Despite its February announcement of a partnership deal with Microsoft, Nokia has reiterated its commitment to the Symbian platform. Many interpreted Nokia’s decision to adopt the Windows 7 mobile platform as the end of the road for Symbian; the once dominant platform has been struggling to keep up with Android in the market-share stakes and recently slipped behind it for the first time.
Data might be the driving force behind LTE’s gathering pace, but there’s no escaping the fact that voice continues to be the killer application for mobile operators. “Smart” they may be, but drop the “phone” element from the current crop of devices and you’re dropping 64 per cent of your revenues—according to Ovum research, this is the percentage of MNO turnover that voice will generate by 2015.
It’s not often that you find an industry as diverse as telecoms singing from the same hymn sheet on anything, but this year’s TM Forum Management World event in Dublin was positively harmonious. And the message was that less is more.
Motorola Mobility is rumoured to be working on its own mobile operating system based on web technologies such as HTML5, which would make it easier for developers to port Android and Apple applications to its devices.
NetAmerica Alliance has announced a partnership with Ericsson that will see the rolling out of LTE networks in rural US markets. The Alliance is a standalone organisation that brings together small, independent LTE licence holders in rural America, in an effort to create a nationwide 4G partnership capable of banding together to wield similar economic influence to that held by larger carriers.
Croatian operator VIPnet has announced the completion of a successful LTE trial in the 800MHz “digital dividend” band freed up by the migration to digital television. The trial, which began in October last year, took place in Zagreb, and achieved data speeds of up to 150Mbps download and 50Mbps upload.
Alcatel-Lucent is to partner with China Mobile on what it says is the world’s largest 4G TD-LTE trial network. The trial, which will cover six major Chinese cities including Shanghai and Beijing, follows the successful completion of interoperability tests which began in January 2010.
Mobile payment and payment gateway platform developer Charge Anywhere, has unveiled an Android app that will allow businesses to process credit and debit cards using only a handset. The application turns Google’s Nexus-S smartphone into an NFC payment acceptance terminal.
Russian mobile phone retailer, Euroset, which claims to sell three out of every ten phones in Russia, is to launch on the London Stock Exchange. The fundraising target is said to be in excess of £620m, putting a value of between £1.8bn and £3.1bn on the company, which operates over 4300 shops in Russia.
China Telecom is to buy the CDMA network it currently leases from parent company China Telecommunications. With fourth quarter profits up 42 per cent on the back of a tripling of smartphone users, China’s biggest fixed-line carrier is looking to build on that growth by reducing its 3G costs. Last year, the cost of leasing the CDMA network rose by 59 per cent – more than the depreciation of assets and other related costs – to CNY13.3bn ($2bn).
China Unicom has announced the development of its own smartphone operating system built on a Linux core. The ‘Wophone’ OS, which reports claim will not be based on Android, will run on a new brand of devices which, it is hoped, will help China Unicom expand its handset offering in order to grow demand for its 3G services.
The sudden departure of Broadband Infraco CEO Dave Smith on Friday last has left the South African stated-owned network infrastructure company’s future in doubt. Smith’s resignation comes just three months after the company launched its first commercial services.
Net losses of high-value contract customers – to the tune of 318,000 – have put a dampener on an increase of 295,000 prepaid users and a 0.9 percent on year increase in revenue for the last quarter of 2010.
At a time when speculation that both Google and Apple are preparing to launch cloud-based music services is rife, Motorola Mobility Ventures has announced the investment of an unspecified sum into Catch Media, a cloud-based content delivery service that last year, was rumoured to be part of Google’s plans to take on Apple in the online music space.
Italian telco Tiscali has announced plans to deploy a new, single platform IMS network in conjunction with Chinese vendor ZTE. The first three commercial sites – slated for Cagliari, Rome and Milan – will be launched by the end of May 2011; Tiscali subscribers will be migrated to the new platform by the end of the year. According to Tiscali general director Luca Scano, this is part of the telco’s “strategic orientation towards fixed-mobile convergence”.
Vodafone Hutchison Australia CEO Nigel Dews revealed the wireless carrier’s intended participation in trials with the semi-state National Broadband Network (NBN) at a financial results press conference on Thursday.
An internally distributed study undertaken by China’s Ministry of Commerce reportedly suggests imminent action against the EU for its subsidisation of major telecoms infrastructure companies.
Everything Everywhere, the joint-venture between T-Mobile and Orange in the UK, has reported losses of one million pay-as-you-go customers since its formation in April last year. The company, which is jointly-owned by France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom, said that the results reflect consolidation and an increased focus on more profitable postpaid customers rather than full-on churn, citing contract adds of 752,000 over nine months.
India’s state-run telecom company, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL) is having something of a swings and roundabouts experience following the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) on a countrywide basis in January 2011. According to junior Telecoms Minister Sachin Pilot, 10,355 users have jumped ship to other providers, while 4,486 new subscribers have joined.
Vodafone, Orange, O2 and T-Mobile have announced their intention to launch NFC mobile payment services in the UK by 2012. Near-field communications (NFC) has been building a head of steam in recent months, with the likes of Google, RIM and Visa announcing their support.