The CTO and CIO of UK LTE pioneer EE talks to Telecoms.com about his experiences of launching the technology, how it has given EE greater leverage in the wider ecosystem, and why CTO and CIO functions belong together.
LTE pricing is changing fast as the market matures. But while some operators are looking to employ elegant new charging models that draw on the sophistication LTE enables, others are still duking it out with least-cost options.
UK operator EE, which was the first player in the market to launch LTE, has announced a £275m investment in its voice offering, including plans to deliver voice over wifi in domestic and enterprise environments and a bid to beef up voice quality in the busiest parts of its network. But the firm has ruled out a launch of Voice over LTE before the end of the year.
US operator T-Mobile has launched a branded music service in partnership with internet music specialist Rhapsody. The Deutsche Telekom subsidiary is positioning the service as another market disruption, dubbing it unRadio in line with the “un-Carrier” strategy deployed by self-styled renegade CEO John Legere. In the past year the firm has made a number of high profile bids to rattle the US market, including the abolition of data roaming charges, the offer of free data to tablet users and the launch of a financial services proposition.
UK headquartered operator Vodafone has revealed its intention to acquire Italian security and telematics solutions provide Cobra Automotive Technologies as it looks to beef up its M2M play. The deal comes on the heels of a joint announcement from Vodafone and Japanese incumbent NTT DoCoMo outlining the extension of their collaborative efforts to enterprise-focused M2M service delivery.
French multi-play operator Bouygues has announced plans to cut more than 1,500 jobs, after CEO Olivier Roussat told a press briefing that consolidation-focused discussions being held with incumbent Orange and fast-growing newcomer Iliad had stalled.
Jonathan Olsson, responsible for security technology at the Ericsson CTO office, talks to Telecoms.com about the evolution of the security landscape, how this is affected by the move to LTE and why the firm is urging industry players to sign up to 3GPP’s SECAM security assurance standards.
Amobee, the mobile advertising platform acquired by Singaporean incumbent SingTel in 2012, said early Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire Adconion and Kontera Technologies to beef up its offerings.
The French and Italian mobile markets could both be on the verge of significant consolidation, according to reports from news agency Reuters. In France incumbent telco Orange has set two investment banks to investigate the potential takeover of rival Bouygues, while talks have resumed between Hutchison and Vimpelcom, which own 3 Italia and Wind respectively, about a potential merger. In both instances Reuteurs cited unnamed sources close to the situation.
Taiwanese operator FarEasTone (FET) has become the first operator in the world to launch commercial LTE services in the APT700 band, according to Swedish vendor Ericsson, which supplied the network equipment for the launch. FET won both APT700 and 1800Mhz spectrum in the market’s October 2013 auction.
A widely expected deal that will see US operator Sprint acquire its competitor T-Mobile USA is nearing completion, according to a number of reports citing inside sources. News agency Bloomberg said that an agreement on the price, capital structure and termination fee is close and that the deal would value T-Mobile at $40/share, or roughly $31bn.
Research published by BICS, the carrier services arm of Belgian incumbent operator Belgacom suggests that more than two thirds of mobile operators will have launched Rich Communications Services (RCS) by the end of next year.
The ICT solutions arm of Japanese incumbent operator NTT, NTT Com, has launched what it says is the first suite of cloud services that enterprise customers can activate themselves and pay for on a per-usage basis. NTT Com said the new services will enable enterprises to eliminate lengthy contract tie-ins, and establish new offices or short-term project support with minimal fuss.
Finnish network vendor Nokia has announced that it is launching a dedicated Security unit at the beginning of next month that it claims will create “additional value” for operators and “make security a positive differentiator”. The new unit will be part of the Mobile Broadband division of Nokia’s Networks business.
UK LTE leader EE has revealed that 4G subscriber sign-ups overtook 3G subscriptions during this month. The firm now has 3.6 million LTE customers and CEO Olaf Swantee, who announced the landmark “tipping point” at a media briefing Wednesday, forecast that the number will grow to six million by the end of this year.
Struggling device vendor Blackberry has announced a new collection of initiatives targeting the Internet of Things, which the firm hopes will enable it to exploit the QNX operating system it bought in 2010. The vendor, which recorded a $5.87bn loss for the 2014 financial year, described the new campaign—dubbed Project Ion— as “a cornerstone of BlackBerry’s vision to offer end-to-end solutions for the Internet of Things.”
In the latest of a spate of announcements relating to Voice over LTE, Singaporean incumbent Singtel has launched what it claims is the world’s first commercial and fully featured VoLTE service. The city state operator, which launched the service in partnership with Samsung and Ericsson, said that its 4G Clearvoice service is the only live VoLTE service offering features such as call waiting and call forwarding over an LTE network.
Vodafone has announced a huge leap in profits for the financial year to end March 2014, thanks largely to the sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless, completed earlier this year. Profit for the year stood at £59.42bn, up from £673m for the previous financial year. However, group revenues were down 1.9 per cent to £46.62bn, while service revenue was down 2.4 per cent to £39.53bn.
The South African mobile operator subsidiary of UK-headquartered Vodafone has announced an agreement to acquire the market’s second largest fixed communications provider, Neotel, in a cash deal worth ZAR7.0bn ($673m). Negotiations between Vodacom and Neotel were announced in September last year, when Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub pledged to pump significant investment into the merged entity should talks prove fruitful.
US carrier AT&T has announced plans to acquire US and Latin American pay TV player DirecTV in a deal valued at $48.5bn. The deal will create a service provider with an offering across mobile, broadband and video that is unprecedented in the market, AT&T said. The transaction, which also involves AT&T assuming $18.6bn in debt, should take a year to complete, the telco said.