International infrastructure and tower management firm American Tower Corporation has agreed to buy 100 per cent of the equity interests of BR Towers, a Brazilian real estate company that owns around 2,530 cell towers, for BR2.18bn ($978m). The company also has exclusive use rights to approximately 2,110 additional towers in the country.
China’s main telecoms companies have agreed to establish an infrastructure sharing venture to reduce the cost and optimise the construction, maintenance and operation of infrastructure.
African telecoms tower specialist Helios Towers has raised $630m in new investment, supporting its claims that there is huge potential in the African market for tower sharing and management.
MTN Zambia became the first carrier in the country to launch LTE on Friday, as the company introduced the service in Lusaka, Kitwe, Ndola and Livingstone. Phase two of the rollout, which is already underway, will expand LTE coverage within these same towns and cover new territories as well.
Consultant and one-time head of research and development for UK regulator Ofcom, William Webb asks whether operators really need to own the spectrum in which their services operate. If radio access infrastructure can be outsourced or shared and the core can be virtualised, why shouldn’t the industry look at innovative usage models for spectrum?
Mobile tower outsourcing in Africa continues apace with Vodacom Tanzania on Monday striking a deal to offload its entire tower network to Helios Towers and rent access back.
The Spanish subsidiaries of operator groups Vodafone and Orange will co-invest in fibre to the home (FTTH) deployment in Spain, the former has announced. The two intend to reach six million households and workplaces across 50 major cities by September 2017.
Infrastructure vendor Nokia Siemens Networks and IT giant IBM focused on moving intelligence to the network edge on Monday with the unveiling of a mobile edge computing platform designed to run applications within the mobile base station.
Chinese equipment vendor Huawei scored a significant coup on Monday, winning a managed services contract with Hutchison-owned 3UK.
Bengt Nordstrom, founder of industry consultancy NorthStream, shares a series of predictions for the mobile industry in 2013. In this second instalment he suggests that European regulators will become more open to consolidation among operators, helping to revitalise the European market.
US operators AT&T and T-Mobile USA have allowed customers heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy this week to roam across their networks where capacity is available, in order to ensure they can stay in touch during the natural disaster.
The UK businesses of Telefónica and Vodafone have been granted permission by the country’s regulatory authorities to pool the basic parts of their network infrastructure to create one national grid. The grid will support two independent and competing networks delivering mobile coverage and mobile internet services to UK households.
The European Commission (EC) has called on mobile operators in the region to share radio spectrum more effectively. The authority said that national spectrum regulation does not efficiently utilise spectrum or allow licensees to make use of new technical possibilities, leaving mobile and broadband users at risk of poor service as demand for data continues to grow.
Mobile operators are looking past the negative revenue implications of using wifi offload due to concerns over the sheer growth of data traffic. However, although the majority of infrastructure vendors are now including wifi offload solutions in their product portfolios, those solutions do not fully meet operators’ needs, according to Ovum.
Hugh Bradlow, CTO of Australian operator Telstra, has been at the firm for 16 years, in which time he has overseen the evolution of the firm’s mobile network from GSM to LTE. The market has changed as fundamentally as the technology, and the challenges of 2012 are a lot more complex, as Bradlow explains.
Years of consolidation have drastically altered the appearance of the vendor community. The wise money says there’s more to come. So as a CTO , how do you choose which company will provide, install, or even run your greatest asset—the network?
Over the past few weeks we interviewed the Chief Technology Officers of several high profile operators to find out what keeps them awake at night. With many carriers juggling several generations of network technologies, as well as a hefty portfolio of spectrum frequencies, there are plenty of challenges to consider, but some of the common ones our executives discuss are: the OTT threat; network optimisation; spectrum fragmentation; network capacity; data revenues; offload; outsourcing; and regulation.
US operator Sprint has long juggled a complex mix of network technologies. A current project to overhaul its network strategy is the responsibility of CTO Stephen Bye.
Malaysian network operators Maxis Berhad and Redtone have entered into an infrastructure and spectrum sharing agreement as part of a plan to roll out LTE services across the country.
Network sharing agreements are becoming more common, as the cost of carrying mobile traffic increases and MNOs have to fight harder for profit. Three in particular has been very active in making these deals, for example in the UK, where it has a network sharing agreement with Everything Everywhere. We expect this trend to accelerate, as operators seek to cut costs by reducing infrastructure and capex where possible.