UK LTE leader EE has revealed that 4G subscriber sign-ups overtook 3G subscriptions during this month. The firm now has 3.6 million LTE customers and CEO Olaf Swantee, who announced the landmark “tipping point” at a media briefing Wednesday, forecast that the number will grow to six million by the end of this year.
Japanese carrier NTT Docomo and local equipment vendor NEC said Monday they have successfully virtualised the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) in joint verification tests to support the functions required for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).
The evolution of voice continues apace as US carriers Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA reveal plans to launch Voice over LTE, with AT&T expected to follow suit on Friday.
In the latest of a rash of VoLTE announcements, French carrier Bouygues Telecom said it would start carrying the first voice and video calls over LTE later this year with a view to commercial launch of the service in 2015.
In the latest of a spate of announcements relating to Voice over LTE, Singaporean incumbent Singtel has launched what it claims is the world’s first commercial and fully featured VoLTE service. The city state operator, which launched the service in partnership with Samsung and Ericsson, said that its 4G Clearvoice service is the only live VoLTE service offering features such as call waiting and call forwarding over an LTE network.
French incumbent telco Orange has announced that it is to sell its 53 per cent stake in Orange Uganda to Africell, an aspiring pan-regional operator that currently provides services in the DRC, Gambia and Sierra Leone. The deal awaits approval from the relevant authorities, Orange said.
US operator AT&T has announced plans to launch Voice over LTE services next week, on May 23rd. Simultaneously the firm will introduce HD Voice services, which looks likely to be the centre of AT&T’s VoLTE related marketing campaign. In a brief release issued Thursday, the firm said it was introducing HD voice on VoLTE, promising customers that they would no longer “have to choose between faster data speeds and crystal clear conversations.”
Japanese incumbent operator NTT DoCoMo has announced plans to launch Voice over LTE services following a planned software update scheduled for late June or early July. DoCoMo said that users will be able to access LTE data throughputs of 150Mbps during voice calls as well as the firm’s disaster information notifications.
Belgacom-owned interconnect specialist BICS this week said its platform is now enabling next generation voice services such as HD voice and VoLTE to end users.
Russian operator MTS and network equipment provider Nokia have announced the completion of what Nokia said was the first Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call to be carried on virtualized telco cloud infrastructure. The test was carried out in MTS’ live network, using Nokia-supplied suite of virtualized core network elements, including IMS, Telephony Application Server (TAS) and Home Subscriber Server (HSS), running in MTS’ private cloud. These were controlled by Nokia’s Cloud Application Manager.
IP interconnect provider XConnect and Malaysian and Indonesian ICT specialist Extol this week launched the Asian Interconnect Exchange (AIX), giving local service providers access to an IP hub where they can exchange IP traffic and services.
Poor old Mobistar. The Belgian operator was probably bristling with pride this week after becoming the first in its market to complete a test of LTE Advanced technology. In partnership with Huawei it aggregated 1800MHz and 800MHz spectrum to drive throughput of more than 200Mbps. The firm’s chief network officer heralded “the future of high-speed mobile” upon the trial’s completion.
Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has farmed out trial contracts to several big infrastructure vendors in order to pilot 5G mobile network technologies, promising data rates of 10Gbps.
The carrier services arm of Nordic operator TeliaSonera has launched what it claims is the first managed Diameter signalling service, enabling other mobile operators to offer LTE roaming services to their customers. The Diameter Roaming Exchange (DRX) offering from TeliaSonera International Carrier has already been deployed by the operator’s subsidiaries in Sweden, Norway, Spain, Finland and Denmark and will be rolled out to its Eurasian properties in the near future, the firm said.
Belgian operator Mobistar claims to have become the nation’s first to successfully test an LTE-A network, claiming mobile data throughput of over 200Mbps.
Czech mobile operators O2 and T-Mobile have agreed to share their LTE networks in a bid to accelerate coverage improvements in the market this year. The deal follows a similar agreement signed between the two operators relating to their 2G and 3G networks in November last year.
Algerian incumbent operator Algérie Télécom has launched North Africa’s first LTE network, to boost its broadband offering as well as offer VoLTE services. Swedish vendor Ericsson, which supplied the network, said it would help alleviate problems caused by demand for fixed broadband services among Algérie Télécom’s user base.
UK regulator Ofcom has outlined its approach for managing wireless spectrum over the next decade. The regulator’s Spectrum Management Strategy is part of the Government’s plan to double the amount of money it raises annually from spectrum services to £100bn by 2025.
UK operator EE has posted a year on year drop in revenue for the first quarter of 2014 but said that it saw the highest number of new 4G subscribers during the quarter. The firm’s revenue for the quarter fell 3.6 per cent year on year to reach £1.55bn; the operator did not divulge the size of its quarterly profit or loss.
US operator Verizon Wireless has posted a 4.8 year on year increase in revenue for 1Q14, as well as a 15.1 per cent increase in operating income.