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 Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Microsoft is considering a plan to utilise unused ‘white space’ spectrum to provide improved broadband internet access in Brazil. Hernan Rincon, the president of Microsoft Latin America told delegates at a conference in Sao Paulo that the firm wants to target the SME market, working with the government to improve broadband coverage using wireless technology. The plan would see Microsoft utilising packets of spectrum between existing TV transmission channels, which have previously been kept free to avoid interference between broadcasts. With the plans still in the early stages, however, more concrete details have not been revealed. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, less than a third of Brazil’s households currently subscribe to fixed broadband services, with 19.37 million subscribers at the end of 2013.

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:35:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 21, 2014

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

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

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

Source: Telecom Paper.

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

Indian mobile phone market leaders Bharti Airtel and Vodafone bought airwaves worth about $3 billion each in a hotly contested auction that raised nearly $10 billion, far exceeding the government's target.

No.1 Bharti and second-ranked Vodafone said they had won airwaves in the premium 900 megahertz band that was available in three key cities -- Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Conglomerate Reliance Industries, a new entrant in telecoms that is seen as a threat to the incumbents, bought airwaves in another band in 14 locations the government said, estimated to have cost it $1.7 billion.

The market leaders' heavy spending on airwaves underscores the fierce competition and their bet on mobile data in the world's second biggest mobile phone market behind China.

No.3 mobile operator Idea Cellular said it spent $1.7 billion on new airwaves including in 900 band in the capital city Delhi.

After India removed technology restrictions, the 900 and 1800 spectrum bands sold in the auction can be used to offer 3G and 4G services, respectively. Currently carriers offer voice services on these bands, but Bharti, Vodafone and Idea said on Thursday they could use these to rollout mobile data services.

Telenor's Indian unit, Reliance Communications and Aircel also won airwaves in the 1800 MHz band in some zones. Companies have the right to use the airwaves won in the auction for 20 years.

Source: Reuters.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 9:30:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 06, 2014

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

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, January 06, 2014 11:15:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 01, 2013

Having revised the auction rules for its long-running sale of 800MHz frequencies in September 2013 with a view to speeding up the process, Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has now announced the winners.

With the auction having concluded yesterday, following nine months of bidding, the MoTC has confirmed that in total the sale will generate EUR108.1 million (USD146 million) for state coffers, with DNA Finland, Elisa and TeliaSonera Finland named as the three companies to walk away with spectrum. With all three operators laying claim to 2×10MHz in the 800MHz band, TeliaSonera will pay the most for its new frequencies, having agreed to shell out EUR22.20 million for ‘Frequency Pair 3’ and EUR18.90 million for ‘Frequency Pair 4’. DNA meanwhile will pay a total of EUR33.57 million for Frequency Pairs ‘1’ and ‘2’ (EUR16.9 million and EUR16.7 million, respectively), and rounding out the winners, Elisa bid EUR16.7 million apiece for ‘Frequency Pair 5’ and ‘Frequency Pair 6’.

The MoTC has confirmed that the new concessions will be valid for period of 20 years, with the licences covering the whole of Finland, excluding the region of Aland. Operators will be able to utilise the new frequency blocks from 1 January 2014, and each licence holder is required to launch operations within two years of the start of the concession period. Further, as per the requirements of the licences, mobile communications networks must be constructed covering 95% of the population in mainland Finland within three years of the start of the licence period, and between 97% and 99% within five years of the start of the licence period.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, November 01, 2013 10:59:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 31, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Policy Tracker.

Europe | LTE | Spectrum
Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:36:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Microsoft has launched a pilot project in the rural Limpopo province of South Africa that aims to deliver high-speed and affordable broadband to underserved communities using so-called "white spaces" technology. The focus of the pilot will be to prove that TV white spaces can be used to meet the South African government's goals of providing low-cost access for a majority of South Africans by 2020.

The pilot is a joint effort between Microsoft, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the University of Limpopo and local network builder Multisource. It will use TV white spaces and solar-powered base stations to provide low-cost wireless broadband access to five secondary schools in remote parts of the Limpopo province. The project will use the University of Limpopo as a hub for a white space network deployment that will provide nearby schools in local communities with wireless connectivity. The project will also provide each of the five schools with Windows-based tablets, projectors, teacher laptops and training, education-related content, solar panels for device charging where there is no access to electricity, and other support. 

The project was initiated as part of the Microsoft4Afrika Initiative, which aims to provide access, skills development and innovation opportunities to young people and entrepreneurs across the continent. Microsoft earlier started white space pilots in Kenya and Tanzania, which it said have proven that white spaces technology is a viable solution for high-speed access in rural areas, even for those not attached to the national power grid.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 8:08:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |