Two Japanese LTE Network Launches Due This Friday

Japan’s Softbank and KDDI have both announced that they will launch LTE services this coming Friday (21st Sept), on the same day that they start sales of the LTE enabled iPhone 5.

Currently only NTT DoCoMo offers conventional LTE services, although Softbank has been offering a TD-LTE service which was unique to the country.

Softbank Mobile said that its FDD-LTE based service will cover all cities by the end of the year, with theoretical speeds of either 75Mbps or 37.5Mbps depending on location.

KDDI said that it would offer a theoretical peak download speed of upto 75Mbps, with an upgrade to 112.5Mbps next year. Coverage would be initially in the main cities, and then expanded to 96% of the population by next April.

Softbank Mobile said that its FDD-LTE based service will cover all cities by the end of the year, with theoretical speeds of either 75Mbps or 37.5Mbps depending on location.

optus nework

Iinet to offer mobile broadband via Optus’ LTE network

IiNet has signed an MVNO agreement with Optus Wholesale. Under the agreement, iiNet will offer services through the Optus 4G FD-LTE network to iiNet, Westnet, Netspace, and Internode customers.

The company will launch the 4G services with a choice of iiNet-branded devices, including a 4G wireless USB modem and a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. The company will announce product details and service availability within the coming months, once Optus has confirmed the launch date of its wholesale 4G service, which will occur initially in selected areas of Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, and Perth.



Qualcomm Gobi LTE Modem Powers SoftBank Mobile Router

Qualcomm’s Gobi LTE modem, the MDM9215, has been implemented in the SoftBank 102Z, a new mobile broadband router for Japan.

The device, designed by ZTE, represents the second generation of Gobi-powered LTE products from SoftBank Mobile and features MDM9x15 chipsets built on the 28nm manufacturing process. The MDM9x15 chipset, which is part of Qualcomm’s Gobi family of modems, offers several gains to device manufactures. Qualcomm’s design and optimisations in the MDM9x15 chipset allowed ZTE to launch the product with SoftBank Mobile only two months.

The MDM9x15 chipset uses 30 percent less power and enables product designs with 30 percent less printed circuit board area, allowing for smaller and thinner form factors, while its multimode capacity enables connectivity between LTE TDD and DC-HSDPA networks. The MDM9x15 chipset features an integrated application processor that allows OEMs to develop and integrate value-added services, including hotspot functionality when the mobile access point feature is used.

In the case of the SoftBank 102Z, a mobile broadband router was fully implemented in connection with the chipset, allowing for 3G/LTE connectivity to be shared by up to ten devices via Wi-Fi.

3G ukraine

Ukraine dashes any hopes of 3G licensing this year

Ukrainian cellcos will have to continue their long wait for a 2100MHz 3G licence auction, as the National Commission for State Regulation of Communications and Informatization (NCCIR or NKRZI), has confirmed that no funds will be released this year for         the conversion of frequencies from their current military allocation to commercial usage.

The regulator said that the military had not cleared the UAH800 million (USD97 million) necessary, while no other plan for raising funds had yet been approved by the government. The allocation of 3G licensing funding was not in the state’s 2012 budget, while the private sector’s hopes for an alternative route to 2100MHz – the sale of state-run Ukrtelecom’s TriMob 3G division – also stalled earlier this year on failure to agree over pricing.


Vietnam’s 3G base to rise 15%

By the end of this year, some 21 percent of mobile users in Vietnam are forecast to use smartphone. Furthermore, the number of mobile users with a 3G connection are anticipated to go up by 15 percent between 2012 and 2016, according to chip maker Qualcomm.


Etisalat Commercial DC-HSPA+ services in Sri Lanka

Having launched a HSPA+ (21Mbps) network in May 2011, which was capable of supporting DC-HSPA+ (42Mbps) speeds, Etisalat Sri Lanka has finally begun selling DC-HSPA+ capable devices for users of the network, which it says is 42Mbps-enabled across its entire national 3G footprint.

The HSPA network covers over 45 main population centres, according to the cellco’s own coverage map. The company is claiming a first in Sri Lanka by offering a range of DC-HSPA+ devices including USB dongles for individual mobile use and wireless routers for home and business purposes.

LTE services

Telecoms America (Claro) deploys first LTE site in Sao Paulo

Brazilian mobile service provider Telecom Americas (Claro) has commenced 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network trials in the area of Joquei Clube in Sao Paulo, having previously launched trials of the technology in the capital Brasilia, Campos do Jordao (Sao Paulo), Paraty and Buzios (Rio de Janeiro). The latest trial will use equipment provided by Ericsson, reaching peak speeds of 80Mbps. According to Zenteno, CEO Claro Brasil, Claro plans to commercially launch its LTE network in Brazil by April 2013.

4Gin America

America Reach 225 Million 3G and 4G Connections

The number of 3G and 4G connections in North, Central and South America rose by 65.6 million in the year to June 2012 to 225 million. This represents around 22 percent of all new mobile subscriptions in the Americas region, which surpassed 1 billion.

Subscriptions to 3GPP technologies (GSM, UMTS/HSPA and LTE) increased 12.6 percent year-on-year while non-3GPP (analogue, CDMA, iDEN, and TDMA) subscriptions dropped by 2.4 percent. A total of 17.7 million new mobile broadband connections (HSPA and LTE) were added during the second quarter, or 79 million new ones year on year.

GSM is still the dominant technology in the Americas with 11 million new subscriptions in the period, while HSPA is registered the biggest growth, with 65.6 million new subscriptions between June 2011 and June 2012. There were 13.4 million LTE connections. There are currently 80 HSPA networks in operation in 34 Latin American countries


Tango Plans LTE Launch in October

Tango, a Luxembourg based mobile network has announced that its LTE network will launch commercial services on the 1st October.

At launch, the LTE network will serve 60% of the population (south & centre of the country, plus all the main cities in the north of the country). The company said that a plan is in progress to expand the network to 90% of the population by the end of this year.

The network is configured to offer theoretical peak download speeds of up to 150Mbps, although the real world speeds will be significantly lower.


T-Mobile Austria’s LTE network covers over 650,000 people

T-Mobile Austria’s LTE mobile broadband network is currently available to over 650,000 Austrians in the cities of Vienna, Linz, Graz and Innsbruck. The network will be further expanded in 2012, giving more customers access to mobile broadband with speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

T-Mobile launched an LTE tariff in June, and currently offers customers LTE Sticks and an LTE tablet. The operator is calling for the auction of additional frequencies to be held as quickly as possible to stop Austria from falling too far behind other countries. The auction was delayed pending an investigation into the proposed merger of 3 Austria and Orange Austria.

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