This might not be the year the world ends, as some say the Mayans prophesized, but it may seem like it for a telecommunications industry under pressure to meet booming demand for Internet resources.
By some projections, the explosion in adoption of Internet connected devices such as laptops, tablets, smart phones, blue ray players and Internet TVs could strain network bandwidth beyond capacity as soon as this year, causing cases of services loss as available access to network bandwidth becomes completely consumed by peak demand.
Mobile World Congress kicks off on Monday in Barcelona, which means major news will be coming from the telecommunications industry, specifically in regards to LTE. As LTE networks are being built out across the world new technology and services are being created.
This year, London will host the Summer Olympic Games. England last hosted the games in 1948, when mobile phones weren’t even invented. This year, the city and venues must prepare to handle the modern day technological issue of wireless communications. There will be a dramatic influx in mobile data and voice traffic by the spectators who have purchased almost 8 million tickets for the 302 events that will take place in London.
LightSquared Inc., the wireless company backed by hedge fund manager Philip Falcone, said on Tuesday it plans to lay off nearly half of its employees to save money.
LightSquared (Reston, Va., USA) said it will cut 45% of its 330-employee workforce and called the planned move a "prudent and necessary cost savings measure to ensure the long-term success of the company."
On Monday, LightSquared failed to pay $56 million it owed to a British satellite partner Inmarsat.
Swedish telecoms gear maker Ericsson is to buy privately-held WiFi technology firm BelAir Networks as part of its plan to boost its mobile broadband offering. Demand for wireless connectivity has boomed in the last couple of years with the proliferation of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
BelAir (Ontario, Canada), which produces indoor and outdoor WiFi systems for telecoms operators that allow people to surf the Internet without a physical coupling to a network, has 120 staff.
On Friday, market research firm Infonetics Research released a new report stating that spending on optical gear grew 8% globally in the fourth quarter of 2011 (4Q11) over the previous quarter.
France Telecom said its network was being stressed by a rapid growth in traffic brought on by its hosting of new mobile entrant Iliad and vowed to protect its clients from service interruptions, its CEO told magazine Le Point.
The two telecom companies met on Tuesday to discuss the roaming contract under which France Telecom (Paris) carries Iliad's (paris) mobile traffic in areas where the new operator has not yet built its own network.
As telecom operators become increasingly involved in machine-to-machine (M2M) markets, major decisions are going to have to be made about the viability of 2G networks.
Vodafone Group, the world's largest mobile operator by revenue, is considering a bid for Britain's Cable & Wireless Worldwide, whose fixed-line network could boost bandwidth for its Internet-hungry customers.
"Vodafone regularly reviews opportunities in the sector and confirms that it is in the very early stages of evaluating the merits of a potential offer for CWW," the company said on Monday.
Vodafone has abandoned plans to merge its operations in Greece with Wind Hellas, throwing into doubt consolidation elsewhere in Europe. In August, Vodafone announced that it was exploring a potential deal with Wind in a move that would have reduced the overall market from three players to two.