Big spending Canadian operator Rogers Communications has dropped C$3.29bn (US$2.98bn) on two 12MHz blocks of paired lower 700MHz band spectrum licences in the nation’s latest spectrum auction. Rival Telus also splashed its cash, shelling out C$1.14bn on spectrum licences equating to a national average of 16.6MHz in the band. The Canadian government raised a sizeable total of C$5.27bn during the auction and the licences issued will remain valid for 20 years.
Giving a keynote talk at Mobile World Congress, Tele2 Group president and CEO Mats Granryd said that mobile pricing was moving away from pay-as-you-go to ‘bucketised’ plans and that it has already started charging solely for data in some of the 10 countries where the firm operates.
UK operator EE has dropped Huawei and called on NSN to supply technology for the next phase of its LTE rollout. NSN will provide EE with its Single RAN Advanced solution, enabling EE to run different radio technologies using single, multi-purpose hardware.
Operator groups Deutsche Telekom and Orange have signed up to an RCS hub from cloud communications firm Jibe Mobile, enabling interoperability between RCS and Joyn services hosted by third parties as well as in-network deployments.
Operator group Deutsche Telekom has announced a Smart City pilot project in the Italian city of Pisa. The project sees the operator integrating a number of parking spaces in Piazza Carrara, in the city centre, within a sensor-based parking management system.
Enterprise IT giant IBM and US carrier AT&T announced a partnership Wednesday that will see the two companies co-develop cloud and analytics solutions that ingest data from M2M sensors embedded in civil and energy infrastructure in cities. The companies said they will combine analytics, cloud and security technologies in a bid to capitalise on the burgeoning Internet of Things movement.
Operator group Telecom Austria has announced that its domestic subsidiary, A1, has fully migrated its fixed net telephony to VoIP, claiming to be the first to do so in the EU.
Belgian operator Belgacom has activated a nationwide VDSL2 vectoring network which it says will deliver vastly faster fixed broadband speeds to subscribers. The operator teamed up with network infrastructure vendor Alcatel-Lucent in an effort to extend the capabilities of DSL technology.
Orange Slovakia this week tapped up B/OSS specialist Openet for a Policy and Charging Control (PCC) infrastructure to enable a major rollout of advanced shared data bundles. The deployment makes it possible for Orange to quickly define segmented data offers, with associated balances, notifications and policy rules for its 2.8 million subscribers.
African operator group MTN has signed a five-year managed services deal with Swedish kit vendor Ericsson relating to its Nigerian business. Ericsson will take full responsibility for MTN Nigeria’s network management, optimisation and field maintenance in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Asaba, which represents 75 per cent of the Nigerian network.
South Korean LTE pioneer SK Telecom has announced plans to extend its LTE and LTE-A networks by building additional base stations using the 1.8GHz band by the end of this year. The operator claims that the network improvement will result in subscribers experiencing mobile broadband speeds of 150Mbps nationwide.
European and LatAm operator group Telefónica’s start up incubator Wayra has struck an agreement with Chinese incubator Virtue Inno Valley (VIV) to promote their businesses in each other’s geographic territories.
Indian operator group Bharti Airtel has announced plans to acquire regional player Loop Mobile for an undisclosed amount. The group said that Loop Mobile’s three million subscribers and 2,500 cell sites in Mumbai will add to its own four million subscriber base and its 2G and 3G network with 4,000 cell sites in the city.
From the summer, Vodafone claims it will offer LTE roaming to more countries than any other mobile operator and it will not charge a premium for such services.
Chinese operator China Mobile has deployed a self-organising small cell microwave backhaul system in its LTE network to provide improved coverage and capacity to subscribers in densely populated urban areas.
This weekend German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the creation of a secure European communications network that would avoid US-based networks and servers. But after questions about the compatibility of Neelie Kroes’ proposals to create a well-governed ‘Open Internet’ with Merkel’s calls for an “EU only” infrastructure, the European Commission reiterated support for the German Chancellor’s calls for better security and data protection but declined to comment on how the two proposals would feasibly coexist.
The European Commission has published research that suggests Europe’s mobile operators are missing out on business from 300 million customers by charging roaming premiums within the EU. The research forms part of the EC’s continuing drive to end EU roaming charges.
Vodafone India said Friday it has spent £1.9bn (INR19,645 crores) on spectrum licenses for 11 circles in the country.
Two of the biggest cable networks in the US on Thursday agreed to a monster $45.2bn deal that will see Comcast acquire 100 per cent of Time Warner Cable. The transaction will generate approximately $1.5bn in operating efficiencies but will need to be cleared by regulatory and competition authorities.
Operator group Vodafone has joined forces with global money transfer and payment services firm MoneyGram to enable customers in over 200 countries to send money to M-Pesa users. The two will initially launch in a few key markets in 2Q14 and plan to roll out the service to further markets during the remainder of the year.