Today's HeadlinesNov. 28, 2011
Open 3G Auction Set for June 2012 in Bangladesh
A national 3G UMTS mobile license auction will be held in June 2012, the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has decided. The head of the watchdog, Zia Ahmed, confirmed that domestic and overseas 3G license bidders will be permitted, adding that if a new entrant wins a 3G concession, the BTRC will consider its application for an additional 2G license. Struggling state-owned cellco Teletalk will be permitted to launch 3G trial services based on W-CDMA/HSPA network technology in the 2100 MHz band from March 26, 2012, with a six-month exclusivity period ending September 2012, but it will also be required to pay for commercial spectrum in the June auction. However, Teletalk will not need to compete, but will instead be guaranteed its UMTS spectrum allocation at a cost equal to the highest bid. Teletalk's four larger GSM rivals are expected to bid for next-generation licenses, namely GrameenPhone, Robi, Banglalink and Airtel, while the market is also home to a CDMA-based mobile operator, CityCell. More
Smart Launches Beta Testing of LTE Mobile Broadband Service in the Philippines
Telecom Paper Share
Philippine mobile operator Smart Communications is making available its LTE mobile broadband service for public beta testing in 30 Metro Manila sites until Feb. 13. Its LTE network is compliant of speeds of up to 76 Mbps. More
Rogers Exploring Potential of LTE in Canada
Montreal Gazette Share
Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed said the newest generation of wireless technology will bring his company onto the television screens of Quebecers. While Rogers won't challenge Quebec's two dominant providers of television service, Videotron and Bell Canada Enterprises, Mohamed said Rogers is working on a way to provide some sort of over-the-top service or a pay-per-view service. It would be available on phones, tablets and televisions, much like Netflix — which is offered on tablets, through gaming consoles like the Nintendo Wii, and on televisions that connect to the Internet, known as Smart TVs. More
French WiMAX Licensees Fail to Meet Buildout Requirements
Seven WiMAX license holders in France are in default of their deployment obligations, according to French telecom regulator Arcep and it appears the operators don't want to heavily deploy a technology they feel has been abandoned by the telecom industry. Three of the seven operators that own the 3.5 GHz spectrum have failed to make any use of their spectrum, while the remaining four have made partial use of their WiMAX frequencies. Arcep could fine the companies but it appears it will give them an order to meet their June 2008 rollout obligations by June 2012. More
ZON Withdraws from 4G Auction
Broadband TV News Share
Portuguese cablenet Zon has said it will not participate in this week's auction for LTE telephony licenses. In a statement, the operator said the regulatory framework for the 4G license process did not provide the conditions for new entrants to establish a feasible business model. "ZON is concerned that the process does not establish the minimum requirements, both technical and commercial, to access national voice and data roaming over existing 3G networks, which is a core driver to enable the launch of a 4th mobile operator," it said. TMN, Vodafone and Optimus are all known to be entering bids in the auction scheduled to begin on Monday. More
U.K. Regulator Sets Out Its Approach to Net Neutrality
U.K. regulator Ofcom last week set out the steps it expects Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to take to ensure customers are aware of how Internet traffic is being managed on their networks. "Traffic management is used by ISPs &nmdash; fixed and mobile — to deal with congestion by slowing down or accelerating the flow of traffic over the Internet. In general it is beneficial, and is used for example to protect safety-critical traffic such as calls to the emergency services. But it can cause concern, if for example it is used by ISPs to target competing services, in a manner which is not visible to consumers," Ofcom said. More
The U.S. Leads the Way in LTE
With the growth in mobile data usage continuing unabated, an increasing number of operators are looking toward 4G LTE technology to fulfill the need for wireless bandwidth, and the U.S. market in particular has seen a rapid take-up of LTE-based services. At the end of September 2011, Verizon Wireless had more than 3.1 million LTE subscribers, representing 60 percent of the worldwide total. According to TeleGeography, there were 39 LTE networks live worldwide by mid-November 2011, more than half of which were launched in 2011. The number of LTE deployments will rise rapidly over the next two to three years, given that about 170 operators already are running trials, or have expressed interest in LTE as they await spectrum auctions. New forecasts from TeleGeography suggest that there will be more than 400 million LTE mobile subscribers by the end of 2016, up from just nine million at the end of 2011. More
Sprint Network Upgrade to LTE Could Lead to End of Unlimited Data
With WCAI member Sprint holding on to its unlimited data plan as a way to differentiate itself from the other large U.S. carriers, there is a question of just how long the nation's third largest carrier will be able to continue to offer this service. Sprint has committed itself to switching from WiMAX to LTE for 4G connectivity. But the carrier said that it still will offer phones using WiMAX 4G through the end of 2012. The main problem is that once Sprint has built out its LTE pipeline, it might have to stop offering the unlimited pricing plans. More
HTC Slump Isn't 'So Serious,' More U.S. LTE Phones in 2012
HTC's CFO Winston Yung in an interview Monday dismissed worries that its steep outlook drop was an indication of long-term trouble. He told Reuters that HTC had had six straight quarters of improving performance. Even the "most conservative" outlook at HTC had 45 million phones shipping in 2012, up from 25 million this year. Yung added that the company has "new LTE phones" for the U.S. coming up as well as its typical "worldwide flagship" devices. While he wouldn't give clues, phones like the Edge or Ville are candidates for U.S. releases. More
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The 4GWE Conference & Expo will focus on how the transition to an all-IP network will affect carriers and other industry stakeholders. 4GWE's conference sessions will weigh in on the implications that this new network infrastructure will have on carriers and their ability to develop strategies and business plans to succeed in this new age of the "anywhere, anytime" mobile broadband network.
Topics include carrier strategies for pricing and costing models, continuity between Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G networks, over-the-top offerings and carriers ability to compete, app store business model, spectrum issues and more. 4GWE has become the industry's premier gathering place for mobile network operators, fixed carriers, handset manufacturers, mobile Internet device manufacturers, application providers and venture capitalists.
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