The telecoms industry continued its courtship of internet services firms at Barcelona this week, where industry association the GSMA unveiled a joint initiative with Facebook.
For all the industry’s current focus on virtualization there are some things, it would seem, that you still have to do in the realms of the physical world. One of these, according to more than 85,000 industry folk, at least, is Mobile World Congress. This was the attendance figure published by GSMA at the end of the show and it’s an awful lot of bodies.
The number of active mobile money users has grown to 61 million in June 2013 from 37 million a year earlier, according to trade body the GSMA.
That’s what John Lennon said, at least. The Informer’s not sure Lennon is an entirely reliable source, however. After all, this was a millionaire who entreated us all to imagine no possessions. And let’s not forget that he also claimed on at least one occasion to be a walrus. The Informer thought of Lennon when he saw the news that Vodafone was attempting, in this most romantic of weeks, to woo Ono; the Spanish cable and TV provider.
Telecoms trade body the GSMA has warned that government efforts to share spectrum usage should “complement but in no way replace” the need for exclusive access spectrum when provisioning mobile broadband services. The body issued a report that assesses two potential licensed shared access scenarios; the first being the release of 50MHz in the 2.3GHz band from 2020 in the EU and the second regarding the release of 100MHz in the 3.5GHz band from 2016 in the US.
Telecoms trade association the GSMA has announced that it has joined the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), a coalition with 50 members, including Google, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Facebook, Intel and Microsoft, committed to bringing down the cost of internet access in developing nations.
Former CEO of telecoms trade association the GSMA Rob Conway has passed away, the trade body announced late Friday. He died on Thursday evening after a brief battle with an aggressive form of cancer.
Telecoms trade association the GSMA has published specifications to enable the remote over the air provision and management of embedded SIMs in M2M devices. The association said that its embedded SIM project has the backing of several tier one operators and SIM solutions providers.
Mobile operators in New Zealand have joined forces to clamp down on the use of stolen handsets in the country. Vodafone, Telecom and 2degrees have worked together over the past year to develop a blacklisting system, which gives each operator the ability to block the IMEI number of a mobile device that has been reported as stolen across all three networks, usually within 24 hours.
The number of LTE connections worldwide is expected to surpass one billion by 2017, according to trade association the GSMA. The association predicts that there will be more than eight billion total mobile connections by 2017, and around one in eight will be LTE connections. The GSMA forecasts that there will be 176 million LTE connections at the end of 2013.
Industry association the GSMA has announced the election of president and CEO of Telenor Jon Fredrik Baksaas as its chairman for the remainder of the current Board term through December 2014. Baksaas has been acting president since earlier this month, when former chairman Franco Bernabè resigned from the role. Prior to that, Baksaas had served as deputy chairman at the GSMA.
Franco Bernabè has resigned from the role of chairman at trade association the GSMA. President and CEO of Norwegian operator group Telenor, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, who currently holds the positionof deputy chairman of the GSMA, will take on the role of acting chairman effective immediately.
European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has outlined a five-point plan to support the evolution of Europe’s telecoms sector. Part of her plan called for the industry to share experiences, data and infrastructure, claiming that this is the way business must evolve to benefit the industry. She also called on Europe’s telecoms industry to focus now on developing 5G networks, a point that the GSMA’s director general appeared to take exception to.
Recent merger and acquisition activity has illustrated how Europe’s telecoms sector is becoming weaker, according to top executives at operator trade association the GSMA. Speaking at the GSMA’s Mobile 360 event in Brussels, chairman Franco Bernabè, who is also CEO at Telecom Italia, said that deals such as Vodafone’s sale of its Verizon stake and Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia suggests that Europe is no longer a leading region in the telecoms sector.
The GSMA has issued a fresh call for policy overhaul in the European mobile sector in a bid to bring the region up to speed with the world’s leading markets. Spectrum harmonisation, the removal of barriers to consolidation and freedom from close regulator control on pricing are essential to the sector’s improvement, the group said.
facebook-bigFacebook has created an initiative—Internet.org—to bring internet connectivity to the poor and underserved, recruiting a number of telecoms industry vendors as partners. But while the new group cites the importance of mobile operators in bringing connectivity to the unconnected, there are none among the founders.
The operator push to reclaim status in messaging services has received impetus in China where China Telecom has launched its own proprietary instant messaging application dubbed YiChat.
Three out of ten mobile operators believe GSMA offering Joyn is not the solution to successfully compete with messaging service providers such as WhatsApp and Skype, according to research published today.
Telefónica’s UK arm has been selected as the connectivity provider for the UK’s Smart Meter Implementation Programme in two of the project’s three regions. The operator will provide service in the Central and Southern regions for the programme, which will see the deployment of 53 million connected gas and electricity meters across the UK by 2020.
The European Commission is once again pushing its agenda to transform the EU’s 28 telecoms markets into one single market. Research undertaken by the EC found that mobile users across the EU face huge price differences for the same services.