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.
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.
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.
At the Future of Wireless 2013 event staged by UK industry organisation Cambridge Wireless earlier this month, James Collier, the founder and CTO of white space solutions provider Neul, suggested that mobile operators are ill-equipped to provision the Internet of Things (IoT). Alex Sinclair, CTO of the GSMA, countered by suggesting that the IoT opportunity is big enough for everyone, but MNOs will clearly be key players and not just for simple connectivity.
The chief government and regulatory affairs officer of GSMA, Tom Phillips, has responded to last week’s speech from Neelie Kroes, in which the European commissioner for the digital agenda called for the creation of a single European telecoms market by describing her comments as “unfortunate”.
Since the launch of Skype in 2003, over-the-top (OTT) service providers have been successful in convincing subscribers to opt for their perceived to be free offerings, at the expense of operators’ voice and SMS services.
Industry body the GSMA has called for national governments and regulators to review their approach to Universal Service Fund (USF) levies. The GSMA surveyed 64 USFs and found that most of them remain inefficient and ineffective, with more than $11bn waiting to be disbursed between them.
Operator group Deutsche Telekom has become the latest firm to offer the GSMA’s Joyn messaging platform to its users. The operator has rolled out the service to customers in its native Germany.
South Korean operator SK Telecom has announced that it has acquired one million users for its Joyn service, just 50 days after of launching it.
Mobile operators worldwide are still not doing enough to protect customers from bill shock, despite initiatives by trade association the GSMA and national regulators such as Ofcom in the UK and ACMA in Australia to promote transparency in roaming charges. The majority of mobile operators worldwide (62 per cent) have not yet implemented any form of bill-shock prevention, according to research conducted by cloud-based managed communication services provider Mach.
The GSMA-backed rich communication service initiative Joyn has split opinion among the industry’s forecasters. Some are encouraged by the strides the service has made, whereas others believe this is too little a step taken too late. Nonetheless, Joyn now seems to be gaining momentum; in recent weeks, Spain’s big three operators have thrown their weight behind the cause as well as SK Telecom in South Korea.