Long-Term Evolution (LTE)

Zain Bahrain strikes managed-services deal with Ericsson

Middle Eastern telecoms operator Zain Bahrain has signed a managed-services deal with Ericsson as it looks to free up resources for investment in higher-end services and offerings.

The four-year agreement will see the operator transfer responsibility to Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) for handling the day-to-day operations of its network.

Similar deals have been struck in other parts of the world as companies try to improve their operating efficiency and focus efforts on improving their service offerings.

Alcatel-Lucent cuts 10,000 jobs in 'last chance' for turnaround

Reuters

Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent said on Tuesday it would cut 10,000 jobs worldwide, calling it the last chance to turn the company around from heavy losses.

It was the latest step in a plan to focus on high-growth areas ranging from 4G mobile to high-speed broadband, and to lower fixed costs by more than 15 percent, saving a total of 1 billion euros ($1.36 billion).

The product of a 2006 Franco-U.S. merger aimed at creating a global giant, Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) told a European works council meeting it intends to axe nearly one in seven of its employees.

Telecom New Zealand takes 4G fight to Vodafone

Telecom New Zealand has announced plans to launch LTE services at no extra charge to customers, putting pressure on rival Vodafone in the country’s nascent 4G market.

The operator said its service will go live in the cities of Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington on November 12, allowing prepaid and contract customers to take advantage of the higher-speed network technology on existing tariffs.

Spanish telecom firms show peril of pinning hopes on 4G

Reuters

Spanish telecom firms are yielding to the reality of recession by selling new superfast mobile services at no extra charge, offering a cautionary tale for European peers which hope premium 4G prices will help them return to growth.

Many consumers in Spain, where unemployment stands at 26 percent, are unwilling or unable to spend up to 800 euros ($1,100) on a 4G-enabled smartphone and then sign up to a more expensive monthly plan - despite the promise of download speeds that are five times faster than existing 3G services.

Honduras awards America Movil, Millicom 4G licenses

Reuters

Honduras has awarded Mexican telecoms giant America Movil and emerging markets telecoms group Millicom licenses to offer 4G high-speed mobile services, telecoms commission Conatel said on Tuesday.

America Movil (Mexico City, Mexico) operates under the brand Claro in Honduras, while Millicom (Luxembourg) operates under the name Tigo. The licenses cost $12.05 million each.

The companies must start operating 4G networks within 18 months, Conatel said.

(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Czech 4G auction attracts two new entrants

Czech authorities say five companies have registered to participate in a forthcoming auction of 4G spectrum, including all three of the incumbents plus two new entrants.

Entities known as Revolution Mobile and Tasciane are to line up alongside Telefonica (Madrid, Spain), T-Mobile (Bonn, Germany) and Vodafone (Newbury, UK) in the auction of frequencies in the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2.6GHz bands.

Sprint responds to rivals with launch of device-upgrade plan

US operator Sprint is copying rivals by extending its customers the option of upgrading their smartphones every 12 months.

The operator has unveiled a new offer called Sprint One Up that allows customers to change handsets midway through a contract.

The service will be available to customers signed up to two-year contracts on rates starting from $65 a month.

China's Huawei expects $2 billion in 4G revenue this year

Reuters

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd expects to take in more than $2 billion in revenues selling 4G gear this year as global carriers from China to Europe expand their networks, senior company executives said on Wednesday.

Even though 4G LTE (long-term evolution) promises faster video streaming and Internet downloads, the cost of smartphones would need to come down before the technology can enter the global mainstream, they told reporters in a briefing.

Virgin Mobile Business launches 4G services over EE network

The UK’s Virgin Media Business says it has launched a 4G service aimed at private- and public-sector organizations over the network of mobile market leader EE.

A joint venture between Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) and France Telecom (Paris, France), EE (Hatfield, UK) has been investing heavily in the rollout of its 4G network, which now covers about 60% of the UK population, according to Virgin’s statement.

Enabling Roaming Across LTE Networks

Mobile operators should review their connectivity options

The mobile operator community is working to address the increasing need for bandwidth that accompanies the rollout of next generation 4G networks. These Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks pave the way to full IP convergence, which operators see as a key to enabling accelerated time-to-market of new services that can drive customer satisfaction and generate new revenues. 

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