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MTS, VimpelCom to collaborate on LTE in Russia

MTS and VimpelCom will build LTE networks in Russia

Russian telco Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) and Dutch-based operator group VimpelCom have announced a partnership to develop and share LTE networks in Russia and the CIS region. The agreement involves rolling out LTE in 36 Russian regions over the next two years.

Telefonica, Ericsson bring 4G to Peruvian Amazon

Ericsson says it is committed to connecting the unconnected

Telefónica and Ericsson have collaborated on a project to bring 4G to Amazon’s Peruvians connecting schools, healthcare facilities and other public body entities to the internet. The two partners said this marks the first time LTE technology has been brought to the Amazon communities.

EE buys mobile airtime distributor Mainline Digital Communications

EE has acquired Mainline Digital Communications

EE has acquired UK mobile airtime distributor Mainline Digital Communications. The two have been partnering for several years in the business sector, and EE already had a 26% share in the company.

Iliad’s Niel acquires Orange Switzerland

Orange Switzerland will soon be French-owned

Apax Partners has agreed to sell Orange Switzerland to French telecoms tycoon Xavier Niel-owned investment firm NJJ Capital for 2.3 billion. Apax bought the operator from France Telecom Orange in 2012 for €1.6 billion, but claims to have transformed the business since by upgrading its network to 4G and modernising its backend IT systems.

UK government capitulates to operators over rural mobile coverage

UK government and operators agree how to increase coverage in rural UK

The UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced it has reached what it calls a “landmark” agreement with operators EE, O2, Vodafone and Three on how to tackle coverage issues in rural Britain. However, the agreement seems a far-cry from the original tough talk from the Culture Secretary Savid Javid.

BlackBerry goes full circle with Classic smartphone launch

Back to basics with the BlackBerry Classic

Humbled former smartphone giant BlackBerry has reverted back to a tried and tested design in a bid to restore some of its shattered smartphone market share. The BlackBerry Classic is positioned as the heir to relatively popular designs such as the Bold 9900.

Telstra confirms discussions over Pacnet acquisition

Telstra has confirmed discussions over Pacnet acquisition are under way

Australia’s former state-owned telco, Telstra, has confirmed discussions are underway over a potential acquisition of data centre and undersea cable operator Pacnet. At this stage, the cost of any possible transaction has not been announced.

Ukkoverkot CEO explains benefits of 450MHz band

Ukkoverkot CEO Antti Pellinen

As recently reported, Finnish start-up company Ukkoverkot has just launched a data-only LTE network on the 450MHz radio spectrum band. Telecoms.com spoke to CEO Antti Pellinen, the man leading the young company to find out more about the network the operator says is the world’s first such service commercially available.

Samsung reportedly mulling mobile payments move to counter Apple Pay

No longer different enough

Smartphone giant Samsung is exploring the possibility of launching its own contactless mobile payment system, which may involve payment startup LoopPay, according to sources speaking to re/code. The rumour comes as Apple continues to brief the press that Apple Pay is going really well.

Nokia HERE to power maps for Baidu outside China

HERE for Android now available on Google Play

It has been announced Nokia’s HERE mapping solutions will be powering search engine Baidu outside its home country China. Nokia said the search giant, which already uses HERE for its desktop version of its location and mapping services, will add the solution to its map apps for Android and iOS.

UK workers worst-served by office wifi – report

ZyXEL encourages businesses to ensure wifi availability to workers

A research study conducted by Taiwanese networking equipment vendor ZyXEL has claimed UK workers are among the least well-served when it comes to office wifi availability at European businesses. According to the report, ensuring employees can connect their own devices to office wifi is key to increasing productivity and job satisfaction.

Sharon White’s appointment as Ofcom chief confirmed

Sharon White is Ofcom's new Chief Executive

Following reports last week, UK regulator Ofcom has confirmed the appointment of Sharon White as its new Chief Executive. Joining from the HM Treasury, where she is Second Permanent Secretary, White will officially take the reins in March next year.

BT formally moves to acquire EE in bid to dominate UK telco market

BT OKs EE M&A ASAP

Former UK telco monopoly BT has announced it has chosen the UK’s biggest mobile operator – EE – for exclusive acquisition talks, having previously conceded it was looking at O2 or EE. If the deal goes through BT would occupy a dominant position in the UK telco market as it already owns substantial fixed-line assets as well as a significant chuck of exclusive content and some 4G spectrum of its own.

MVNO Lebara launches in Saudi Arabia

MVNO Lebara launches in Saudi Arabia

European-based MVNO Lebara has announced the launch of its service in Saudi Arabia over Mobily’s network. The provider, named Lebara Mobile KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), was granted the licence as part of the Saudi regulator’s attempt to shake-up the country’s telecoms market by ordering each of the three operators to host an MVNO.

Nokia announces Finnish and Saudi LTE-A rollouts

Nokia claims LTE-A wins in Finland and Saudi

Nokia Networks has claimed advancements in LTE-A network deployment by unveiling live network speeds and data transmission rates of up to 300 Mbps on Sonera’s LTE network in Helsinki. By utilising FDD/TDD technology it is claiming carrier aggregation of the 1800 and 2600 MHz frequency bands for the Finnish operator.

Tele2 to launch 4G-only network in the Netherlands

Tele2 will launch a 4G-only network in the Netherlands

Sweden-based operator Tele2 has announced it is to launch a 4G-only network in the Netherlands at the beginning of 2015. The move will mark the telco’s transformation from an MVNO to an MNO in the Dutch market.

Ofcom report hails O2, RootMetrics crowns EE

Ofcom ranked O2 highest for customer satisfaction

Ofcom has published a report on customer satisfaction levels in mobile, broadband, pay TV and landline services. Compared to previous years, the report showed steady level of satisfaction in mobile with O2 topping the table in the mobile service provider stakes. Meanwhile RootMetrics put EE on top in London.

Vodafone Americas to launch US MVNO on T-Mobile network

Vodafone Americas to launch a US MVNO

Enterprise-focused operator Vodafone Americas has announced it is to launch an MVNO targeted at its multinational (MNC) customers either based in the US or with a strong presence in the country. The telco said the service, to be launched in the latter part of 2015, will be offered under an MVNO with the T-Mobile US.

Qualcomm adds LTE Category 9 CA support to Snpadragon 810

Snapdragon 810 will support Category 9 carrier aggregation

Qualcomm has announced its Snpadragon 810 processor will add support for LTE Category 9 carrier aggregation (CA) connectivity, which according to the chip giant will enable device download speeds of up to 450Mbps, up from current peak of 300Mbps.

Entel, Ericsson claim first LatAm live APT700 test

Entel is set to move its 4G to APT700MHz next year

Chilean operator Entel and infrastructure vendor Ericsson have completed what they said is the first Latin American live LTE network test over the APT700MHz spectrum. The trial involved the deployment of 10 test sites with equipment using the frequency band in Rancagua city in Chile.

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