Beeline Uzbekistan Raises Credit for Services

Mobile operator Beeline Uzbekistan plans to raise the sum of credit for services offered to subscribers. The maximum credit will total USD 5 from 21 July. The payment for the single credit is USD 0.20.

Megacom offers a la carte Inside packages

Megacom has introduced the Inside tariff options, allowing customers to construct their own service package from a range of voice, mobile internet and SMS/MMS bundles. Traffic starts from KGS 0.26 per MB under the Inside service. The operator has also expanded its retail chain, opening new shops in Nookat and At-Bashy.


Tele2 Kazakhstan offers daily on-net unlimited

Tele2 Kazakhstan has introduced the unlimited daily on-net option for subscribers of its ‘Call Cheaper’ tariff. The option is offered for KZT 19 monthly. Calls to other Kazakhstan networks cost KZT 6 per minute. The option can be activated over the USSD menu or online.

Alcatel-Lucent Accredited As Supplier of Small Cells to Vodafone

Alcatel Lucent  has been selected by Vodafone Group as a Supplier of Reference for LTE metro cells with integrated Wi-Fi capability.

However the deal is simply a pre-approval, and no actual supply contracts have been agreed yet. As a supplier of reference, Alcatel-Lucent can bid on business in all Vodafone countries with its Metro Cell Outdoor small cell products.

Luis Martinez Amago, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s EMEA region, said:

Vodafone Group is taking a leadership role with the deployment of small cells throughout their global properties and by serving as an industry reference with the deployment of a multi-vendor heterogeneous architecture. In being named a Supplier of Reference, Vodafone has given Alcatel-Lucent a strong endorsement that our small cells will help them to deliver high quality service to their customers.”

Zimbabwe Sets Revenue Target for LTE Spectrum Auction

Zimbabwe’s government is looking to auction off 4G licenses later this year, with the aim of raising at least USD 173 million from the mobile networks. It has set the target to be raised as the cost of the digital migration programme which will see the spectrum released by the television broadcasters. That project is due to be completed by next June.

The government’s Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said that raising the USD 173 million cost of the digital migration was “not difficult” if the government auctioned off the spectrum to the mobile networks.

The mobile networks are already testing LTE based services, and Econet Wireless ran a small test network for a UN Conference held last year on the border with Zambia.

At the time, the company’s CEO said that work is already in progress to launch 4G in the major cities, including Harare.

Rival network, NetOne has also signed a network upgrade contract with Huawei, which also aims to build LTE cell towers.

New Zealand’s 2degrees’s Launches 4G Network

New Zealand based mobile network operator, 2degrees says that it has switched on its LTE network, with coverage currently available in Auckland.

2degrees CEO Stewart Sherriff said that the launch of 4G is slightly ahead of schedule in Auckland.

Our trial showcased 4G at its finest, recording some outstanding download and upload speeds. Whilst it will be difficult to maintain these speeds as more customers connect to the network, we believe our network is ready and up there with the world’s best performing 4G networks.”

Access to 2degrees’ 4G network will be at no additional cost and will operate with all existing 2degrees customer’s current data allocations.

The network currently covers the capital, with coverage planned in Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch – by the end of the year with rollout to provincial areas beginning in 2015.

Unicom to Roll out Hybrid TD-LTE/FD-LTE Networks in 16 Cities

China Unicom has received approval from regulator the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) to conduct trials of hybrid Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE)/Frequency Division (FD)-LTE networks in 16 cities. According to a press release from the cellco, the hybrid platform will be rolled out in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Xi’an, Changsha, Jinan, Hangzhou, Shenyang, Harbin, Fuzhou, Nanjing and Shijiazhuang. The statement follows hot on the heels of a similar announcement from China Telecom, which has been granted approval to test FD-LTE technology. Both operators have their eyes on the FD standard as their main technology for 4G and have been unable to compete effectively with market leader China Mobile, which has fully embraced the home-grown TD-LTE standard preferred by MIIT. TD-LTE licenses were handed out in late 2013, and full FD-LTE concessions are not expected until early 2015.

Brazil 4G Auction No Later Than ‘Early September’, Minister Says

Brazil’s communications minister Paulo Bernardo said that he expects this year’s planned auction of 700MHz band 4G mobile licenses to go ahead by ‘the end of August or the first week of September,’ remaining in line with the government’s previous rough schedule of August. The minister elaborated that the auction plan was last week passed to the state auditor, Tribunal de Contas da Uniao (TCU), which is expected to take 30 days to review and approve the text. If there are no objections to the plan, the preparations for the auction should take another month, he added. Mr. Bernardo downplayed concerns about possible delays to the timetable, particularly the possibility of the auction being delayed until after Brazil’s elections (scheduled for this October), saying that ‘theoretically this can happen because we cannot set a deadline for TCU. But the trend is that the auction will happen before the election.’ Bernardo was speaking at an international investor presentation given by the ministry and Brazilian telecoms regulator Anatel at the Brazilian Embassy in London, following a similar presentation in New York, as Brazil aims to attract fresh foreign investment.

AzQtel Widens WiMAX Footprint

Azeri WiMAX operator AzQtel, which provides services under the SAZZ brand, has expanded its network to a number of new settlements and municipalities in and around the capital Baku and the Absheron Peninsula. WiMAX services are now available in a number of locations, including Fatmayi, Gala, Novkhani, Mardakan, Shuvalan, Buzovna, Govsani, Sahil, Binagadi, Nardaran, Shagan, Bilgah, Surakhani, Pirshagi, Bina, Zagulba and Goradil. Expansion to southern areas of the country, including Lerik, is planned in the near future. AzQtel, which operates a 802.16e mobile WiMAX network in the 3.5GHz band, launched commercial broadband internet services in Baku in September 2008 over a network supplied by US-based Cisco. 

MTS Returns to Uzbekistan

The Government of Uzbekistan adopted decision on resumption of operations of Russian mobile operator MTS in Uzbekistan, according to State Committee for Communication, Information and Telecommunication Technologies of Uzbekistan.

The Government adopted a resolution, which says that the State Committee for Communication, Information and Telecommunication Technologies of Uzbekistan and MTS will create joint venture, which will work under MTS brand. The stake of the sides in the venture was not disclosed.

Earlier, head of AFK Systema (owner of MTS) Vladimir Yevtushenkov said the Russian side will control the venture.

In July 2012, the wholly-owned subsidiary of MTS, Uzdunrobita, had its license withdrawn initially for 10 days and then permanently due to repeated and systematic major violations, with the way their cellular network was designed and noncompliance with the instructions of the controlling body. Later the license was withdrawn and local economic court supported the withdrawal.

Several employees of Uzdunrobita were fined and sentenced for correctional works for schemes, created for receiving illegal income. Assets of the company were handed over to the government, but the court abolished decision and said the operator should pay US$600 million of fines and penalties.

Tashkent Economic Court recognized FE LLC Uzdunrobita, a 100% subsidiary of Russia’s MTS in Uzbekistan, as bankrupt on 22 April 2013.

MTS said the claims against Uzdunrobita are unfounded. In May 2013, it was announced that MTS submitted suit against Uzbekistan to ICSID and the case was accepted by the Center. The case was suspended as the sides reached agreement.

In December 2013, assets of Uzdunrobita were handed over to balance of Uzbektelecom, national communication operator of Uzbekistan, without right to use them.

Currently, Unitel (subsidiary of Vimpelcom), Coscom (subsidiary of TeliaSonera), Rubicon Wireless Communications (RWC, Perfectum Mobile brand) and Uzbektelecom Mobile (branch of Uzbektelecom) operate in mobile communication market of Uzbekistan.


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