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.
The UK’s smallest and most disruptive mobile operator, 3 UK, is embracing voice over wifi in an apparent effort to offload traffic from it’s cellular network. The company is launching an app, Three inTouch, which will allow customers to talk and text using a wifi connection.
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.
Maintaining its technological edge, South Korea’s SK Telecom on Thursday announced that it has commercialized 225Mbps LTE-Advanced – three times as fast as 75Mbps LTE – for the first time in the world.
France’s third largest mobile operator – Bouygues Telecom – has brushed of its recent setbacks in the M&A market and the subsequent need to cut costs by announcing it is the first French operator to launch commercial LTE-Advanced service, which it has rebranded as 4G+.
Less than a year after the launch of 3G services in Rio de Janeiro and just in time to catch most of the World Cup action, Brazilian carrier Nextel this week switched on its 4G network in the city, giving users access to ten times faster download speeds.
Chinese equipment vendor Huawei has showcased what it claims is the world’s first successful implementation of a Dynamic Spectrum Sharing technology trial with Vodafone Spain, that will allow LTE and GSM to coexist in the same spectrum. Although carrier aggregation technologies hold significant promise for maximising spectrum resources, it’s clear that many operators will be wedded to GSM for years to come and this approach leaves both LTE and GSM free to use the same spectrum.
The European Commission and the South Korean government have jointly announced an agreement designed to facilitate the definition and development of 5G wireless technologies. A key immediate aim is to establish a global consensus on the definition of 5G, something that the industry has only very recently begun to discuss in public.
Kuwaiti mobile operator Viva on Monday introduced commercial LTE roaming services with neighbouring Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC), marking the first 4G LTE roaming agreement between Gulf operators.
South Korean carrier SK Telecom claims to have broken mobile download speed records again using carrier aggregation technologies in partnership with infrastructure supplier Nokia. By converging both FDD and TDD spectrum the operator was able to demonstrate throughput of 3.78Gbps, downloading a 5GB HD movie in just 11 seconds.
Networking specialist Brocade has unveiled a virtualization platform aimed squarely at the cloud and telecommunications service providers sector. Brocade said that its Vyatta platform is the first phase of a multi-year strategy embracing the requirements outlined within the ETSI Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) ISG, and those set out in open source software projects such as OpenDaylight and OpenStack, the company said.
US carrier AT&T has added HP’s offerings to its network-enabled cloud ecosystem, allowing customers to use their VPN to connect to the HP Helion portfolio of cloud services. AT&T said its NetBond tool creates a highly secure private path between a customer’s AT&T VPN and a cloud service provider, like HP, flexing and scaling network resources dynamically as a company’s cloud computing needs change.
China Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile carrier in terms of subscribers, has taken an 18 per cent stake in third placed Thai operator True Group for $882m.
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.
The UK communications industry regulator – Ofcom – has announced proposals designed to further reduce mobile termination rates; the wholesale prices mobile operators charge other operators for connecting to their networks.
Infrastructure giant Ericsson forecasts total mobile data traffic growth will increase ten-fold between now and 2019, on the back of smartphone subscription growth that is expected to grow at four times the rate of total mobile subscriptions, and total global LTE subscriptions that are forecasted to grow 13-fold.
Specialist mobile entertainment and streaming music firm Rok Mobile has unveiled plans to launch an LTE MVNO in the US in June bolstered by 20 million on demand audio tracks.
Software defined networking (SDN) specialist Cyan has announced a collaboration with European carrier Telefónica and Linux developer Red Hat to develop a network functions virtualization (NFV) architecture optimised for communications service providers.
Despite their eagerness to join the growing fleet of cloud service providers, some industry experts still believe telcos will struggle to effectively leverage commercial opportunities in the enterprise ICT market.