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.
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”.
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.
South Korean operator SK Telecom has become the latest carrier to throw its weight behind the GSMA’s Joyn initiative after announcing the availability of its joyn.T rich communications service to subscribers. The Joyn proposition, announced by GSMA at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last year, is the group’s response to the increasing popularity of network independent, OTT messaging applications.
The Wholesale Applications Community, a mobile operator alliance focused on the creation of a web runtime environment for device and OS agnostic mobile apps and the wide scale provision of network APIs to developers, has sold its technical assets to specialist firm Apigee. Meanwhile the GSMA has announced that it will absorb what remains of WAC, just two years after it was created.
Connected cars are fast becoming the topic that has the telecoms industry’s tongues wagging excitedly. This year, Ford’s chairman gave a keynote presentation at Mobile World Congress, RIM showcased a connected Porsche at its BlackBerry World 2012 event, and Google secured the first ever self-driving car licence in the US. And as the connected car market continues to evolve, mobile operators are finding that they have a key part to play in the ecosystem, and are having to invest time and resources to ensure they are not overlooked as the connected car market matures.
Legislation being passed through European Court could radically change the EU roaming market and see operators competing for the business of travellers and the creation of an EU-wide “roaming marketplace”.
The GSMA has announced a collaboration with the Wireless Broadband Alliance aimed at simplifying the process by which mobile devices connect to wifi networks. The joint initiative will see the SIM adopted as the principal means by which managed wifi networks identify mobile devices, paving the way for cross-network roaming agreements.
The European Commission is considering an investigation into major European operators over charges of possible collusion.
According to reports, the alleged collusion began in 2010 between executives from Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and Vodafone. It is understood that one of the main topics was the threat of competition from Google and Apple.
The GSMA, which organises Mobile World Congress, has announced that Russian OSS/BSS firm CBOSS will not be allowed to exhibit at the 2013 event, having this year been found in breach of show regulations. CBOSS has long been renowned for its use of attractive, often scantily clad young women as a means of driving traffic to its stand.
The number of mobile connected devices in the world is set to grow 100 per cent from more than six billion today to 12 billion in 2020, according to research unveiled by industry association the GSMA.
The GSM Association (GSMA) has suggested to the government of Taiwan that the country should move away from WiMAX and focus instead on LTE, in order to take advantage of the economies of scale provided by the now mainstream next generation mobile standard.
There’s usually no shortage of opinion in this industry, so I’ve been surprised by the reticence I’ve encountered trying to find out what the big operators think about Neul, the UK startup that reckons a new wireless data standard it’s developed for operation in the TV broadcast white space spectrum should—and will—be adopted for M2M services worldwide.
It was with watery eyed reminiscence that the Informer read through the announcement this week that Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA, is to step down September 1st. “After 12 years I feel very good that I am leaving the GSMA,” he said. Which is frank, at least.
With shares rising on the back of speculation of a T-Mobile/Sprint merger in the US, Deutsche Telekom CFO Tim Hoettges declined to comment on “rumour and speculation” saying only that the company is “open to all options” and that it is “flexibly positioned.”