demands in cities. By the end of 2015 the cellco intends to expand the LTE footprint to 75% of Lithuanian territory and 90% of the population. The release also stated that 4G devices now represent around 10% of Tele2’s Lithuanian mobile user base, whilst total data service revenue accounted for 12% of all turnover in Lithuania by the end of 2014, a statistic which is lagging behind its Baltic sister companies, Tele2 Estonia (where data represented 24% of 2014 revenue) and Tele2 Latvia (22%).

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 10:05:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Vodafone UK’s chief executive Jeroen Hoencamp has been cited as saying that his company is focused on ensuring its 4G network is strong and reliable, rather than it looking to compete with the likes of market leader EE in terms of coverage. According to TechWeek Europe, Vodafone UK’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) infrastructure is now available to around 50% of the country’s population – compared to the more than 80% EE announced earlier this week – while it has signed up around 1.4 million subscribers, far fewer than its rival’s 7.7 million customer base. However, Mr Hoencamp has highlighted the fact that Vodafone UK’s use of low level 800MHz spectrum will allow it to offer superior indoor coverage, while pointing out that it will only ever declare a location as ‘4G ready’ once it can serve the entire population, and not just a town or city centre. ‘It’s not about who’s got the most coverage,’ the executive said, adding: ‘It’s more about having the strongest signal. We’d love to expand the network faster, but it’s about doing it right first time; I’d rather do it at the pace we’re doing and get it right, than try to go faster and build a thin and flimsy network. You can have a few sites here and there, but that would give you really patchy signal. We only turn 4G on when we have built or updated enough sites.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 09:51:15 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Ooredoo Qatar intends to complete a national LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network coverage footprint this year whilst aiming for a target of ‘100%’ fibre penetration among its fixed broadband customers, the company told the Gulf Times at a press conference. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Ooredoo Qatar reached the milestone of 200,000 customers connected to its fibre broadband network in December 2014, around three years after launching the high speed triple-play connectivity service, with the lion’s share of its existing fixed broadband customers having been transferred from lower-bandwidth ADSL connections. Also that month, Ooredoo launched the country’s first commercial LTE-A service under the ‘4G+’ banner, boosting its mobile network’s peak mobile downlink data speeds to 225Mbps from its previous limit of 150Mbps, and covering parts of Doha – including Corniche, West Bay lagoon, Katara, Souq Waqif, Al Rayyan, Shahaniya and Sealine – for devices supporting LTE-A on either 800MHz or 2600MHz frequency bands. Ooredoo’s new chief business officer Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al-Thani told Gulf Times yesterday that 4G+ services were now available in additional major areas such as Al Wakrah, Al Gharafa and Education City, but the LTE-A technology was ‘still pending in some highways along the northern and southern parts of Qatar’ while the goal was to ‘provide the entire country with 4G+ services’. Sheikh Nasser also said Ooredoo was in ‘constant talks’ with Samsung, Huawei and Apple for the manufacture of LTE-A-capable smart devices, noting: ‘Our challenge to mobile phone manufacturers is to keep up with the technology that is now available in the market because not many smart devices are capable of using 4G+.’ To address the compatibility demand, Ooredoo has launched the Samsung Alpha, Huawei Ascend Mate 7 and Huawei (Mi-Fi) E5786 devices.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 09:47:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Orange Luxembourg has announced its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) coverage has reached 85% of the population, while 3G and 2G coverage is 98% and 99% respectively. Speaking at a press conference, the operator revealed that this year it has invested nearly 10% of annual revenue into improving its networks, saying that its subscribers’ 4G consumption has increased eight-fold in less than a year to reach the same level as 3G consumption. TeleGeography notes that at 30 September 2014 Orange Luxembourg had 128,000 wireless subscribers, around 15% of the country total, behind Tango (32.6%) and Post Luxembourg (52.5%), both of which also offer 4G LTE services.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 09:06:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 10 November 2014

Having launched LTE-based services on a limited basis in Kitwe, Zambia’s second largest city, in January 2014, Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) is reportedly planning to expand its 4G network nationwide next year, according to ITWeb Africa.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, hot on the heels of rival MTN Zambia launching LTE earlier in the January 2014, Zamtel was swift in announcing the launch of its own 4G mobile services in Kitwe, with the operator revealing it had set up a walk-in 4G Live Experiential Centre at its offices in the city so that customers could see the technology in action. The network development was carried out in partnership with Chinese vendor Huawei, and Zamtel noted that the deployment of LTE meant that it would be able to offer theoretical downlink speeds of more than 50Mbps to customers.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 10 November 2014 15:30:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 16 June 2014

Algerian fixed line incumbent Algerie Telecom (AT) has introduced fixed-wireless Long Term Evolution (LTE) services to business subscribers, ahead of a planned consumer launch in the second half of 2014. According to a company press release, AT has deployed 200 ‘eNodeB’ sites across the country’s 48 wilayas (provinces), with plans to install 2,000 LTE-enabled base transceiver stations (BTS) by end-2015. From 1 May 2014 business users can subscribe to one of two LTE plans, both of which include a CPE LTE-compatible router and SIM card: the introductory offer, including a 5GB data allowance, is priced at DZD3,500 (USD44.54), while the premium plan, which includes 10GB of data, costs DZD6,500.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in June 2013 AT Group CEO Azouaou Mehmel said that business customers would be the initial target group of the company’s commercial LTE network because of the high costs involved. Mr Mehmel added that the tender for the acquisition of LTE equipment was worth an estimated EUR40 million (USD53.42 million).

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, 16 June 2014 07:49:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Belgian mobile operator Mobistar said it has completed initial network tests of LTE Advanced, achieving speeds of over 200 Mbps. The company is using a combination of 1,800 MHz band (20 MHz) and 800 MHz band (10 MHz) frequencies for the tests, which it said provides for more efficient spectrum use, higher speeds and improved indoor coverage. The tests were conducted in Mechelen from January to April, using a prototype Cat 6 device from Huawei. With the aggregation of 1,800 and 800 MHz band spectrum, the operator achieved speeds of 213 Mbps download and 41 Mbps upload. Mobistar said it plans to launch the 4G+ services once commercial devices are available.  

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, 16 June 2014 07:39:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 12 June 2014

Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Rwanda’s ICT minister, has announced that a nationwide 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network will be commercially deployed in August 2014. Agence Ecofin reports that the network is currently in its trial phase.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in March 2013 the Rwanda Development Board enlisted South Korea’s KT Corp to establish a public-private joint venture company, Olleh Rwanda Networks Limited, in order to develop, construct and operate a nationwide 4G LTE network, as well as providing wholesale LTE infrastructure services to customer-facing cellcos and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). KT will control the management of the firm, while the Rwandan government will provide financial and administrative support. The would-be wholesale LTE provider is set to cover 95% of the population with LTE by 2017.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 12 June 2014 07:47:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

T-Mobile Czech Republic has confirmed plans to cover 51% of the population and 73% of the territory with its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network by the end of this year, while the cellco’s combined 3G/LTE network infrastructure will reach 93% of inhabitants in 80% of the country by the same date. The cellco, part of the Deutsche Telekom Group, is investing CZK4 billion (USD202.9 million) in 4G – including buying the licence – and plans to invest an additional CZK13 billion in the coming years. It has already launched LTE commercially in the 800MHz band in the district of Plzen-South in Prague and will continue to extend to other parts of the capital with the aim of covering the entire city by October this year. It also plans to begin pilot trials of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) functionality on the network by the year end.

Yesterday’s CommsUpdate reported that T-Mobile CR and rival Telefonica O2 CR have signed an agreement to share LTE networks across the country by the end of this year – excepting the cities of Prague and Brno. Under the plan, the pair will start tests on the sharing of Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment, but will retain control over their own network infrastructure and maintain separate business strategies. It is hoped that upon conclusion of trials in the coming months, a commercial launch will follow in the second half of 2014, with Telefonica O2 CR and T-Mobile CR sharing transmitters in order to speed up the use of their LTE networks in the country earlier than the date set by the government’s auction. Telefonica O2 CR will be responsible for looking after the eastern part of the country, while T-Mobile will look after operations in the west of the Republic. The pair say initial data speeds will reach a peak of 75Mbps.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 12 June 2014 07:28:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
One year after the official launch of fourth-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile services in Brazil, the country was home to 2.077 million 4G connections by 31 March 2014, while LTE coverage has been extended to 99 cities where around 36% of Brazilians reside, according to data from telecoms regulator Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes (Anatel) and the SindiTelebrasil telcos association. Despite the relatively poor take-up of 4G, the pair note that all domestic carriers were able to launch advanced mobile services within the timeframe established by the watchdog. As at 1 April, Telefonica (Vivo) was reportedly the largest player in the segment with around 858,000 LTE accesses, followed by TIM Brasil (676,000), Claro Brasil (321,000) and Oi (222,700).

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 12 June 2014 07:27:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 01 May 2014

National fixed and mobile operator Office des Postes et Telecoms de Nouvelle-Caledonie (OPT-NC) is to deploy 4G mobile services in New Caledonia, as part of its strategy plan ‘OPT2017’, according to online journal Megazap. The first 4G antennas are expected to be put in place in November/December this year, with the OPT-NC board saying that commercial offers could be in place by February 2015 under the branding ‘THD Mobile’. To support the 4G deployment, the operator intends to capitalise on its extensive 2G/3G+ network, which currently comprises 320 cell sites. In the first phase, OPT-NC intends to invest XPF1 billion (USD11.6 million) on the rollout of 150 4G sites. By 2017, the carrier says it will have extended the new network to more than 50% of the total sites on its network, which at that date will exceed 380 (2G/3G) sites. More than 85% of the population will be covered by 4G by the end of 2017, including all towns and main residential areas.

OPT-NC has seen a sharp rise in internet traffic in the past year or so, with volumes rising by 40% between January 2013 and March 2014. Further, OPT-NC reported a total of 255,522 mobile subscriptions as at the start of this year, a cellular penetration rate of 104%, noting that an extensive wireless coverage rollout in 2008 has significantly reduced the number of uncovered areas. At the same date there were a total of 44,000 mobile broadband internet users, of which more than 21,000 were signed up to its 3G ‘Mobile Internet’ offer.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 14:16:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Latvian mobile operator Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT) has expanded the coverage of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to 50% of the country’s population, according to Telecompaper which did not cite its sources. It is understood that LMT’s 4G network currently comprises 393 LTE base transceiver stations (BTS) across Latvia. The cellco had a total of 1.079 million cellular subscribers as at 31 March 2014, while quarterly revenue reached EUR41 million (USD56.7 million) and EBITDA stood at EUR12 million, with a ‘stable’ EBITDA margin of 30%.

Source: TeleGeograhy.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 14:15:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pakistan has completed the long-awaited auction of third- and fourth-generation (3G and 4G) concessions, awarding 3G licences to Mobilink, Telenor Pakistan, China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak/Zong) and Pakistan Telecommunications Mobile Ltd (PTML/Ufone), whilst Zong was the only winner of 4G spectrum rights. ProPakistani writes that Zong and Mobilink each won 10MHz in the 2100MHz band whilst Ufone and Telenor were awarded 5MHz apiece in the same range. Zong also walked away with a further 10MHz in the 1800MHz band for 4G services. Under the terms of the auction, providers were only eligible to bid for a 4G authorisation if they had won 10MHz of 3G frequencies, and whilst Ufone had also expressed an interest in bidding for 4G rights, its failure to secure a 10MHz 3G lot made it ineligible to bid for an 1800MHz licence. Ufone will have a second opportunity to acquire the frequencies, however, with sector watchdog Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) revealing that the unsold 4G licence would be sold off at a later date. The sale raised a total of USD1.112 billion for state coffers with the two 5MHz lots and the 4G lot each selling for their reserve prices of USD147.5 million and USD210 million respectively, whilst the 10MHz blocks sold for USD306.92 million and USD300.9 million, the Chinese provider paying the larger sum.

Commercial 3G services are expected to be made available within the next month, the cellcos having already deployed 3G networks in anticipation of the auction date. Capitalising on its 4G win, Zong has launched a new marketing campaign titling itself as Pakistan’s first and only 4G network, accompanying the programme with a change of logo. Whilst currently the smallest of the bidding cellcos in terms of subscribers, Zong’s 4G coup is expected to give the provider the edge needed to close the gap with its larger rivals. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Zong represented 18.0% of Pakistan’s wireless market at the end of 2013, compared to 28.2% held by Mobilink and 25.0% and 18.7% claimed by Telenor and Ufone respectively. Backed by China Mobile, the world’s largest cellco by subscribers, Zong is well-positioned to exploit its 4G advantage, benefiting from substantial economies of scale, especially given its parent company’s ongoing Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) network rollout in China, and its imminent re-entry into the Chinese fixed broadband market. Indeed, CommUpdate noted earlier this month that Zong had also purchased licences to enter the fixed market in all 14 of Pakistan’s regions.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | LTE
Thursday, 01 May 2014 14:14:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Oscar Coca, the general manager of Bolivia’s state-owned telco Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Entel), has announced that just seven days after launching commercial LTE-based services at the start of this month, some 2,000 residential subscribers had signed up. With coverage initially restricted to the cities of La Paz, El Alto, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba, the network footprint is expected to be expanded gradually to other departmental capital cities and larger cities in the coming months.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 14:13:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) has opened bidding for 3G concessions and has completed the first four rounds of bidding, ProPakistani writes. Bids have been entered for four blocks of spectrum, two of 2×5MHz and two of 2×10MHz, all in the 2100MHz range. After three rounds of bidding, the two smaller blocks (B and C) have not moved above the reserve price of USD147.5 million, whilst of the two larger blocks, block A had edged up to USD306.92 million from the base price of USD295 million, whilst block D had increased to USD300.9 million. Incumbent cellcos Mobilink, Telenor Pakistan, China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak/Zong) and Pakistan Telecommunications Mobile Ltd (PTML/Ufone) are competing for the spectrum rights, whilst Warid has elected not to participate in the auction. Bidding is due to continue until winners are determined, potentially extending the auction to a second or third day: ProPakistani cites unnamed cellco officials as saying that bidding is expected to carry on to a second day. Bidding for 4G concessions, meanwhile, will take place upon the completion of the 3G sale.

Marring the auction somewhat was an eleventh-hour bid to close down the tender, with a challenge filed with the Supreme Court shortly before the sale was due to begin. The petition, submitted by the Watan political party, claimed that the USD1.3 billion revenue targeted by the auction was far less than anticipated by the government and that the PTA were under-valuing the spectrum. Challenging the legality of the sale, the petition also alleged that the participating cellcos were defaulters on bank liabilities and that the auction had not followed the rules of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA). The apex court dismissed the allegations, however, allowing the tender to go ahead as planned.

Source: TeleGeography.

3G | LTE
Thursday, 01 May 2014 14:09:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Chilean telco Entel has revealed that it intends to invest USD200 million annually in its Peruvian operations over the next three years, TeleSemana writes. The funds will be used to upgrade and expand the mobile infrastructure of its local wireless unit Nextel, including the deployment of a 4G network in the 1700MHz/2100MHz band. The investment is also expected to fund the rollout of a fibre-optic backbone network to replace existing microwave backhaul. As previously noted by CommUpdate, Entel has selected Huawei to carry out the development work on Nextel’s networks

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 14:08:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 23 April 2014

British mobile network operator O2 UK has announced that its 4G network now covers one third of the country’s population indoors and 41% of the population outdoors, with 191 towns and cities now within the infrastructure footprint. Confirming that more than one million customers have signed up for its 4G services since they were launched in August 2013, O2 UK highlighted the fact that its customers had used more data in the 4G network’s first six months than the entire O2 network carried between 2000 and 2008.

Alongside announcing the current coverage levels, O2 UK has also outlined its future plans, revealing an ambitious network modernisation programme which it called ‘one of the largest infrastructure improvement projects taking place in the UK today’. As per the operator’s plans, around 25% of O2’s 2G and 3G masts will be upgraded by the end of 2014 in order to deliver an increase in call quality and ‘all-round network experience’, with both call and data connectivity to be improved at peak times and in high-density areas. With the work to be carried out on an area-by-area basis, the mobile operator has also committed to investing an additional GBP16 million (USD26.8 million) to bring data coverage to unserved locations, with over 200 areas across the UK to get 3G data coverage from O2 by the end of 2014.

Derek McManus, O2 UK’s chief operating officer, noted: ‘Building a great network isn’t just about bringing faster speeds to people that already have coverage. It’s vital that we also bring seamless coverage to people that have never had it before. Investment in all layers of our network is key to ensuring customers receive a great experience, whether that’s in streaming live goals in the pub or receiving critical business information … We continue to invest the equivalent of GBP1.5 million in our network every single day to offer seamless connectivity for our customers across 2G, 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi and remain focused on delivering an experience that exceeds our customers’ expectations.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 08:51:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

US Cellular, the fifth-largest mobile network operator in the United States, is reportedly expanding its LTE coverage, and plans to add more than 1,200 new sites this year – in partnership with its long-term affiliate, 700MHz spectrum holder King Street Wireless. According to RCR Wireless, Chicago-based US Cellular is bringing its LTE coverage to Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and North Carolina and increasing its existing footprint in Iowa, Illinois, Maine, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 08:47:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Spanish cellco Movistar has outlined plans under which it will speed up the deployment of its 4G infrastructure, with a view to achieving coverage of 60% of the population by the end of this year. The mobile operator already provides LTE-based services to 50% of the nation, and its network footprint encompasses a total of 197 municipalities, including 32 provincial capitals; of the capitals, however, ten are covered as a result of a network sharing agreement it struck with rival Yoigo to use the latter’s infrastructure. Looking ahead, having said that it aims to have constructed a total of 4,200 4G-enabled base stations by the end of this year, Movistar expects to cover a total of 443 municipalities by that date, with all cities of more than 70,000 inhabitants able to connect to its LTE network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 08:38:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 21 February 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.

Friday, 21 February 2014 16:01:22 (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.

Friday, 21 February 2014 15:55:09 (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.

Friday, 21 February 2014 15:50:46 (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.

Friday, 21 February 2014 15:30:47 (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.

Friday, 21 February 2014 15:28:07 (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, 21 February 2014 10:59:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 18 February 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, 18 February 2014 09:31:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 13 February 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, 13 February 2014 10:29:44 (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.


Thursday, 13 February 2014 10:27:28 (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.

Thursday, 13 February 2014 10:23:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 11 February 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 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.
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 15:44:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 31 January 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.

Friday, 31 January 2014 15:59:11 (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.

Friday, 31 January 2014 15:57:58 (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 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.

Friday, 31 January 2014 15:41:37 (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, 31 January 2014 15:36:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 22 January 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.

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

Monday, 06 January 2014 11:19:32 (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, 06 January 2014 11:15:36 (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.

Monday, 06 January 2014 11:14:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 31 October 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, 31 October 2013 09:38:21 (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, 31 October 2013 09:36:10 (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, 31 October 2013 09:33:22 (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.

Thursday, 31 October 2013 08:41:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 03 October 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, 03 October 2013 08:49:04 (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, 03 October 2013 08:45:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 30 September 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, 30 September 2013 07:34:58 (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, 30 September 2013 07:31:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 30 July 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, 30 July 2013 06:58:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 22 July 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, 22 July 2013 09:36:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 19 July 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, 19 July 2013 07:14:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 15 July 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.

Monday, 15 July 2013 07:52:00 (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.

Monday, 15 July 2013 07:50:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 10 July 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.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:03:50 (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, 10 July 2013 09:00:23 (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.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013 08:57:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 05 July 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.


Friday, 05 July 2013 13:25:52 (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, 05 July 2013 13:22:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 02 July 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, 02 July 2013 07:24:25 (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, 02 July 2013 07:20:01 (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, 02 July 2013 07:12:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 03 June 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.

Monday, 03 June 2013 07:51:13 (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.

Monday, 03 June 2013 07:47:50 (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, 03 June 2013 07:45:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 23 May 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.

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

Monday, 06 May 2013 09:27:56 (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, 06 May 2013 09:26:57 (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, 06 May 2013 09:25:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 23 April 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.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 10:36:04 (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.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 10:32:38 (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.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 10:31:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 21 March 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, 21 March 2013 09:48:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 04 March 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, 04 March 2013 10:59:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 22 February 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, 22 February 2013 08:28:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 18 February 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.

Monday, 18 February 2013 11:20:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 24 January 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, 24 January 2013 10:08:32 (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.

Thursday, 24 January 2013 09:48:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 09 January 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, 09 January 2013 09:38:42 (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, 09 January 2013 09:35:47 (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, 09 January 2013 09:30:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 08 January 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, 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.

Tuesday, 08 January 2013 08:55:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 20 December 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, 20 December 2012 15:39:26 (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, 20 December 2012 15:29:48 (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, 20 December 2012 15:25:50 (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, 20 December 2012 15:20:54 (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, 20 December 2012 15:17:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 14 December 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, 14 December 2012 11:08:20 (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.

Friday, 14 December 2012 11:04:37 (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.

Friday, 14 December 2012 10:56:35 (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, 14 December 2012 10:55:08 (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, 14 December 2012 10:42:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 26 November 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, 26 November 2012 12:27:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 20 November 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


Telefonica O2





2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz



2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz



2 x 5Mhz

2 x5 Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz


2x 5Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz



2 x 10Mhz

2 x 10Mhz


2 x 15Mhz


2 x 20Mhz

2 x 15Mhz

2 x 15Mhz

2 x 25Mhz

Upfront Payment





Total Spectrum Usage






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, 20 November 2012 13:33:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 15 November 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 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, 15 November 2012 14:12:33 (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, 15 November 2012 14:05:26 (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, 15 November 2012 13:50:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 13 November 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, 13 November 2012 08:52:31 (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, 13 November 2012 08:50:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 08 November 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, 08 November 2012 14:22:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 29 October 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, 29 October 2012 15:58:45 (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, 29 October 2012 15:56:29 (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, 29 October 2012 10:37:37 (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, 29 October 2012 10:36:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to, 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, 29 October 2012 10:35:37 (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, 29 October 2012 10:30:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 01 October 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, 01 October 2012 13:28:50 (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, 01 October 2012 12:45:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 14 August 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, 14 August 2012 12:48:56 (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, 14 August 2012 12:42:35 (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, 14 August 2012 12:31:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 24 July 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, 24 July 2012 12:57:53 (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, 24 July 2012 12:31:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 04 July 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, 04 July 2012 16:01:04 (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, 04 July 2012 15:44:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 27 June 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, 27 June 2012 15:32:29 (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, 27 June 2012 15:21:23 (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

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 13:25:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 22 June 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.


Friday, 22 June 2012 12:04:20 (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, 22 June 2012 11:58:17 (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.

Friday, 22 June 2012 11:54:37 (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.

Friday, 22 June 2012 10:54:16 (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.

Friday, 22 June 2012 10:01:52 (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, 22 June 2012 09:49:57 (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.

Friday, 22 June 2012 09:44:30 (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.

Friday, 22 June 2012 09:43:30 (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.

Friday, 22 June 2012 09:42:04 (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, 22 June 2012 09:41:27 (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, 22 June 2012 09:40:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 13 June 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, 13 June 2012 09:57:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 27 March 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.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012 13:58:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 16 March 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.

Friday, 16 March 2012 16:19:06 (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.

Friday, 16 March 2012 16:17:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 09 March 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, 09 March 2012 13:03:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 22 November 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, 22 November 2011 11:34:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 15 September 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, 15 September 2011 10:39:41 (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, 15 September 2011 10:28:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 15 July 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, 15 July 2011 12:45:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 24 January 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



Monthly Price

Equipment suppliers

NTT Docomo*


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

Fujitsu, Ericsson, NEC, NSN


9 U.S. cities


Ericsson, Samsung

Telekom Austria

Vienna, Austria

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

Not available



399 Danish kroner ($71)

Ericsson, NSN



€46 ($61)

Ericsson, NSN (for initial rollout)



699 Norwegian kronor ($118)

Ericsson, NSN



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

Ericsson, Huawei, NSN


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, 24 January 2011 11:16:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 14 December 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, 14 December 2010 14:56:47 (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, 14 December 2010 14:45:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 02 September 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, 02 September 2010 10:11:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 30 July 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

Friday, 30 July 2010 14:23:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |