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.
China Mobile looks set to begin offering Apple’s coveted iPhone to its huge customer base, with regulatory authorities reported to have approved the introduction of the device on the network technology used by the operator.
According to a report from Dow Jones Newswires, China’s Telecom Equipment Certification Center has issued a license to Apple (Cupertino, CA, USA) for handsets engineered to work on the TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE standards being used by China Mobile (Beijing, China) to support 3G and 4G services.
AT&T says it has completed the acquisition of spectrum from rival operator Verizon Wireless that will help it speed up the deployment of its high-speed 4G network.
The operator has paid $1.9 billion for a swathe of 700MHz licenses covering some 42 million people in 18 states.
Besides the cash payment, AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) has also transferred to Verizon (New York City, NY, USA) several Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) licenses covering Phoenix (AZ), Los Angeles (CA), Fresno (CA), Albuquerque (NM) and Portland (OR).
French telecoms incumbent Orange is speeding up the pace of its 4G deployment and claims to have reached the important milestone of covering all of Paris with the high-speed network.
By the end of September, the operator says its 4G service will cover 70 “agglomerations” – meaning cities and surrounding urban areas – including more than 500 towns across the country.
Moreover, having originally planned to provide services to 30% of the French population by the end of 2013, Orange (Paris, France) is now aiming for a target of 40%.
UK mobile operator EE has already reached its end-2013 target of signing a million customers up to its 4G service, the operator said in a statement today.
EE (Hatfield, UK) became the first operator in the UK to launch an LTE network at the end of October 2012, after regulatory authorities controversially allowed the company to offer 4G services over spectrum originally provided for use with 2G.
South Korea’s SK Telecom has announced plans to increase the speed and coverage of its 4G service by using spectrum it acquired in August.
The operator picked up another 35MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band and plans to combine this with other holdings to provide LTE services of up to 150Mbps.
In a statement, SK Telecom (Seoul, South Korea) said that all LTE customers using a number of devices – including Samsung’s (Seoul, South Korea) Galaxy S3 and Apple’s (Cupertino, CA, USA) iPhone 5 – would be able to enjoy 100Mbps services without having to pay additional charges.
The number of 3G customers in Africa is set to grow from 114 million in 2013 to 210 million by the end of 2015, according to a new study from ABI Research.
The market-research company says that mobile growth in Africa remains far more robust than in other regions, with the number of mobile subscribers reaching 863 million at the end of June, up 9.3% on the year-earlier figure.
ABI Research reckons the number of mobile customers will continue to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6% between now and 2018, when it will reach 1.25 billion.
Beleaguered mobile broadband operator LightSquared has filed a “reorganization plan” with the US Banktupcy Court in Manhattan that proposes a sale of assets as a means of overcoming its difficulties, reports Dow Jones Newswires.
The operator filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2012, following a government ruling that its spectrum would interfere with global positioning systems, and since then has made concessions on spectrum sharing that it hopes will convince authorities its network can be used.
More than 1,000 device models from over 100 manufacturers have now been developed for use on 4G LTE networks, according to the latest research from the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).
In its latest industry status report, the GSA says a total of 1,064 LTE device models from 111 manufacturers are now available, noting a recent acceleration of activity in this area.
Indeed, since July 2011, some 647 new device models have been announced, according to the GSA, with the number of manufacturers growing by 66% over that period.
Telefonica says it has secured America Movil’s support to make an improved offer for E-Plus, KPN’s Dutch subsidiary, valuing the operator at €8.55 billion ($11.43 billion) compared with the €8.1 billion in its original offer.
The revised bid would see the Spanish operator pay KPN (The Hague, Netherlands) €5 billion in cash for a 62.1% stake in E-Plus instead of the 65% it had previously sought.