UKE to auction 1800MHz ‘as soon as possible’

Polish telecoms regulator the Office of Electronic Communication (UKE) has completed the consultation stage for its planned auction of spectrum in the 1800MHz band.

The watchdog received opinions from 21 industry players, commenting on the conditions for participation, bidding amounts and assessment of bids. The tender itself will take 60 days, with the concessions valid for 10-15 years. The regulator added that whilst it would auction the 1800MHz spectrum as soon as possible, 800MHz and 2600MHz frequencies would not be offered up until 2013.


PTCL launches 3G Evo Nitro offer, opens shop in Karachi

Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) has launched a 3G Evo Nitro offer and opened another shop in Karachi. The 3G Evo Nitro offer comes with a USB modem with three months of free internet for PKR 6,000. PTCL also opened a new One-Stop Shop in Karachi, in Clifton. The operator has 191 One-Stop Shops.


Etisalat launches 3.75G services in Herat

Mobile operator Etisalat Afghanistan has expanded its 3.5G services to Herat. In June, the operator launched the service in Jalalabad.




Poland ready to launch 1,800 MHz tender

Polish regulator UKE plans to launch a tender for five lots in the 1,800 MHz band within a few days, reports The UKE announced its response to stakeholder input on a consultation about the tender. The license validity will be prolonged from 10 to 15 years, and the period for submitting applications will be at least 60 days. Winners will be required to start using the frequencies no later than 12 months from obtaining the licenses.

Huawei launches E3231 mobile broadband dongle with Three

Huawei has launched its E3231 mobile broadband dongle with Three delivering HSPA+ data speeds for PCs, laptops.

The E3231 offers affordable, fast, safe data connectivity and is capable of download speeds up to 21.1 Mbps and uploads up to 5.76 Mbps, according to Huawei. The price comes in at £7.87 a month on an 18 month contract or alternatively on pay as you go for £29.

Mark Mitchinson executive vice president of Huawei UK said: “Huawei is committed to delivering innovative and easy-to-use data products across all categories – smartphones, mobile broadband and home devices.”

He further added “We have a long and productive relationship with Three. The new Huawei E3231 will enable consumers to take even greater advantage of its fast data network in the home and on-the-go.”

The E3231 will be available from Three’s direct retail channels, including shops, website and telesales. It will also be available via Three from retailers John Lewis, PC World, Currys and Argos.

The E3231 is available in black. Like the recently-launched Huawei E5331 Value MiFi, also with Three, the E3231 is dual-branded, and reasserts Huawei’s strategy to promote its own brand in the consumer market across its broad portfolio of smart devices. The E3231 replaces the E353 with Three, which went unbranded by Huawei.



MTS Belarus launches low-cost ‘3G Lite’ service

MTS Belarus is the leading mobile operator of the country in terms of subscribers. It has recently launched a low-cost third-generation mobile service, ‘3G Lite’. According to MTS it is the cheapest package for internet access in the country.

MTS’ new tariff plan costs BYR9, 900 (USD1.20) per month with 1GB of data costing BYR30,000 and each subsequent megabyte charged at BYR29. Until now, the cheapest service offered in the country was BYR15,000 per month for a ‘3G Connect 100 MB’, which also included excess fees of BYR2,000 per MB. Further, subscribers to the cellco’s new 3G Lite package will also be able to purchase a 3G Modem for just BYR10, upon completion of a supplementary twelve-month agreement.

MTS Belarus marked its ten year anniversary by announcing the signing of its five-millionth customer, on 13 June 2012. At that date the cello’s GSM network was available to 98% of the territory, where 99.7% of the population lives. The cellco’s infrastructure includes 6,200 base transceiver stations (BTS) it added. Further, the MTS 3G network provided coverage of 91% of the territory by end-June.


Vodafone Greece developing LTE

Vodafone Greece is the second largest cellco by subscribers. Vodafone plans to deploy mobile broadband 4G network in selected areas in Greece this year. Vodafone began in 2010 the deployment of 4G LTE network in Europe, and today its 4G networks are already deployed for commercial use in Germany and Portugal, whereas pilot testing continues in a series of countries.

Vodafone announced the deployment of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband technologies, following domestic rival Cosmote’s recent claim to have installed the first Greek pilot LTE network.

Vodafone says it plans to deploy 4G infrastructure in ‘selected areas’ during the course of this year, to support advanced multimedia applications such as high definition (HD) streaming and HD videoconferencing.

From 29 September 2012 the Greek regulator, the EETT, has cleared all 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum for 3G/4G usage. In November 2011 Vodafone renewed existing frequency licences and expanded its allocation in the 900MHz/1800MHz bands at a cost of EUR168.5 million (USD209 million), while the cellco says that it has invested more than EUR500 million in its network in the last three years.

Further spectrum for 4G expansion will be made available in Greece via the pending award of 2600MHz band spectrum, while from the end of 2012 the digital dividend 800MHz band will become available via the completion of the country’s transfer to digital TV.


MetroPCS Launches Commercial VoLTE Smartphone

MetroPCS Communications, a Dallas based mobile operator has announced that it has reached what it terms an ‘innovation milestone’ by introducing one of the world’s first commercial voice-over-Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) services, via the LG Connect 4G Android smartphone.

Roger Linquist, chairman and CEO of MetroPCS, commented “Being the first operator globally to reach this industry first speaks volumes about our company’s innovative spirit and passion to achieve goals that we believe will have long-term benefit for our customers and for the company. The initial move to LTE and this move to VoLTE allow us to achieve significant spectral efficiencies and will increase network capacity so that we can enhance the 4G LTE experience that our customers have today at a tremendous value. VoLTE also provides a foundational capability for future Rich Communication Services (RCS), which we plan to launch later this year.”

Although Linquist claims a world first with the introduction of VoLTE, South Korea’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, SK Telecom (SKT), has announced the commercial launch of its VoLTE service simultaneously.

Although MetroPCS was the first US carrier to deploy a commercial LTE network, in September 2010. Since then extended its 4G network to cover approximately 90% of its CDMA footprint.


dell'oro group

LTE Revenues Expected to Grow 8-Fold by 2016

Dell’Oro Group forecasted The Mobile Radio Access Network (RAN) LTE equipment market at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 50 percent over the next five years.

Stefan Pongratz, analyst at Dell’Oro Group said “The success with early adopters in North America, Japan, and South Korea is driving operators around the world to commit to LTE and reap the benefits of improved efficiencies, latencies, throughputs, and to ensure a future-proof roadmap.”

“It has been only 18 months since the first large scale commercial deployment of LTE and it is already generating more than 15 percent of total RAN revenues,” continued Pongratz.

This report also suggested that the growth in mobile broadband will eventually offset declining investments in CDMA/GSM/WiMAX.

The total Mobile RAN market, macro and public access small cells, is expected to grow at a CAGR of two percent between 2011 and 2016. The public access small cell market is expected to generate significant revenues in the outer years of the forecast period and account for nine percent of all RAN revenues in 2016.


Bangladesh Planning Auction of 700 MHz Spectrum

­Bangladesh’s telecoms regulator, the BTRC is reported to be considering the option of opening a tender for radio spectrum in the 700 MHz bands, probably for use by 4G services.

However, the regulator is still struggling with the controversy over renewing GSM licenses, and 3G licenses are still being considered for later this year.

The 700 MHz band will enable service providers to deploy higher-performance mobile broadband services over greater distances than the services they offer today. As a result, the operators will be able to roll out their service network with less equipment or investment for more people, according to analysts.

“We want to make the most out of the in-demand 700 MHz spectrum,” said Zia Ahmed, chairman of the BTRC.

However, a block of 700Mhz spectrum was given away free of charge in 2006 to AlwaysOn Network Bangladesh,a internet service provider.But the segment of the frequency given to AlwaysOn is  at such a location that it is impeding the functionality of the rest of the band.

The BTRC has now asked AlwaysOn to report on how they are using the spectrum, to study the options left to the regulator with regards to the band,

The regulator is now looking at ways of shuffling the spectrum around, or even reclaiming it.

Newsletter sign up