Warid Telecom

Warid Telecom and Ericsson Extend Managed Services Agreement for Three Years

Warid Telecom & Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) have announced, during the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, a three-year renewal of their managed services partnership. As a result, Warid Telecom will have access to a number of additional benefits, including enhanced network performance, an optimised seamless user experience, field service efficiency, as well as first line and second line support.

Mr. Adeel Bajwa, Chairman Board Executive Committee, Warid Telecom while commenting on the agreement said:

Given our ten year long history with Ericsson, the company is well placed to understand Warid’s needs and growth requirements. Warid successfully launched its LTE services commercially in Pakistan end of last year and continued to provide high quality telecom services to the customers enabled by spectrum re-farming with Ericsson. A recent industry report declared Warid the best in terms of customer experience and the quality of service once again. Our prime focus for 2015 is to further our commitment to excellence. As our technology partner, Ericsson is also working to expand our network coverage and capacity for both GSM and LTE services nationwide which will help us achieve our goals.”

Main Highlights of the Agreement:

-Three-year deal includes efficient management of Warid Telecom’s 2G and LTE network

-This new phase will include additional benefits including field services efficiency as well as first and second line support

-Partnership will ensure superior network performance and an optimized seamless end-user experience

Rafiah Ibrahim, President Ericsson, Region Middle East and East Africa, said:

“Our longstanding partnership with Warid Telecom achieved significant milestones in the field of managed services throughout the years. Through this extended collaboration, we aim to provide Warid Telecom users with a differentiated network performance and all-encompassing end-user experience which in its turn will help us realize the Networked Society in Pakistan.”

Worth mentioning, Ericsson and Warid Telecom first joined forces in 2005 with signing the first Managed services agreement.

Qualcomm

Qualcomm Extends LTE to Unlicensed Radio Spectrum

To address the increasing demand for mobile data, Qualcomm Technologies says that it is extending LTE to unlicensed spectrum (LTE U), and announced that it has integrated the technology into its latest small cell solutions and RF transceivers for mobile devices.

Qualcomm Technologies also announced that it successfully completed over-the-air testing to prove co-existence between multiple LTE-U and Wi-Fi access points in the unlicensed spectrum under extreme load conditions.

“As the Internet enters a new phase of growth, in which more devices are connected and share richer data, there is a need to cost effectively address the challenges of a 1000x increase in mobile data traffic. To do this, we need a combination of more spectrum, more efficient use of existing spectrum, and more small cells. Our job is to help the industry make the best use of all available spectrum, using both LTE and Wi-Fi technologies, to increase capacity.”

Said Matt Grob, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, and chief technology officer.

Extending LTE-A to unlicensed spectrum helps operators meet increased capacity needs and enhance their mobile broadband services. LTE-U is designed to augment operators’ services to use channels in the less crowded 5 GHz unlicensed bands, and uses several coexistence features to support fair share use among the multiple users and technologies that access those bands.

Extending the benefits of LTE to unlicensed spectrum is designed to provide:

1) Reliable and predictable performance with an anchor in the licensed spectrum

2) Seamless user experience/mobility

3) Better performance than either LTE or Wi-Fi used individually, with longer range and more capacity; and

4) Additional capacity for carriers to augment mobile broadband.

Integration of LTE-U into Qualcomm Technologies small cells solutions portfolio:

Qualcomm Technologies is announcing the first integration of LTE-U into a small cell SoC to expand capacity and seamlessly extend LTE networks. The FSM99xx, a family of small cell SoCs, will add LTE-U and be available in the second half of 2015. The FSM99xx solutions integrate Qualcomm Technologies’ 3G and 4G and support its Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac/n Wi-Fi to enable full-featured small cells that provide superior performance with greater power efficiency.

“The FSM99xx family is designed to bring outdoor, enterprise and small and medium business access points to the next level of value and performance. Adding LTE-U technology to our small cell solutions will provide additional capacity for operators to augment existing mobile broadband and deliver seamless connectivity experiences.”

Said Neville Meijers, vice president of business development, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Along with integration of LTE-U into the FSM99xx product family, Qualcomm Technologies is announcing the FTR8950 as the first dedicated RF solution for small cells designed to meet the requirements of LTE-U operation and network listen in unlicensed 5 GHz bands. Qualcomm Technologies’ newest small cell RF transceiver is a successor to the FTR8900 RFIC and supports features such as digital pre-distortion and dedicated network listen.

First announced commercial RF transceiver for LTE-U:

Qualcomm Technologies is also announcing the WTR3950 as the industry’s first dedicated RF solution for mobile devices designed to meet the requirements of LTE-U operation in unlicensed 5 GHz bands. Qualcomm’s newest 28 nm RF transceiver will be commercially sampling in the second half of 2015.

The WTR3950 extends Qualcomm Technologies’ RF product leadership in LTE Advanced, which is based on successful commercialization of single-chip RF transceivers for LTE carrier aggregation. The WTR3950 pairs with the WTR3925, the first 28 nm RF for single chip Cat 6 carrier aggregation, to support up to 3×20 MHz carrier aggregation across licensed and unlicensed spectrum. The WTR3950 can also support up to 40 MHz intra-band contiguous carrier aggregation in the 5 GHz bands.

Successful testing of LTE-U and Wi-Fi coexistence:

In order for LTE-U to provide maximum benefit, it must operate harmoniously alongside billions of existing Wi-Fi devices. Qualcomm Technologies is working to integrate LTE and Wi-Fi at the system level, and employs a robust set of protection features to promote the best possible co-existence between LTE-U and Wi-Fi networks.

In its San Diego, Calif. headquarters, Qualcomm Technologies engineers deployed a network comprising multiple Wi-Fi access points and LTE-U small cells – all operating in a single channel in the unlicensed 5GHz band – to evaluate real-life performance and interference in multiple scenarios. After extensive testing that replicated extremely dense radio conditions, the data concluded that LTE-U can not only provide superior performance than either LTE or Wi-Fi used individually, but fairly coexists with Wi-Fi. In many cases, shifting traffic from Wi-Fi to LTE-U can actually improve performance for Wi-Fi users, due to the efficient way that LTE uses the unlicensed spectrum.

Testing scenarios included both “adaptive duty-cycle” based coexistence which is suitable for commercial LTE-U deployments in countries such as the US, China and Korea using LTE Release 10 and beyond, as well as Listen Before Talk (LBT) based techniques that are proposed through a work item for an upcoming release of the LTE standard, Release 13, which is expected to define a version of LTE-U known as Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA), suitable for deployments in other regions such as Europe and Japan.

Mobile Excellence Awards

Government of Pakistan Recognized at GSMA Mobile Excellence Awards

GSMA has recognized the government the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the mobile industry’s prestigious Government Mobile Excellence Awards, which honor governments’ significant achievements in driving growth in the use of mobile services and maximizing the socio-economic impact of the mobile industry in their respective countries.

This year, the Government Mobile Excellence Awards comprised two categories: Government Leadership and Spectrum for Mobile Broadband. The government leadership award was presented to the government of Brazil whereas Pakistan won the award for Spectrum for Mobile Broadband. The awards acknowledge government policies and regulation that encourage investment and support transparency, competition and regulatory independence.

The governments of Brazil and Pakistan have demonstrated a clear commitment to putting mobile at the top of their digital agendas. We encourage administrations from around the globe to be inspired by their achievements and adopt similar best practice measures in order to encourage greater mobile industry investment, support innovation and increase the provision of mobile services for their citizens.”

Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA

Government Leadership Award – Government of Brazil

The 2015 Government Leadership Award was presented to the Government of Brazil and the Honorable Minister of Communications, His Excellency Mr. Ricardo Berzoini. The award recognizes a number of policy approaches adopted in 2014 that have underpinned phenomenal growth in the broadband subscriber base and have led to Brazil having the highest proportion of 3G connections in Latin America.

Spectrum for Mobile Broadband Award – Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

The 2015 Spectrum for Mobile Broadband Award was presented to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Her Excellency Ms. Anusha Rahman Khan. In April 2014, the Ministry of Information Technology successfully auctioned spectrum for 3G/4G services in Pakistan in the 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands. Since then, there has been a rapid uptake of 3G services, bringing significant benefits to consumers and the national economy, and providing huge growth potential for industry players including operators, device manufacturers, application developers and distributors.

The rapid roll-out of 3G and 4G services is boosting growth and efficiency in all sectors including education, banking, media, health and retailing, as well as being a key enabler for innovative e-services such as e-medicine and e-education in rural and remote areas of Pakistan.

GSMA

Mobilink

Pakistan Ends January with 136.4 mln Mobile Subscribers

Pakistan had over 136.4 million mobile subscribes at 31 January this year, according to data from Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA). Mobile operator Mobilink led the Pakistani mobile market with over 38.3 million mobile customers at end-January, followed by Telenor (36.5 million), CMPak (27.4 million), Ufone (21.7 million) and Warid (12.3 million).

4G

4G Coverage To Surpass Third Of Global Population This Year – Report

4G networks will cover over a third of the world’s population by the end of this year, according to data published by the GSMA. The industry association said it has calculated that 4G availability will rise from 27% of the global population last year to 35% by December 2015.

Since the first commercial LTE networks were launched in 2009, the number of operators offering 4G services has risen to more than 350 and the number of unique connections has also more than doubled from around 200 million in 2013 to 490 million in December 2014.

As of December, 7% of all mobile connections in the world were 4G, and the GSMA said the number will increase to a worldwide total of 875 million by the end of 2015, representing 12% of all mobile connections.

“The rapid growth in 4G network deployments and connections, alongside expanding coverage reach, has made the move to 4G one of the fastest network technology migrations ever seen. GSMA Intelligence forecasts that global 4G connections will grow at more than 30% a year (CAGR) from 2014 to 2020.”

Hyunmi Yang, GSMA’s Chief Strategy Officer said.

“There is a tipping point we typically see when 4G grows to account for more than 20 per cent of a market that drives adoption of new services. This 20% threshold has already been reached in some markets, and is forecast to happen by 2017-18 on a global basis, which will have a huge transformational impact.”

The GSMA pointed out 4G adoption is closely associated to coverage and spectrum availability. The technology is typically deployed over the Digital Dividend bands of 700/800 MHz, refarmed 2/3 GHz (especially 1800 MHz) or the IMT-extension bands of 2500/2600 MHz. Three-quarters of 4G networks are currently running on these bands, which the GSMA said indicates progress in spectrum harmonization.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the GSMA expects China to become the world’s largest 4G market reaching 300 million connections this year. Despite only launching LTE services in late 2013, the country already has the biggest number of individual operators offering the service (108 in total).

47% of world’s 4G connections are in the Asia-Pacific region and predominantly in South Korea, Japan and China. North America has 44% of all 4G connections.

4G

Source: Telecoms.com

 

LTE-U

Ericsson, Qualcomm Achieve 450Mbps Downlink in LTE-U Trial

Swedish vendor Ericsson has announced that it is working with Qualcomm Technologies and several major wireless operators carriers to trial unlicensed Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology using the 5GHz band. Referred to as Licence Assisted Access (LAA) or LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U), Ericsson confirmed that the platform achieved peak downlink transmission speeds of 450Mbps in laboratory conditions in Ottawa, Canada and Stockholm, Sweden. Ericsson’s LTE-U tests have essentially aggregated licensed and unlicensed spectrum bands, pairing a 20MHz block of licensed spectrum with a 40MHz block of unlicensed 5GHz Wi-Fi spectrum.

Leading mobile operators Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile US and SK Telecom (SKT) have all thrown their weight behind LTE-U to date, with SKT’s Park Jin-hyo commenting:

“SK Telecom is very active in the development of 5G technologies, which will be an extension and evolution of our LTE network. We are delighted to achieve the successful trial of the 450Mbps LAA and fair-sharing technology with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies and will continue to work closely with them to secure advanced network technologies.”

 

Android Smartphone

Android Smartphone Shipments Fall for the First Time

ABI Research reports that certified Android smartphone shipments fell quarter on quarter for the first time in 4Q 2014.

In what is traditionally a shipment spike quarter, certified Android shipments fell from 217 million in 3Q 2014 to 206 million in 4Q 2014, mainly due to Apple iOS’ 90% growth from 39.3 million to 74.5 million iPhones shipped, but also due to forked Android.

“Google’s Android is being attacked by Apple’s iOS at the high end and forked Android (AOSP) at the low end in high growth emerging markets. The Android One initiative has slowed forked Android growth, but Apple’s success has taken the high end of the market away from certified Android’s premium tier vendors.”

Said Nick Spencer, Senior Practice Director, Mobile Devices, ABI Research.

“4Q 2014 has been a seismic quarter in the smartphone industry and many premium tier Android vendors may once again review their operating system and therefore content and service strategies in light of Apple and forked Android vendor Xiaomi’s success. Worrying times for Google’s mobile services and Android, but it presents opportunity for other service providers and even operating systems.”

Added Spencer.

PTA to Launch Fresh Spectrum Auction

Sector watchdog the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has begun looking for consultants to aid the process of selling off spectrum in the 850MHz and 1800MHz bands for next generation mobile services (NGMS). The previous frequency sale, in April 2014, had left the 850MHz airwaves previously held by Instaphone as well as a 10MHz tranche of 1800MHz spectrum unsold. The PTA will select consultants for the tender by 12 March 2015.

Newsletter sign up