Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is set to become one of the defining trends of the era in the mobile network. Spanish incumbent Telefónica is the first operator to lay out its approach to NFV and its plans are both detailed and aggressive. Mike Hibberd met with Global CTO Enrique Blanco ahead of Telefónica’s NFV announcement, to learn of the changes in store.
James Tagg, CTO and Founder of Truphone, talks to MCI about building a next generation global mobile network and disassociating the company from the MVNO label.
Pakistan’s telecoms regulator the PTA has reacted angrily to a story published by Reuters in which the news agency describes early stages of the country’s current 3G and LTE spectrum auction as “dismal”. In a statement that dismisses the Reuters report as “baseless” and “fabricated”, and raises the prospect of legal action, a PTA spokesperson claimed the auction’s progress is satisfactory.
Open source software provider Mozilla has announced the appointment of Chris Beard as interim CEO, following the departure of Brendan Eich earlier this month. Beard, a long-term Mozilla employee and formerly the firm’s chief marketing officer, will also join the board in the wake of Eich’s forced departure after just 11 days in the job, brought about by controversy over his political views.
Cloud TV and connected home specialist Entone has announced a deal with Vodafone Netherlands that will see the Dutch operator deploying the Californian supplier’s IPTV services. Under the Vodafone Thuis brand, Vodafone will deliver TV services including video-on-demand and Pause Live TV over its FTTH network.
French incumbent Orange has launched a partnership programme through which it intends to offer scale benefits and wholesale services to smaller operators. The first operators to sign up to the Orange Alliance programme are French-Polynesian firm Vini and third-placed Portuguese player Zon Optimus.
TeliaSonera has appointed Chrisian Luiga as its chief financial officer. Luiga has been acting CFO since the end of 2013, when his predecessor Per-Arne Blomquist was sacked in the wake of investigations into the firms investments in Eurasia. In a statement at the time TeliaSonera said Blomquist was one of four senior executives who had “lost the trust of the board.”
Indian conglomerate Piramal Industries has sold its 11 per cent stake in Vodafone’s Indian operation for almost $1.5bn, generating a 50 per cent return on an investment made during the 2012 financial year. The stake was sold to Prime Metals Ltd, an indirect subsidiary of Vodafone Group, Piramal said.
Regional US operator Cincinnati Bell has announced that it is to close its cellular business, selling its spectrum licences to Verizon Wireless for $194m. The firm, which reported a wireless subscriber base of 340,000 at the end of 2013, down from 398,000 at the close of 2012, saw full year 2013 wireless revenues drop by 17 per cent to $202m.
Nokia Solutions and Networks has announced the appointment of Salvatore Maisano as its new head of Central East and West Africa. It is the second senior appointment in Africa for NSN in less than a month as the firm refreshes its regional roster under the leadership of MEA senior vice president Igor Leprince.
A new venture led by the founder of small cell provider Ubiquisys Will Franks is to target the Internet of Things market, promising to free prospective providers and customers from “dependency on traditional networks”. The company, called Senaptic, has been spun out of telemetry consultancy Plextek, which remains the majority shareholder. Senaptic will take Plextek’s Ultra Narrowband (UNB) radio technology, its intellectual property and its existing customer base and offer a standardised solution for connecting a variety of devices across a range of verticals, Franks told Telecoms.com.
Belgian incumbent operator Belgacom has launched a cloud storage service for its fixed internet customers, offering 10GB of storage for free, 30GB for a monthly fee of €2.95 and 200GB for €9.95/month. The Belgacom Cloud service will also enable users to access stored files across the operator’s pay TV system, Belgacom TV.
Network optimisation specialist JDSU has won a deal with Belgian incumbent Belgacom that will see the operator deploy JDSU’s ariesoGEO location-enabled optimisation solution in its 2G, 3G and LTE networks. The product uses data from a range of user-focused network events cross-referenced with the event location to build a geographical picture of real-time network performance.
US mobile network Sprint has extended its LTE coverage to 20 new markets, taking the total number of cities in which the service is available to 402, the firm said. It also introduced its Spark service, which takes advantage of LTE-Advanced techniques including carrier aggregation, in two new markets. Sprint said that it expects to have LTE coverage of more than 250 million people by the mid point of 2014.
Spanish Cable operator Ono has said it will press ahead with its planned IPO while continuing to engage with Vodafone over a possible acquisition, it has been reported. Citing two people “with knowledge of the matter”, news agency Bloomberg reported that Ono will slow preparations for the IPO, agreed at a board meeting on Thursday, to give Vodafone the option to up its previous bid, which was in the region of €7bn.
Nokia Solutions and Networks has revealed plans to open a Mobile Broadband Security Center in the German capital of Berlin. The firm said it wanted to drive awareness of and collaboration on network security between industry, public sector and end users. The new facility will begin operations in the second half of this year.
Dutch incumbent KPN has announced that it is to trial a live, interactive TV service over its LTE network. The trial will start later in March, run for three months and involve a number of subscribers to KPN’s multi-play service KPN Compleet.
The chief commercial digital officer of Spanish incumbent telco, Eduardo Navarro, Telefónica has used a speech at the EC Innovation Convention in Brussels to warn that Europe needs to redouble its efforts to move to the forefront of the global digital sector.
The director general of the GSMA, Anne Bouverot, has sent an open letter to EC Commissioner Neelie Kroes calling for policy reform that will encourage investment in Europe’s telecoms sector. Bouverot secured endorsements from the CEOs of ten European operators with a combined European mobile customer base of almost three quarters of a billion subscriptions, according to data from Informa’s World Cellular Investors service.
Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes spoke to a handful of press during Mobile World Congress about the various power struggles within the telecoms industry, key technological trends like NFV and his belief that ALU has a portfolio that truly matches operator demands “for the first time ever”.