The mobile broadband revolution is underway in Africa as WCDMA gathers momentum and LTE establishes an early foothold. Competition in many markets is intense but new players are not deterred from pursuing fresh opportunities afforded by the next wave of growth in the region.
Spanish carrier Telefónica has been contracted by Nextel branded NII Holdings to supply nationwide 3G coverage for voice and data services in Brazil and Mexico, expanding Nextel’s existing coverage.
The details for global digital dividend spectrum allocation won’t be finalised until 2015 but Africa is the first region to cohesively earmark 700MHz bandwidth freed up by the transition to digital for future telecoms services.
Vodafone Carrier Services intends to shake up the IPX (IP Exchange) market this year, with a view to taking third party providers out of the picture, according to the division’s CEO Brian Fitzpatrick.
China Mobile is deploying Voice over LTE (VoLTE) on its commercial TD-LTE network in Guangzhou ahead of a wider nationwide rollout. The company has tapped up local equipment supplier ZTE to deliver the project.
UK operators EE and Vodafone have signed 10 year contract with the group that operates the Channel Tunnel transport network, Eurotunnel. The agreements will enable both operators’ subscribers to use 2G and 3G services while travelling on the rail line 100m below sea level.
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.
The US arm of operator group Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile USA is to acquire spectrum licenses for the 700MHz A Block from Verizon Wireless.
Security and SIM specialist Gemalto this week expanded its M2M portfolio with an LTE wireless module. The firm claims its Cinterion PLS8 solution will enable LTE connectivity for connected car systems and NFC applications.
Indian carrier Aircel has tapped ZTE to deploy an LTE network in Chennai, Rest of Tamil Nadu (RoTN) and several other business critical circles in the country. ZTE recently completed the migration of Aircel’s data services to an LTE evolved packet core in the Chennai and RoTN circles.
Australian operator Optus has begun testing what it claims to be the world’s first TD-LTE Advanced carrier aggregation. The firm claims to have achieved single user peak speeds of up to 160Mbps on its commercial 4G Plus LTE network.
European network vendors Ericsson and Nokia Solutions and Networks have both announced new LTE customers in key Asian markets. Sweden’s Ericsson has won a supply deal with Japan’s KDDI, while NSN has a contract with China Telecom.
US operator AT&T has signed an LTE roaming agreement in the UK with EE. The agreement was announced just days after the US firm inked a similar deal in Canada with Rogers Communications.
Slovakian operator Slovak Telekom has launched LTE services in five of the nation’s cities. The operator claims the network is the largest LTE rollout in Slovakia to date.
UK operator group EE has pledged to invest £275m next year into the quality and reliability of its voice services. The operator plans to upgrade 11,000 2G sites and double the capacity on 7,000 3G sites in 2014.
Kit vendor Alcatel-Lucent has announced two deals to supply access technology for China Telecom and China Mobile’s LTE networks.
Operator group Orange has embarked on a research project with French car manufacturer Renault to test uses of LTE technology in connected cars.
Specialist consultancy Coleago has said that Tele2′s failure to win any spectrum in the latest Norwegian frequency auction—which has left the operator at a serious disadvantage in the market—is a direct result of the auction format.
Israeli mobile operators Cellcom, Pelephone and Golan Telecom have announced they have entered into a 15 year agreement to construct and operate a shared 4G radio network. In addition, Cellcom and Pelephone have agreed to share the passive elements of cell sites for existing networks while the former has also granted Golan Telecom the right to use its 2G and 3G radio network.
US operator AT&T has announced a partnership to enable LTE data roaming service in Canada using Rogers Communications’ network. AT&T said that its agreement with the Canadian operator makes it the first US operator to offer international LTE roaming.