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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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%.