All eyes were on the US of A this week as 2014 began in earnest with annual gadget fest CES. The consumer show is famed for transforming Las Vegas into a futuristic wonderland, but this year wasn’t just about robot butlers and TV screens that are larger than your living room; the nation’s operators also used the show as a platform to announce new initiatives, stirring controversy in the process.
DeviceScape CEO Dave Fraser talks to Telecoms.com about the benefits of amenity wifi and why he believes mobile operators need to start thinking about the ‘smartphone experience’ rather than the ‘network experience’.
T-Mobile USA has launched a mobile money service that claims to do away with charges levied on US bank customers for accessing their funds.
The latest version of the Isis mobile wallet service has been launched across the US, following 18 months of testing in Texas and Utah by AT&T, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless.
Czech operators Telefónica Czech Republic and T-Mobile Czech Republic have signed an agreement to share their 2G and 3G networks and technologies.
The first tests in artificial conditions will take place next week, the operators said ina joint statement. The main goal of the tests is to confirm the proposed technological solution.
Industry consultants have attacked the recent Austrian LTE spectrum auction process, claiming that the outcome took too much money out of the market and threatens competition in the Austrian mobile sector. The fact that incumbent Telekom Austria was able to acquire half of all the spectrum made available could be particularly detrimental.
US operator AT&T is to sell approximately 600 of its wireless towers to independent infrastructure management firm Crown Castle, and lease the rights to another 9,100 towers, for a combined up-front payment of $4.85bn. AT&T will lease capacity back from Crown Castle, for a minimum of ten years, for $1,900 per month per site, with annual rent increases of two per cent.
Spain’s Telefónica has confirmed that it is in discussions with Czech investment group PPF surrounding the sale of its Czech operation O2. In a stock market announcement following speculation in the financial press, Telefónica said that it is “exploring strategic options in relation to its stake in Telefónica Czech Republic, including conversations with investor group PPF, with nothing certain whether an agreement will be reached, or final terms and conditions.”
US operator T-Mobile has announced that it is cutting data roaming costs for its customers when they are travelling in more than 100 countries worldwide. The move, announced Wednesday evening by CEO John Legere, builds on the firm’s pricing overhauls in March, when it cut contract lengths and separated the cost of device from the cost of service, lowering monthly rates.
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.
German operator Deutsche Telekom said net profit for the quarter ended June 30 was up ten per cent year on year to €530m.
All of the UK’s mobile network operators have extended their carrier billing offerings by connecting to Gemalto’s direct billing platform, the mobile security solutions provider announced.
The Polish arm of operator group T-Mobile has deployed software to allow it to offer cloud services.
Mobile operators continue to focus on more innovative billing and tariffing models, with US carrier Sprint launching a plan guaranteeing unlimited calls, texts and data for the lifetime of the line of service.
Telekom Austria’s Macedonian subsidiary, Vip Operator, was the first of its peers to confirm the award of one of three LTE frequency blocks on Thursday.
German operator group Deutsche Telekom has submitted what it says is a final offer for US operator MetroPCS. The firm hopes to persuade a number of MetroPCS’s shareholders that voiced objections to the terms of the initial bid.
US operator T-Mobile has revamped its retail offering, abolishing handset subsidies for premium devices in favour of an interest-free scheme that separates the cost of the device from the cost of network service. Annual service contracts have also been withdrawn. The pricing overhaul is expected to be one of a number of announcements made by T-Mobile at a press event later on Tuesday, although the changes have already been made on the operator’s online retail portal.
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved the potential merger between operators T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS.
Mobile operator T-Mobile Austria, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, has moved its contact centre solution to the cloud. The operator has selected Interactive Intelligence’s Customer Interaction Center (CIC) IP communications software suite will support its 500 agents across two sites.
Despite seeing flat revenues year on year, German operator group Deutsche Telekom posted a net loss of €6.9bn ($8.8bn) in 3Q12. The loss was attributable to charges incurred by T-Mobile USA.