Half the population of Africa will be covered with 4G networks by the end of 2018, according to a new study from ABI Research, as the number of base stations deployed across the continent increases at a compound annual growth rate of 40% over the next five years.
Even so, LTE network population coverage will be far from homogenous across the region, says ABI Research.
Kore Telematics has launched an educational program in partnership with modem maker Multi-Tech Systems aimed at supporting M2M players facing a shutdown of 2G networks.
Leading US operators AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) and Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA) have both announced plans to switch off their 2G networks over the next few years and run all voice and data traffic over 3G and 4G infrastructure.
The plans have generated concern among companies that currently use those 2G networks for their M2M services.
Router manufacturer Encore Networks has teamed up with MVNO Wyless to offer what they call a “4G wireless starter kit” for M2M applications.
The two companies say the new kit will allow customers to develop and test industrial M2M applications at no cost before they commit to a long-term wireless data plan.
The package includes an Encore (Chantilly, VA, USA) router, technical support and up to 500 megabytes of free data on the 4G network of Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA) – prepaid for 60 days by Wyless (Lawrence, MA, USA).
UK-based NextG-Com has launched what it claims is the first LTE protocol stack targeting M2M and special applications.
Its ALPs 520 is described as a customizable LTE modem stack that will meet the needs of target niche and special markets such as M2M services, LTE backhaul, relay nodes, routers and gateways.
The technology is suited to a range of M2M applications, says NextG-Com (Staines upon Thames, UK), from low-memory and low-cost M2M applications to high-performance special applications, with or without mobility.
Slovakia’s three existing mobile operators and new entrant Swan have emerged as the winners of new 4G licenses following the conclusion of the country’s multi-band frequency auction.
In a statement published on its website, Slovakia’s telecoms regulator said the auction raised a total of €163.9 million ($224 million) – 15% more than the base price it had set for the various lots on offer.
France's three biggest mobile operators have signed up 1 million customers each to new superfast mobile services, although a hoped for boost in margins from such 4G technology looks unlikely to materialize because of a price war.
Take-up of 4G across Europe, while lagging the United States and Asia, has begun rising in the past year, driven by rocketing demand for mobile data and launches in major markets like Germany, Britain and France.
Chinese equipment vendor ZTE has said it is helping China Mobile to deploy voice over LTE (VoLTE) services on its network in Guangzhou in what it calls an important step to a wider national rollout.
The company says its technology ensures that users do not experience any disruption when switching between 3G and 4G networks for voice calls.
It is using a system known as Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (eSRVCC) to allow seamless handovers between the two network standards.
US telecoms giant AT&T is ramping up its connected-car activities with the launch of a new automotive platform called Drive and the opening of a new connected-car center in Atlanta.
The operator has also announced tie-ups with a number of carmakers at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, including Tesla (Palo Alto, CA, USA), Audi (Ingolstadt, Germany) and Chevrolet (Detroit, MI, USA).
M2M device maker Novatel Wireless says US operator AT&T has approved a number of its products supporting vehicle telematics, telemetry and embedded solutions.
The approvals mean devices made by Novatel Wireless (San Diego, CA, USA) can be used on the AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) network.
These include the manufacturer’s MiFi-powered SA2100, the MT 4100 mobile tracking device, the SA-G+ telemetry platform and the Enabler HS 3002 module.
The penetration of Wi-Fi in embedded car infotainment systems is set to reach nearly 60% in North America by 2019, according to a new study from ABI Research.
As noted by the market-research companies, a number of luxury brands have already launched LTE-based Wi-Fi hotspots solutions in the past year – with US operator AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) announcing several tie-ups at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.