Malaysian operator PacketOne (P1) has announced its intention to migrate to TD-LTE towards the end of 2012. The operator, which launched in 2008 is better known for its WiMAX rollouts and currently has over 280,000 subscribers on that service. Malaysia continues to be something of a happy hunting ground for WiMAX technology, with YTL Communications and REDtone among the other operators in that country using it.
Marwan Zawaydeh, chief technology and information officer for UAE carrier Etisalat, is looking to position his firm as the LTE pioneer of the Gulf region. Zawaydeh, who will be presenting a deployment case study at the forthcoming LTE World Summit, speaks to Pamela Weaver about Etisalat’s plans for the technology.
French telecoms regulator ARCEP has said that the country’s LTE spectrum auction will be launched before May this year. The terms of the sale, which is expected to raise €2bn, are expected to be finalised shortly and ARCEP has said that it wants to award the spectrum before the end of this year.
The tit for tat, spit for spat between East and West continued this week as both Chinese mega vendors came under fire. A local Austrian paper alleged that Huawei had bribed a consultant to secure it business with local incumbent Telekom Austria. They say there’s no smoke without fire though and the consultant in question, one Peter Hochegger, is also under investigation with regard to similar allegations involving state owned businesses between 2000 and 2007.
Canadian operator Telus has announced plans to deploy an LTE network early in 2012. According to the company, the rollout will follow extensive field testing this year and the completion of an RFP process that is currently underway. Construction is slated to begin in major urban markets in the second half of 2011.
Chinese vendor Huawei has made the shortlist in the tender for US Cellular Corp’s LTE network.US Cellular plans to roll out its LTE network later this year but is, according to a spokesman, still evaluating the results of a trial that took place in 2010.
South Africa’s Independent Communications Authority (ICASA) has reintroduced a controversial requirement that companies applying for spectrum must be 30 per cent owned by historically disadvantaged shareholders (HDI). With the country’s second spectrum auction planned for an as-yet unspecified time this year, players such as MTN and Vodacom could find themselves excluded from bidding for access in the 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz bands which form a key component in both telcos next-generation, LTE network strategies.
Nortel Networks is to continue its post-bankruptcy asset sell-off, announcing the sale of its remaining patent portfolio to Google. The search giant is said to have offered $900m in cash in a “stalking horse” arrangement that could yet see another bidder come in with a higher offer. The patents in question are said to include both granted and pending applications covering wireless, 4G/LTE, data networking, optical, voice, social networking and internet, among others
Denis Gautheret, vice president for NGMN introduction at Deutsche Telekom’s domestic operation, talks to Mike Hibberd about the deployment of LTE in Germany, where carriers are required to provide coverage to rural areas before they’re allowed to roll out in the more lucrative cities. The strength of the ecosystem is all-important, he says, and much progress has been made since the first days of UMTS ten years ago.
UK Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, has outlined proposals that will see the country releasing yet more radio spectrum by 2020. The announcement follows finalisation of plans to hold an auction for LTE band early next year.
ZTE and Swedish operator Hi3G are partnering to launch what they claim will be the world’s first LTE TDD/FDD dual mode networks. ZTE will provide the kit for the rollout, which will take place in Sweden and Denmark. As part of the deal, ZTE will also be involved in the upgrade of the operator’s 3G network.
The sale of Telekom Srbjia looks set to be cancelled following the likely rejection of the lone bid for a 51 per cent stake in the company. The Serbian government, which owns 80 per cent of the telco, was hoping to raise €1.4bn from the sale; under those circumstances, it seems unlikely that the lone bid of €950m for a 51 per cent stake from Telekom Austria will be accepted.
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.
Sanjiv Ahuja, the head honcho at US network newcomer LightSquared, has confirmed two new customers for the company’s wholesale 4G offering. During his keynote speech at CTIA on Wednesday, Ahuja outed Leap Wireless and Best Buy as two of its buyers.
UK regulator Ofcom has announced its intention to hold the country’s largest ever single auction for mobile spectrum services in early 2012. In a move likely to be welcomed by 3UK, the regulator has decided to impose strict caps on the amount of spectrum any one bidder can acquire.
The pending deal between AT&T and T-Mobile USA is symptomatic of growing market maturity in the US but will be better for the American telco than it will for Deutsche Telekom, according to Ovum analyst Steven Hartley.
It’s not every day that you come across a new carrier staffed by senior executives who are promising to “reset the industry”. But this is the bold claim made for US newcomer Lightsquared by the firm’s executive vice president of ecosystem development and satellite systems, Martin Harriman. Lightsquared aims to redefine the operator business model altogether, as Harriman will be explaining during his presentation at this year’s LTE World Summit in May.
US carrier Verizon Wireless launched its first LTE device, the HTC Thunderbolt, on Thursday. The device runs the Android 2.2 operating system and will feature a suite of Google applications as well as some existing applications enhanced for LTE. It costs $249.99 with a new two-year contract.