Almost one third of mobile subscribers in the Netherlands are customers of virtual operators, according to a report published this week by Dutch analyst house Telecom Paper. The total number of MVNO subs in the market has now hit 6.6 million, or 32.8 per cent of the total subscriber base, the analyst said.
Mobile network operators will not be able to roll out 4G LTE services until 2013 at the earliest, due to technical issues, according to UK regulatory body Ofcom, rendering speculation about whether the spectrum auction will be delayed as irrelevant.
International carrier Vodafone has sold 5.5 per cent of Indian operation Vodafone Essar to Indian medical services provider Piramal Healthcare for $640m. Vodafone is required to divest the stake to bring it back below the 74 percent ownership threshold, which is the Indian limit for foreign investment within a company. In July Vodafone acquired Essar’s holding in the operation, taking it beyond that threshold.
euNetworks, a fibre-optic infrastructure provider has announced a network supply deal with Vodafone Germany. As part of the agreement, euNetworks will deliver fibre services to the operator in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Munich. The deal will enable Vodafone Germany to enhance its backhaul for its LTE network, which it is continuing to roll-out since in launch in December 2010 and now reaches more than four million homes. euNetworks owns 13 fibre-based metropolitan networks across Europe and according to a statement the deal will, “enable Vodafone to benefit from euNetworks extended footprint”.
The $6bn Polkomtel sale saga looks set to take an interesting turn this week with reports that last-minute squabbling between shareholders could derail the whole process. When news of the impending sale was first announced, many observers pointed to the fragmented nature of the telco’s ownership as a potential roadblock to achieving a smooth sale. On Tuesday, Reuters reported that sources close to the deal are saying the involvement of state-owned shareholderrs with differing views on how the transaction should go ahead are putting the whole venture at risk.
A research project conducted by Ford has demonstrated that LTE is highly suitable for automotive communications applications. The findings of the CoOperative Card Extended (CoCarEX) research project were demonstrated yesterday in Dusseldorf, Germany and proved that LTE latency is low enough for it to provide time-critical driver assistance functions.
Vodafone’s annual profits received a smartphone boost despite an overall fall in net profits of 7.8 per cent. Despite a £6bn+ impairment charge on operations in its European “PIIGS” markets (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain), a 26.4 per cent boost in mobile data revenue made a significant contribution to its overall profit of £9.5bn for the year.
With the developer community becoming more important than ever, many carriers are faced with the same issue as consumers taking their first plunge into the world of apps – how to find the gems of quality amid the worthless stones. Vodafone’s answer is an annual competition, Mobile Clicks, which aims to identify and develop the best, most innovative mobile internet start ups. Telecoms.com caught up with Hemant Madan, Vodafone’s head of developer marketing and the company’s Android app store, ahead of this year’s event.
Vodafone Germany has become the latest European LTE cheerleader, having accomplished the impressive feat of launching LTE service on December 1, 2010, a mere seven months after acquiring the relevant spectrum under auction. Ahead of his appearance as one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming LTE World Summit 2011, Hartmut Kremling, Vodafone Germany’s chief technology officer talked to Telecoms.com about the deployment.
Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) accounted for the lion’s share of complaints to the country’s telecoms ombudsman in the last quarter. On the day the company was due to hold its annual general meeting, the ombudsman recorded 14,670 customer complaints about VHA between January and March this year – an increase of 96 per cent over the previous quarter.
Vodafone Hutchinson Australia has announced that next week it will start its programme to upgrade over 5,800 base stations across the country, with a view to bringing LTE services online later this year.
The second and third-placed mobile operators in the Irish market, incumbent Eircom and Telefonica’s O2, have announced that they are to share networks in a deal that Eircom described as the first of its kind in Ireland. Eircom said that the deal will “result in an unrivalled mobile experience for customers” as the two carriers seek to meet growing demand for high bandwidth services.
International operator Vodafone has announced that it is to sell its 44 per cent stake in French carrier SFR to its partner in the operation, Vivendi, for €7.95bn. Vivendi will pay €7.75bn in cash, with a final dividend from SFR of €200m paid on completion of the deal. The move is the latest in a planned series of divestments as Vodafone exits markets in which it does not have majority ownership.
O2 has staked its claim to be the first UK operator to switch on a 3G network over 900MHz spectrum in London. Taking advantage of recent licensing changes, this latest rollout in London follows on the heels of similar deployments in Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester; the London deployment is expected to deliver a 50 per cent increase in capacity and a 30 per cent increase in speed.
The UK’s smallest operator, 3UK, is urging Ofcom to impose caps on spectrum allocation below 1GHz of bandwidth in order to prevent it from being squeezed out of the market.