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 Thursday, March 21, 2013

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

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

Source: Telecom Paper.

Thursday, March 21, 2013 9:48:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 08, 2013

Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries (RIL) is said to have finalized Samsung as a partner to source the Korean conglomerate's long-term evolution (LTE) technology platform for its much-talked about bundled data & voice services over high speed 4G networks across the country.

The game-changer deal that is set to shake up the Indian telecommunications market is not just restricted to Samsung's technology but goes far beyond as Samsung has agreed to offer entry-level 4G smartphones at a little over $100 (about Rs 5,500) for use with RIL's voice and high-speed internet services, said a source close to the deal. A 3G-enabled Samsung phone can be bought for around the same price today. The entry-level smartphones are likely to be sold with data packages starting at as low as Rs 100, said the source, adding that even high-end smartphones will be made available at minimum down-payments and the equated monthly installments (EMIs) will be incorporated in subsequent bills at a 0% interest rate.

Source: The Time of India.

Friday, March 08, 2013 11:18:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 05, 2013

(04/03/2013) Commission President José Manuel Barroso today called on Europe's digital businesses, governments, training and education sectors to join a Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs to address up to 900 000 job vacancies expected to exist in Europe in Information and Communication technologies (ICT) by 2015. Despite the current levels of unemployment, the number of digital jobs is growing by more than 100 000 per year. Yet the number of fresh ICT graduates and skilled ICT workers is not keeping up.

Source: European Commission.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 10:27:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 04, 2013

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

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

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, March 04, 2013 10:59:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 28, 2013

Facebook announces discounting data access to messaging on mobile.

"Today we’re announcing partnerships with mobile operators to provide free or discounted data access to Facebook messaging for their subscribers.

Through this promotion, free or discounted data access will be available in the coming months on Messenger for Android, Messenger for iOS and Facebook for Every Phone, which is now optimized for chat.

This promotion will be available from more than 18 operators in 14 countries. Operators committed to special pricing for Facebook messaging include TMN in Portugal, Three in Ireland, Airtel and Reliance in India, Vivacom in Bulgaria, Backcell in Azerbaydzhan, Indosat, Smartfren, AXIS and XL Axiata in Indonesia, SMART in Philippines, DiGi in Malaysia, DTAC in Thailand, Viva in Bahrain, STC in Saudi Arabia, Oi in Brazil, Etisalat in Egypt, and Tre in Italy.

Messaging on Facebook lets people connect with friends and contacts on the go, regardless of what device they are using. Three out of every four people on Facebook send a message on the platform each month, making messaging one of the most popular activities on Facebook. Today, Facebook messaging and chat can be accessed from more than 6,000 mobile phones via Facebook Messenger, Facebook for iOS and Android, Facebook for Every Phone, m.facebook.com and across other devices with Facebook integration."

Source: Facebook Mobile.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 8:46:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 22, 2013
  • Five winning bidders to deliver future mobile competition in the UK
  • 4G services from a range of operators expected within six months
  • Research measuring 4G speeds to be conducted at the end of 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Widespread 4G coverage

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

Source: Ofcom.

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

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

Source: Telecom Paper.

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

Global mobile data traffic is forecast to increase by 66 percent CAGR or 13-fold by 2017, reaching 11.2 exabytes (1 quintillion bytes) per month, or 134 exabytes a year, according to Cisco. The company expects 46 percent of all cellular traffic to be off-loaded from fixed or Wi-Fi by 2017 (9.6 exabytes a month), compared with 33 percent (428 petabytes a month) in 2012. LTE is likely to support nearly 10 percent of all mobile connections by 2017.
 
Continued strong growth in mobile internet connections through both personal devices and M2M applications will exceed the UN’s world population estimated of 7.6 billion in 2017. Cisco explains that 134 exabytes is the equivalent of 3 trillion video clips, or one clip daily from each person on Earth over one year.

Mobile data is being driven by an increase in mobile users (5.2 bln by 2017 vs 4.3 bln in 2012), rise in mobile connections (10 bln, including 1.7 bln M2M by 2017 vs 7 bln in total in 2012), faster mobile speeds (3.9 Mbps vs 0.5Mbps), and more mobile video, expected to account for 66 percent of all mobile data traffic by 2017, versus 51 percent in 2012. Cisco expects M2M traffic, including car GPS, asset tracking, medical applications, etc, to account for 5 percent of global mobile data traffic in 2017.

The MEA region is expected to 77 percent CAGR mobile data growth between 2012-2017, Asia-Pacific 76 percent, Latin America 67 percent, Central and Eastern Europe 66 percent, North America 56 percent and Western Europe 50 percent.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, February 18, 2013 11:19:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

BT has introduced Totally Unlimited Broadband on all but its entry level broadband offering. It is now offering broadband without any usage limits and free from traffic management from GBP 16 per month for 16 Mbps copper broadband, GBP 23 for 38 Mbps Infinity or GBP 26 for 76 Mbps Infinity. Previously, the cheapest unlimited broadband option was GBP 26 per month. New customers are being offered the first six months free. This offers end on 06 June and applies to new BT Broadband customers signing a minimum 18-month contract and paying line rental.

BT is also announcing a new online storage service called BT Cloud, offering a free allowance for all consumer broadband customers. Infinity 76 Mbps and top tier copper customers receive a 50 GB allowance. The service allows BT’s consumer broadband customers to safely and securely back up and share their photographs, documents and videos wherever they are. All backed up documents can be accessed from smartphones, tablets and computers. Customers can stream their content direct to their mobile device and share it friends via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.

BT will continue to sell its basic broadband, which costs GBP 13 a month, although this product will not be unlimited, along with Infinity 1, which costs GBP 18. Totally Unlimited Broadband will be available from 01 February. The 16 Mbps copper broadband options both come with the first six months free, while customers can get Infinity for GBP 9 per month for the first three months. Existing customers will be able to switch to Totally Unlimited Broadband by signing a new contract.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, February 18, 2013 11:17:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Microsoft, in collaboration with Kenya's ICT ministry and Indigo Telecom, announced the launch of a pilot project to deliver low-cost wireless broadband to previously unserved locations near Nanyuki and Kalema, Kenya. The network uses TV white spaces and solar-powered base stations to deliver broadband access.

This pilot is part of Microsoft's broader 4Afrika Initiative to help improve the continent's global competitiveness. A core goal of the 4Afrika Initiative is to facilitate access to technology for the masses and to empower African students, entrepreneurs, developers and others to become active global citizens. The project is the first deployment of TV white space technology in Africa targeted at communities without access to broadband or electricity and is a result of a memorandum of understanding on a framework of cooperation between Microsoft, the Kenyan ICT ministry and Indigo Telecom. 

The initial installation near Nanyuki includes five customer locations: the Burguret Dispensary (healthcare clinic), Male Primary School, Male Secondary School, Gakawa Secondary School and Laikipia District Community Library. The installation in Kalema will begin with a base station that connects to a government of Kenya agricultural extension office. Fourteen more locations on the network will be added in the coming months. The network will also feature white space radios manufactured by Adaptrum.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Monday, February 18, 2013 11:15:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to data published by Brazil’s telecoms regulator Asociacion Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Anatel), the country’s pay-TV sector totalled 16.2 million subscribers at 31 December 2012, thanks to net additions of 3.44 million new users in the year. Brazil’s enthusiasm for pay-TV continues unabated: the total for end-August 2012 was 15.1 million subscribers – up 319,500 in a month, and 30% higher than at the same point in 2011.

In terms of access platforms, the most popular technology being used is DTH, which accounted for 60.80% of the total subscriber base, while cable-based connections were taken by 38.29% of customers (a small decrease compared to November 2012). Meanwhile, multichannel multipoint distribution service (MMDS), or wireless cable as it is also known, is rapidly declining as a preferred technology option, and by end-December 2012 had only 142,113 subscribers nationwide. At the same date, Anatel reports that Net Servicos/Embratel had a total of 8.495 million pay-TV customers, up 1.497 million year-on-year, ahead of Sky (DirecTV) in second place with 5.039 million (+1.242 million). Oi SA took third spot with 748,758 subscribers – a net gain of 397,575 in one year – while Telefonica (Vivo) and Global Village Telecom (GVT) took the minor rankings with 594,907 and 425,635 pay-TV subscribers respectively.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, February 18, 2013 11:14:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the latest figures from the Communications Authority of Maldives, the island nation ended December 2012 with a total of 560,547 mobile subscribers, the majority of which (87.3%, or 489,084) were pre-paid customers. The regulator said that fixed broadband subscribers reached 18,059 at the end of 2012, while mobile broadband customers totalled 69,641. The number of fixed telephony lines (including payphones) stood at 24,153.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, February 18, 2013 11:13:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |