South Korean operator SK Telecom has announced two deals with European kit vendors as it looks to expand and develop its network services. The operator has expanded its LTE-Advanced service across South Korea using equipment supplied by Ericsson and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with German radio test and measurement equipment manufacturer Rohde & Schwarz to develop next-generation antenna technologies.
With Vodafone and Telefónica-owned O2 launching their LTE services today, long awaited competition in the UK LTE market can now begin. Meanwhile the UK’s two other operators, 3UK and EE, piped up to remind the market of their own plans and achievements.
Half of China Mobile’s LTE infrastructure contracts have been won by local suppliers Huawei and ZTE, according to a report from Reuters that cites industry sources. The report suggests that Ericsson, Alcatel Lucent and NSN have picked up around ten per cent of the business each with their Chinese competitors bagging 25 per cent apiece. The combined value of China Mobile’s LTE contracts is $3.2bn, Reuters said.
UK LTE pioneer EE has revealed that use of public and private wifi connections is dropping among its LTE subscription base. In a survey of its LTE customer base, EE found that 43 per cent were using “fewer or no public wifi hotspots” since moving to the technology.
Ethiopia’s government has signed a $1.6bn deal with Chinese vendors ZTE and Huawei, in a bid to expand mobile phone infrastructure and introduce 4G broadband to the capital Addis Ababa. The deal will also see the rollout of a 3G service across the rest of the country.
The Czech Telecommunications Office (CTU) has announced its LTE auction will begin mid November 2013. The Czech regulator abandoned its efforts to hold the auction in March this year, when bids spiralled out of control.
Mobile operator O2, the UK arm of Spanish group Telefonica, has announced pricing details for its LTE services, which are due to be launched later this month. The operator’s prices undercut those of rival EE’s, which launched LTE services late October 2012. However, the data usage limits quoted in the price plans are lower than its rival.
Russian operator Megafon has announced that it is to acquire domestic competitor Scartel, which operates an LTE network under the Yota brand, for $1.18bn. TeliaSonera, which holds 25.2 per cent of Scartel described the deal as “strategically attractive and value enhancing” for Megafon. Scartel is currently owned by Garsdale, a holding company of Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who also controls more than 50 per cent of Megafon.
Operator group Vodafone has announced that it will launch 4G services in the UK later this month. The service will be live in London as of August 29, the same date that rival O2 plans to switch its LTE network on. Twelve further cities will be connected to the network by the end of the year, the operator added.
The UK arm of Telefonica, O2, has announced that it will launch LTE services later this month. The network will be switched on in London, Leeds and Bradford on 29th August.
Jayhun Mollazade is CEO of WiMAX carrier AzQtel, which goes to market in Azerbaijan with the brand ‘Sazz’. He is speaking about the transition from WiMAX to LTE on Day One of the LTE Asia conference, taking place on the 18 September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore.
The UK’s largest mobile network and only LTE operator, EE, has reported a 4.4 per cent drop in service revenue for the second quarter year on year, to £1.42bn. But the firm’s EBITDA margin for the first half of 2013 rose 2.6 per cent year on year to 22.9 per cent. The firm attributed its top line drop to regulatory measures affecting mobile termination rates and roaming revenues, without which service revenue would have been flat year on year for the second quarter, it said.
The European Commission has allowed nine Member States further postponements to their obligation to make 800MHz spectrum available for mobile broadband use. All states originally agreed to meet a January 2013 deadline but a number have yet to comply. There were 14 requests for further postponements, accounting for half of all Member States.
The story of LTE may be all about data, but voice remains a lucrative, core service for mobile operators. Bringing voice services to LTE is far from straightforward, with numerous choices to be made and challenges faced.
The UK’s first LTE operator, EE, has announced the availability of shared pricing plans for its LTE customers. The plans, which will become available July 17th, were announced as EE switched on what it is calling “double speed LTE”.
Dino Flore was elected to the chair of 3GPP’s TSG RAN in February 2013. A director of technical standards at Qualcomm, Flore succeeded NTT DoCoMo’s Takehiro Nakamura in May and chaired his fi rst RAN Plenary in June this year. Here he talks about the challenges of his new role.
América Móvil-owned operator Claro Chile has launched the country’s first commercial LTE services. The launch follows trials launched in November 2012. The operator conducted the first LTE session on its network in March this year.
The only way to get the optimal efficiency out of spectrum assets is to use as much of them as possible for LTE services, according to Paul Ceely, head of network strategy at EE, the first operator in the UK market to launch LTE.
Once used primarily to restrict subscribers who had exceeded usage thresholds, policy has evolved into a key enabler for data service monetisation, says David Sharpley, Vice President and General Manager of the Data Experience Business Unit at Amdocs.
European operator VimpelCom has launched LTE services in Moscow. The firm’s LTE FDD services are now accessible within the central Sadovoye Ring area of the city. The operator expects LTE services to be available throughout the Russian capital by the end of 2013.