UK operator EE, which was the first player in the market to launch LTE, has announced a £275m investment in its voice offering, including plans to deliver voice over wifi in domestic and enterprise environments and a bid to beef up voice quality in the busiest parts of its network. But the firm has ruled out a launch of Voice over LTE before the end of the year.
The LTE ecosystem gathered recently in Amsterdam to discuss the commercialization and future of mobile networks. As expected, 5G was a hot topic of discussion but there is still considerable confusion in the market regarding all of its aspects: technology, commercial opportunity, application in verticals, and many others.
LTE pricing is changing fast as the market matures. But while some operators are looking to employ elegant new charging models that draw on the sophistication LTE enables, others are still duking it out with least-cost options.
The CTO and CIO of UK LTE pioneer EE talks to Telecoms.com about his experiences of launching the technology, how it has given EE greater leverage in the wider ecosystem, and why CTO and CIO functions belong together.
Living in a 4G world
The most pressing issues facing LTE operators today
Fifth Generation – Now ofﬁcially part of the industry discourse, what does 5G actually mean?
Name your price – How LTE pricing strategies are evolving as markets mature.
Tomorrow the World Phone – Despite the global embrace of LTE, a truly global device remains to be seen.
With 4G only just reaching commercial maturity 5G is still very much something that remains to be defined. But in this glimpse of the future MCI looks at the access and core technologies that may shape the industry of tomorrow.
Taiwanese operator FarEasTone (FET) has become the first operator in the world to launch commercial LTE services in the APT700 band, according to Swedish vendor Ericsson, which supplied the network equipment for the launch. FET won both APT700 and 1800Mhz spectrum in the market’s October 2013 auction.
Infrastructure giant Ericsson forecasts total mobile data traffic growth will increase ten-fold between now and 2019, on the back of smartphone subscription growth that is expected to grow at four times the rate of total mobile subscriptions, and total global LTE subscriptions that are forecasted to grow 13-fold.
UK LTE leader EE has revealed that 4G subscriber sign-ups overtook 3G subscriptions during this month. The firm now has 3.6 million LTE customers and CEO Olaf Swantee, who announced the landmark “tipping point” at a media briefing Wednesday, forecast that the number will grow to six million by the end of this year.
Russian operator MTS and network equipment provider Nokia have announced the completion of what Nokia said was the first Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call to be carried on virtualized telco cloud infrastructure. The test was carried out in MTS’ live network, using Nokia-supplied suite of virtualized core network elements, including IMS, Telephony Application Server (TAS) and Home Subscriber Server (HSS), running in MTS’ private cloud. These were controlled by Nokia’s Cloud Application Manager.
The carrier services arm of Nordic operator TeliaSonera has launched what it claims is the first managed Diameter signalling service, enabling other mobile operators to offer LTE roaming services to their customers. The Diameter Roaming Exchange (DRX) offering from TeliaSonera International Carrier has already been deployed by the operator’s subsidiaries in Sweden, Norway, Spain, Finland and Denmark and will be rolled out to its Eurasian properties in the near future, the firm said.
Algerian incumbent operator Algérie Télécom has launched North Africa’s first LTE network, to boost its broadband offering as well as offer VoLTE services. Swedish vendor Ericsson, which supplied the network, said it would help alleviate problems caused by demand for fixed broadband services among Algérie Télécom’s user base.
European operator group Tele2 has signed a national roaming agreement with Telenor Norway for 2G, 3G and 4G connectivity. The operator said in March that it was evaluating its strategic options in Norway after failing to win any spectrum in the country’s latest frequency auction.
UK operator EE has posted a year on year drop in revenue for the first quarter of 2014 but said that it saw the highest number of new 4G subscribers during the quarter. The firm’s revenue for the quarter fell 3.6 per cent year on year to reach £1.55bn; the operator did not divulge the size of its quarterly profit or loss.
Pakistan’s telecoms regulator the PTA has reacted angrily to a story published by Reuters in which the news agency describes early stages of the country’s current 3G and LTE spectrum auction as “dismal”. In a statement that dismisses the Reuters report as “baseless” and “fabricated”, and raises the prospect of legal action, a PTA spokesperson claimed the auction’s progress is satisfactory.
“The 2nd China Carriers Forum” organized by Genesis Resourcing Consulting China and China Mobile Communication Association, to be held on 20-21 March. Bei Jing gathered together worldwide leading carriers including Orange, Company TTK, Etisalat, Deutschen Telekom, China Mobile, China Telcom, China Unicom etc.
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.
European network vendors Ericsson and Nokia Solutions and Networks have both announced new LTE customers in key Asian markets. Sweden’s Ericsson has won a supply deal with Japan’s KDDI, while NSN has a contract with China Telecom.
US operator AT&T has signed an LTE roaming agreement in the UK with EE. The agreement was announced just days after the US firm inked a similar deal in Canada with Rogers Communications.
Operator group Orange has embarked on a research project with French car manufacturer Renault to test uses of LTE technology in connected cars.