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Carta Blanco: NFV at Telefónica

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Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is set to become one of the defining trends of the era in the mobile network. Spanish incumbent Telefónica is the first operator to lay out its approach to NFV and its plans are both detailed and aggressive. Mike Hibberd met with Global CTO Enrique Blanco ahead of Telefónica’s NFV announcement, to learn of the changes in store.

Telefónica and E-Plus merger could result in spectrum forfeit

Telefonica's acquisition of Dutch operator KPN’s German subsidiary E-Plus could result in the firms being forced to give up some of their spectrum holding

German telecoms regulator the Bundesnetzagentur has warned Spanish operator group Telefónica that its acquisition of KPN’s German subsidiary E-Plus could see the firms relinquish some spectrum.

Telefónica CCDO joins chorus calling for European digital improvements

Eduardo Navarro, chief commercial digital officer at Telefónica

The chief commercial digital officer of Spanish incumbent telco, Eduardo Navarro, Telefónica has used a speech at the EC Innovation Convention in Brussels to warn that Europe needs to redouble its efforts to move to the forefront of the global digital sector.

GSMA’s Bouverot sends operator-backed open letter to Kroes calling for European reform

Anne Bouverot, director general, GSMA

The director general of the GSMA, Anne Bouverot, has sent an open letter to EC Commissioner Neelie Kroes calling for policy reform that will encourage investment in Europe’s telecoms sector. Bouverot secured endorsements from the CEOs of ten European operators with a combined European mobile customer base of almost three quarters of a billion subscriptions, according to data from Informa’s World Cellular Investors service.

Shifting Gear

Michael Combes, incoming CEO of Alcatel-Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes spoke to a handful of press during Mobile World Congress about the various power struggles within the telecoms industry, key technological trends like NFV and his belief that ALU has a portfolio that truly matches operator demands “for the first time ever”.

Telefónica unveils comprehensive virtualization plans

Enrique Blanco, global CTO, Telefónica

Spanish multi-national operator Telefónica has unveiled a wide-reaching Network Functions Virtualization programme that it says will see it have more than 30 per cent of new infrastructure virtualized by 2016. The initiative, which will launch in June this year and has been named Unica (which is Spanish for ‘unique’), provides a framework for Telefónica’s “global, end-to-end virtualisation deployment,” the firm said.

Sprint taps Pogoplug for cloud storage and backup

Sprint has tapped cloud storage vendor Pogoplug to offer cloud storage and backup to its mobile cutomers

US telco Sprint announced a partnership this week with cloud storage service provider Pogoplug that will see Sprint offer its customers free cloud storage as part of their mobile services package.

UK spectrum crunch likely to lead to “contentious” solutions

O2 will launch LTE services at the end of August 2013

The UK is heading will face a serious spectrum shortage by the end of the decade if 300MHz of cellular spectrum and 350MHz of wifi spectrum are not made available. The warning came this week from Real Wireless, a consultancy that worked with UK regulator Ofcom on this year’s LTE spectrum auctions.

Telefónica taps Comarch for OSS project, opens Singapore office

Telefónica's mobile advertising play is now group wide

Spanish operator Telefónica has awarded Polish B/OSS vendor Comarch a contract to supply network planning and optimisation products and services to across the operator’s European footprint. It is the vendor’s first multinational deal with Telefónica and builds on a previous implementation with Telefónica Deutschland, Comarch said.

Telefónica confirms Czech exit with sale to PPF

Telefónica is looking to exit non core markets to help reduce its debt.

Spain’s Telefónica has confirmed that it is to exit the Czech and Slovak Republics through the sale of its holdings in the markets to Czech investment group PPF. Telefónica said in October that it was exploring its options in the Czech Republic, as part of a wider process of withdrawal from non-core markets.

Telefónica confirms talks to offload Czech operation

The capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague

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.”

Floppy disks, car phones and beepers

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Remember having to hang up the land line to use the internet? Or before that, when hours of entertainment could be derived from a simple game of Pong? Typewriters, fax machines, floppy disks, car phones and beepers were all the rage at some point in time. The Informer, like Pepperidge Farm, remembers.

Telefonica invests in customer chat solution

Telefonica has implemented a chat application to power its customer service and support its operations in Spain

Operator group Telefonica has implemented a chat application to power its customer service and to support its operations in Spain. The group has invested in software provider Moxie Software’s Chat Spaces solution as it looks to engage customers across multiple communication channels.

O2 UK yet to be granted Apple LTE approval

O2 will not be able to offer LTE services on the iPhone 5s or 5c at launch later this month

Apple has yet to grant O2 UK approval to offer its new 5s and 5c iPhone models on the operator’s newly launched LTE network. While O2 has denied failing any of Apple’s network approval tests, a spokesman confirmed that the tests have not yet been passed.

Telefonica Germany extends coverage with femtocells

Telefonica will use Alcatel-Lucent femtocells in Germany

Operator group Telefónica will deploy femtocells in Germany to extend its network coverage in areas where buildings’ walls can degrade the quality of a mobile signal or in areas far from a macro cell tower.

China Telecom launches OTT messaging app

China Telecom has launched its own proprietary social instant messaging application for smart phones

The operator push to reclaim status in messaging services has received impetus in China where China Telecom has launched its own proprietary instant messaging application dubbed YiChat.

Czech regulator reschedules LTE auction

Prague, Czech Republic

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.

Telefonica signs deal with office software provider

Operator group Telefonica has signed a deal with productivity tool provider Evernote to offer Vivo subscribers in Brazil a year’s subscription to its premium package.

O2UK announces 4G pricing

O2 has released pricing details for its 4G service due to launch on August 29, 2013

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.

Telefónica wins UK smart meter deal

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Telefónica’s UK arm has been selected as the connectivity provider for the UK’s Smart Meter Implementation Programme in two of the project’s three regions. The operator will provide service in the Central and Southern regions for the programme, which will see the deployment of 53 million connected gas and electricity meters across the UK by 2020.

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