Earlier this month, I attended the Spectrum Management Forum 2012 in Munich and was interested to hear several presenters criticise the Combinatorial Clock Auction (CCA) format. The CCA format which has clock and supplementary rounds where bidders bid on indivisible packages of spectrum and where prices paid are determined by a second price rule has in the last few years found increasing favour by many governments for spectrum auctions. Under the second price rule, the price a winner of a particular package pays for its spectrum is determined entirely by competitors’ bids.
As emerging markets deploy and expand their LTE networks, national regulators are gravitating towards the 700MHz band to provide spectrum harmonisation internationally.
It took a while, but the spectrum auction in the Netherlands is finally over. The mobile operators are essentially in a position to fully roll out 4G services, and as the regulator had desired, a fourth entrant is poised to come in and shake things up. But it’s worth remembering the old saying that the more things change, the more they stay the same: increasing competition by adding a fourth operator may well result in one of the existing players exiting the market.
The ability to deliver a superior experience for mobile video will be key to Clearwire’s success, its CTO John Saw has said. Speaking at the LTE North America conference, Saw described video as “the closest thing for a potential killer app for 4G”, due to viewing via LTE being quantitatively better than 3G.
UK regulator Ofcom has released its regulations and schedule for the auction of 800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum to be used for LTE services. The regulator has set a reserve price of £1.3bn for all available spectrum, including 2x15MHz of 1800MHz spectrum that Everything Everywhere is required to divest as part of the deal that saw it cleared to launch LTE at 1800MHz in October.
North American carrier US Cellular has announced that it will be bringing LTE to 30 new markets from Monday 5 November 2012.
The chief executive of Latin American telecoms giant America Mobil has said that he believes that the company will not face exclusion from an upcoming bidding round for LTE spectrum in Colombia.
Technology Development Group, US Cellular: “The wireless industry is one of the most innovative in the world”
Erik Neitzel, DMTS, Technology, Development Group, US Cellular is speaking in the Spectrum Management track on Day Two of the LTE North America conference 2012, the premier networking event for the 4G LTE community, taking place on the 14-15th November 2012 in Dallas, Texas, the telecoms hub of the US. Ahead of the show, we speak with him about what US Cellular has been up to with regard to LTE and its plans for the future.
Indonesia’s biggest mobile operator by some margin, Telkomsel, has been declared bankrupt on a technicality, throwing an auction for additional 3G spectrum into disarray.
Mobile operator Vodafone has lambasted UK regulator Ofcom for its decision to allow Everything Everywhere to launch LTE services at 1800MHz, ahead of the LTE spectrum auction process. In a statement attributed to a Vodafone UK spokesperson the operator dismissed Ofcom’s ruling as “careless” and “bizarre”, adding that the regulator was “all that stands in the way” of a competitive LTE landscape for the UK.
Back in April I looked at some of the issues surrounding Everything Everywhere’s proposal to launch LTE services over its existing 1800MHz spectrum, noting that all parties, regulator and operators, have shot themselves in the foot by delaying the upcoming 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum auction. With O2 and Vodafone complaining about state aid on the one hand, and Ofcom issuing consultation after consultation on the other, it was beginning to look as if the UK might never get 4G.
The UK is already seen as Europe’s most complex and fragmented telecoms market and it now looks set to add another unwanted title to its repertoire as that of Europe’s 4G laggard. Europe’s telecoms markets are already dividing into two camps of 4G “haves” and “have-nots” and the UK lies firmly stuck in the latter. The auction proposal set out this week by Ofcom means that the UK will not see 4G LTE services go live until later in 2013 at the earliest, putting UK mobile consumers almost four years behind the world’s leading 4G markets.
UK regulator Ofcom has unveiled plans for the country’s 4G spectrum auction. The UK has lagged other leading markets and Ofcom has revealed that spectrum will be allocated in 2013. Ofcom has set aside spectrum intended to guarantee the presence of four LTE operators in the UK market.
Philip Marnick, CTO of UK Broadband is speaking at the LTE World Summit, taking place on the 23-24 May 2012 CCIB, Barcelona, Spain. UKB will be the first operator to launch a commercial LTE service in the UK. Ahead of the conference Telecoms.com speaks to him about why UK Broadband’s extensive spectrum holdings and wholesale model will make it significant player in the UK LTE market.
It’s pretty safe to say that if you get three mobile operators in a room to talk about spectrum auctions, they won’t agree about much. But what they are likely to agree on is that it’s the regulator’s fault, whatever it is.
Europe will soon gain another LTE network after 3 Italia announced that it has signed an agreement with Ericsson that will see the vendor upgrade the operator’s network to LTE offering speeds up to a theoretical limit of 100Mbps. The operator said the upgrade would be ready for a commercial launch in 2012, but did not give an exact time frame.
India’s 2G spectrum scandal has cast a cloud over the country’s telecoms sector so dark that former Telecoms minister Andimuthu Raja is said to feel safer in prison than he does walking down the street. He has been sat in a cell for over a year, refusing to post bail and stands accused of taking bribes to sell spectrum to firms at discounted rates.
Verizon Wireless has announced that it will be acquiring Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum from various firms in the US to boost its LTE capabilities. The announcements come at a time when the US is facing a spectrum shortage, and rival AT&T is awaiting the outcome of its proposed merger with T-Mobile USA, which if blocked, will leave it needing more spectrum for its own operations.
India’s state-owned operator BSNL has offered to hand back its Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum for 17 states to the government , and is seeking a $1.67bn refund. The firm wants to hand spectrum back to the goevrnment after having made a loss of $1.2bn over the past 12 months, primarily due to high staff cost and payments made for acquiring 3G and BWA spectrum.
The incumbent operator in the Philippines has offered to give up some of its excess 3G spectrum, in an effort to clear the way for regulatory approval of the acquisition of a rival.