Eastern Europe is to gain another LTE player with the news that Mobitel, a Slovenian mobile network operator has deployed a test network based on the next generation mobile technology.
In a move that goes against the grain of US operators introducing tiered or shared data plans, T-Mobile USA has announced the return of an unlimited HSPA+ data plan for its customers after killing off a similar service about 12 months ago.
Ericsson claims to have developed a solution that triples uplink capacity in HSPA networks, allowing operators with a large number of users to offer high uplink data speeds. The news comes hot on the heels of an announcement from Nokia-Siemens Networks, which has claimed it has developed a new solution to double throughput and data speeds for users at the edge of a small cell.
Ericsson has announced that its embedded HSPA mobile broadband chip will be used in upcoming 2011 Panasonic Toughbooks.
T-Mobile USA said it has doubled the headline speeds of its HSPA+ network to 42Mbps in 55 US markets, taking the fight to rival LTE network operators. It will this week release a mobile broadband dongle capable of making use of the increased speeds, the ZTE manufactured T-Mobile Rocket 3.0.
Telstra, the Australian telecommunications company has announced that it has switched on the first base stations in Australia that use LTE technology. The stations are located in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane and the telco said 4G data had been sent over the network for the first time.
Sri Lankan telco Dialog Axiata has launched 4G/LTE network trials at a variety of locations across Colombo. The trials are taking place in parallel with the carrier’s countrywide expansion of HSPA+ services and, according to the carrier, is “the first exposition of an LTE network in the South Asian region.” The pilot networks are running on Huawei kit.
Magyar Telekom, the Hungarian operator and part of the Deutsche Telekom group, has selected Ericsson to overhaul its ageing network.
South African incumbent operator Telkom is to offer ‘free’ mobile YouTube streaming to Blackberry devices in an effort to “Shake up the market.” The fixed-line player’s move into the mobile space took place last year, when it launched its 8ta division. Since then, the unit has pursued an aggressive pricing plan in a market previously known for high tariffs, not least for mobile data packages.
South Africa’s biggest carrier, Vodacom, has announced the launch of its HSPA+ network. Following the upgrade of 1,000 base stations in the country’s major cities, the carrier is now offering speeds of up to 43.2Mbps and says that this latest development clears the path for 86.4Mbps. According to Vodacom, a further 1,000 3G towers will be added to the telco’s current crop of 4,200 this financial year.
T-Mobile USA has announced that it will bring the HTC Sensation 4G handset exclusively to its network later this summer though pricing and exact availability of the handset are yet to be confirmed.
T-Mobile USA customers can now purchase a 4G Mobile Hotspot device enabling up to five Wi-Fi devices to connect to its LTE rivalling ‘4G’ network.
South Africa’s third mobile carrier, Cell C, has announced that it will begin rolling out its 42Mbps HSPA+ service in early April. Following through on plans that were announced in October 2010, the operator is adopting a phased rollout strategy, beginning with Port Elizabeth, where the high speed service will use ZTE modems.
Nokia Siemens Networks and its competitor ZTE have both announced contract wins in the high growth Indian market. NSN said it has secured a deal to supply, deploy and manage an HSPA+ network for Indian carrier Aircel in three of the nation’s telecom circles; Punjab, Kolkata and rest of West Bengal. The win is an extension of the firms’ existing relationship, that sees NSN manage Aircel’s GSM/EDGE network in six Indian circles. Aircel is a subsidiary of Malaysian player Maxis.
Unused capacity in existing HSPA networks will satisfy UK demand for mobile broadband for the next four years, according to research from Informa Telecoms & Media. While there may be a perceived benefit in being first to market with next generation technologies, Informa said that it didn’t believe LTE deployments would make economic sense for UK carriers before 2015.