Consultant and one-time head of research and development for UK regulator Ofcom, William Webb asks whether operators really need to own the spectrum in which their services operate. If radio access infrastructure can be outsourced or shared and the core can be virtualised, why shouldn’t the industry look at innovative usage models for spectrum?
The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority has announced the winners of its latest spectrum auction, and one of the three successful bidders is an unknown company whose identity has become the focus of much speculation. Challenger Tele2 came away empty-handed and must look to address the holes in its spectrum portfolio.
The UK is heading will face a serious spectrum shortage by the end of the decade if 300MHz of cellular spectrum and 350MHz of wifi spectrum are not made available. The warning came this week from Real Wireless, a consultancy that worked with UK regulator Ofcom on this year’s LTE spectrum auctions.
UK network joint venture MBNL, created by T-Mobile and 3UK in 2007 and now owned by 3 with EE, is getting a change of management as the organisation shifts from the integration of the various UK networks held by its parents to an operational and cost-control model. Graham Payne, MBNL’s managing director and financial director Brian More O’Ferrall, are to leave the company, to be replaced by Pat Coxen of EE and Gervase King of 3UK.
Chinese telecoms software provider AsiaInfo Linkage has announced a supply deal with Telenor Denmark, the vendor’s first European mobile operator win since its launch in the region last year. AsiaInfo described the project as a BSS transformation, which will include the provision of its proprietary billing, CRM and real-time analytics solutions, including its Veris BSS product.
The CEO of Belgian incumbent operator Belgacom, Didier Bellens, has been sacked by the state Government, which is the firm’s largest shareholder. The announcement was made late Friday by Prime Minister Elio di Rupo, who said that the Government was unable to tolerate the public criticisms that Bellens has recently levelled at it.
Telekom Austria, which last month paid out more than €1bn in the Austrian LTE spectrum auction, has reported a drop in third quarter profit of almost 50 per cent. Net income for the period was €52.13m, down 48.3 per cent year on year from €99.2m, while revenue declined 5.3 per cent to €1.04bn.
Informa Telecoms & Media has predicted that global annual SMS revenues will fall by US$23bn by 2018, to US$96.7bn, down from US$120 billion in 2013. The decline in global SMS revenues will largely be caused by the continuing adoption and use of over-the-top (OTT) messaging applications in both developed and emerging markets.
Spanish operator Telefónica has awarded Polish B/OSS vendor Comarch a contract to supply network planning and optimisation products and services to across the operator’s European footprint. It is the vendor’s first multinational deal with Telefónica and builds on a previous implementation with Telefónica Deutschland, Comarch said.
Belgium’s three mobile operators, Belgacom, Mobistar and KPN-owned Base have each received 2 x 10MHz of 800MHz spectrum in the country’s latest spectrum auction, at a price of €120m per allocation. There were no other entrants in the auction, which was run by Belgian regulator BIPT.
African newcomer Smile has launched in three markets this year with a pure LTE play. The firm believes that new technology can only be properly exploited by new players and has pledged to shake up markets across the region. Tom Allen, Smile’s COO, talks to Mike Hibberd
A greenfield LTE operator that has launched this year in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda would “happily prioritise Skype traffic” at the expense of standards-based voice services if that is what the market demanded, its chief operating officer has told Telecoms.com.
Spain’s Telefónica has confirmed that it is to exit the Czech and Slovak Republics through the sale of its holdings in the markets to Czech investment group PPF. Telefónica said in October that it was exploring its options in the Czech Republic, as part of a wider process of withdrawal from non-core markets.
The most important function of ICT for Japan in the future is its role in addressing social needs, according to Charley K. Watanabe, deputy director-general of the Information and Communications Bureau at Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). Watanabe, who was speaking at Ericsson’s Business Innovation Forum in Tokyo, pointed towards the requirements of Japan’s ageing population as well as the need to manage key resources with greater efficiency as two areas where ICT could be used to drive social improvements.
Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo is targeting $11bn in non-core service revenues in 2015, up from $6bn in 2012, according to Hiroyasu Asami, executive vice president and managing director of the firm’s Smart Life Business Division. Asami said that the firm expects finance and payment services, media and content services and commerce to each account for $3bn of the 2015 total, with other services making up the remainder.
Smartphone users do not see mobile operators as the natural providers of a range of key future services, according to research published by network equipment provider Ericsson. The Swedish vendor’s ConsumerLab research division surveyed smartphone users in Sao Paolo, Beijing, New York, London and Tokyo to gauge demand for a range of future services related to aspects of city life that drive satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Survey respondents favoured vertical specialists as providers of mobile services related to their sectors.
Leading infrastructure and solutions vendor Ericsson has reported a 38 per cent increase in net profit year on year for the third quarter of 2013, despite sales dropping by three per cent on the same period in 2012. Profit for the quarter stood at SEK3bn ($472m), while sales were at SEK53bn.
Industry consultants have attacked the recent Austrian LTE spectrum auction process, claiming that the outcome took too much money out of the market and threatens competition in the Austrian mobile sector. The fact that incumbent Telekom Austria was able to acquire half of all the spectrum made available could be particularly detrimental.
Norwegian operator Telenor is moving to consolidate its position in the Swedish broadband and television services sector with the acquisition of Tele2 Sweden’s fiber and cable business for SEK775m ($121.4m). Tele2 has some 370,000 households connected with fiber and cable, including 125,000 fixed broadband customers, 75,000 digital TV customers and 220,000 cable TV customers.
The ability to use equipment from multiple suppliers for fiber-to-the-x (FTTx) networks is critical to driving innovation and reducing costs in network deployments, according to research released at Broadband World Forum.