Belgian telecoms companies Belgacom and Mobistar and Dutch KPN's BASE said on Tuesday they bought licences to operate super-fast 4G mobile services in Belgium for 120 million euros ($161.25 million) each.
The 20-year licences for 800 Megahertz (MHz) spectrum were auctioned by the Belgian telecoms regulator, which had already said at the start of October that there were three bidders for three licences.
EE has become the first of the UK’s mobile operators to launch services based on Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A), the next-generation standard that represents an evolution of the 4G LTE technology now taking off in the UK market.
The network is being rolled out across what is known as London Tech City in the east of the capital and will provide connection speeds of up to 300Mbps, according to EE.
Services are not, however, available on a commercial basis.
Huawei Technologies Co will invest at least $600 million in 5G research over the next four years, the Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer said in a statement on Wednesday.
Nokia Siemens Networks says it has expanded the scope of its research partnership with China Mobile to cover 5G as well as other next-generation technologies.
The two companies first teamed up in 2010 to collaborate in the area of mobile broadband, and the extension of their agreement could spur China Mobile’s (Beijing, China) efforts to popularize the TD-LTE variant of 4G, which it is now rolling out across China.
China Mobile has put an advert for the faster 4G mobile network on its website, raising expectations that a long-awaited distribution deal between the world's largest mobile carrier and Apple Inc may be announced as early as next week.
China Mobile's (Beijing, China) website, on its main page, displayed a cartoon tornado alongside the words "the invasion of 4G" and the dates "November 9-11".
The banner links to a page showing two images of smartphones that resemble iPhones, with the caption: "Special discounts for new handsets? The newest? The biggest discounts?"
Telecom New Zealand and Vodafone have picked up the majority of management rights to the country's 700 megahertz spectrum as competition heats up to bring high-speed 4G broadband services to users in rural areas.
Telecom (Auckland, New Zealand), the country's largest telecom company, and Vodafone (Auckland, New Zealand) successfully bid on the maximum three lots of 2x15 megahertz lots for NZ$66 million ($54.55 million) each, while mobile phone operator 2degrees secured two lots of 2x10 MHz bandwidth.
Croatian incumbent Hrvatski Telekom has filed an application to participate in an auction of 800MHz airwaves that regulatory authorities failed to sell a year ago.
The operator – controlled by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom (Bonn) – was one of two companies to win a 2x10MHz block of 800MHz spectrum during an auction in October 2012, paying €20 million ($27.6 million) for its license.
Rival operator Vipnet, the other license winner, also paid €20 million for its concession, but the remaining 2x10MHz block remained unsold at the auction’s conclusion.
Austria's telecoms watchdog will hold a hearing of complaints by operators about the 2 billion euro ($2.8 billion) auction for fourth-generation frequencies, which was criticized for being too expensive.
The 4G auction in Europe's most price-competitive telecoms market raised four times the minimum set by the regulator and was the most expensive in Europe per head of population.
French telecoms incumbent Orange has reported a slump in earnings and revenues for the three months ending September, with regulation and competition weighing heavily on the operator in its economically challenged European heartlands.
The operator witnessed a 4% drop in revenues, to €10.16 billion ($14 billion), and saw restated earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fall by 7%, to €3.37 billion, in its third quarter.
Telekom Austria may have to risk its credit rating, which it said earlier this year was its top priority, to raise debt for a costly frequency auction, its chief executive said.
The company said late on Monday it would pay 1.03 billion euros ($1.41 billion) to buy half the spectrum on offer in an auction for Austrian fourth-generation frequencies, almost three times as much as most analysts had expected.