India’s government has begun the re-auction of its 2G GSM spectrum licences in the 1800MHz spectrum band. In February this year, the country’s Supreme Court cancelled 122 licences that had been allocated in 2008 amidst allegations of corruption.
In a bid to provide high speed broadband access to a million people in the regional market of Somaliland, Somcable has struck a deal worth over $3m to offer high speed access to subscribers, using fibre-through-the-air (FTTA) technology. Somcable, traditionally a wholesale backbone operator deploying fibre across Africa, has moved into the market of providing network access to consumers as a result of the deal.
While still in their nascent stages in densely populated areas across Europe, LTE services are now being deployed in remote areas in the US, such as rural Texas and Alaska. Regional carrier Cellular One has entered into an agreement with Verizon Wireless to participate in its LTE in Rural America program. Meanwhile, Alaska Communications announced that it has also introduced LTE services to customers throughout Alaska’s urban areas.
US operator Sprint has signed an agreement with rival US Cellular to acquire PCS spectrum and customers in the Midwest region of the country. Sprint will acquire 20 MHz of PCS spectrum in the 1900MHz band in various Midwest markets and 10 MHz of PCS spectrum in the St Louis market.
Greece’s largest operator OTE has announced it is embarking on a programme of voluntary retirement. OTE’s Board of Directors has approved a scheme to begin talks with labour unions to encourage employees who are close to their retirement age to leave the firm.
US operator AT&T has agreed to pay regulator FCC a fine of $700,000 for overcharging its customers. The regulator ruled that the operator had unlawfully moved subscribers to more expensive data plans and must also refund affected customers.
Despite seeing flat revenues year on year, German operator group Deutsche Telekom posted a net loss of €6.9bn ($8.8bn) in 3Q12. The loss was attributable to charges incurred by T-Mobile USA.
In a somewhat inevitable move by the software firm, Microsoft has absorbed its Live Messenger service into Skype, after acquiring the VoIP service in May last year. The firm released Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows a few weeks ago and has now told customers to update to the service to send instant messages and make video calls with their Messenger contacts.
Spanish operator group Telefónica has seen its revenue from Latin America overtake the revenue generated in Europe for the first time in its history. In its earnings announcement for the first three quarters of the year, the group said that sales in Latin America grew 5.9 per cent and now represent 49 per cent of the company’s total turnover.
Infrastructure vendor Ericsson is set to cut 1,550 jobs in its native Sweden. The announcement follows the firm’s third quarter earnings announcement, in which it saw a staggering 42 per cent year on year reduction in net income.
Just a month after leaving the firm as a non-executive on Telstra’s board of directors, Timothy Chen has joined Telstra International in the role of president and group managing director at the firm.
South Korean operator group KT Korea has purchased 500,000 NFC-LTE SIMs in a bid to stimulate adoption of contactless payment services among its user base. The operator said that the SIM will enable its customers to use their smartphones to pay for transit fares or to retail products at 200,000 contactless terminals.
Swedish operator group TeliaSonera has implemented a platform to strengthen its M2M offering in the Nordic and Baltic markets. The operator has deployed Swedish vendor Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform which will enable it to deploy and manage large volumes of mobile subscriptions and provide flexibility to its M2M partners and customers.
The European Commission (EC) has called on all EU member states to make spectrum around the 2GHz frequency band available for LTE services. The paired terrestrial 2 GHz band (1920-1980 MHz paired with 2110-2170 MHz) has been traditionally used for UMTS 3G networks, but the EC wants it to be liberalised for 4G services across the region.
South African fixed line and mobile operator Telkom has announced that its CEO Nombulelo Moholi will step down from her role. Moholi will serve a six-month notice period while the board seeks her replacement.
Swedish firm iZettle has launched its mobile payment card reader service in Germany. The payment solutions provider has teamed up with financial institutions DZ Bank and Deutsche Telekom to provide small businesses with the ability to accept payments via Android and iOS smartphones.
Irish fixed line and mobile operator Eircom has announced that it will cut 2,000 of its 5,700 employees over the next 18 months in an aggressive push to cut its operational costs. The firm said that the measures will put it in line with the European average for employees and operational costs.
US operators AT&T and T-Mobile USA have allowed customers heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy this week to roam across their networks where capacity is available, in order to ensure they can stay in touch during the natural disaster.
The global number of small cells now exceeds the total number of traditional mobile base stations, according to research published this week.
The Croatian subsidiary of operator group Telekom Austria, Vipnet, has obtained 20 MHz of the country’s 800 MHz frequency spectrum for a total of HRK150m (€20m). The operator bought a paired frequency block of LTE-FDD spectrum in a bid to address the country’s digital dividend.