What Impact Is 5G Set to Have On Southeast Asia?

The hype around 5G has been brewing for more than a year, but we’re finally starting to see the early research and development bear fruit.


Dhiraagu Expands 3G Footprint to 21 Additional Islands

Dhivehi Raajjeyge Gulhun (Dhiraagu), the Maldives’ incumbent telecoms operator, has revealed that it has expanded coverage of its 3G network to an additional 21 islands since the start of this year. High speed data services are now available on the islands of Thoddu, Himandhoo, Dhigurah, Goidhoo, Hithaadhoo, Maaeboodhoo, Hulhudheli, Bilehdhoo, Vashafaru, Finey, Neykurendhoo, Dhiffushi, Raimandhu, Dhiggaru, Maakurathu, Bilehffahi, Narudhoo, Kandoodhu, Buruni, Rakeedhu and Fulidhoo. The telecoms operator is aiming to provide broadband coverage to all inhabited islands of the Maldives by the end of the year.

“This is the most important project for the year and all works are being carried out at expedited speeds, as a result we have already launched services in 21 islands since beginning of this year. We have now completed over 25% of the project work and we are certain to complete the full project before end of the year.”

Dhiraagu’s Director of Networks, Mohamed Musad, said. 

The company claims that its 3G and 4G LTE networks provide a combined population coverage of 96%.


MegaFon Selects Nokia Networks to Build its 4G LTE Network

Russia’s MegaFon has signed a 7 year contract with Nokia Networks to upgrade the operator’s nationwide network.

To implement MegaFon’s LTE network, Nokia Networks will provide its Single RAN Advanced platform, based on the Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station

Nokia NetAct network management system will be updated to ensure consolidated configuration, monitoring, management and optimization of the operator’s network

Moscow, Central and Caucasus regions will be the first to get upgrades. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Orange Madagascar

Orange Madagascar, Airtel Preparing to Launch LTE

Orange Madagascar is preparing to roll out a 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in 2015, NewsMada reports, citing comments by the company’s CEO Michel Barre. Speaking at a press conference in Ankorondrano on 6 February, Barre commented:

“We want to strengthen our leading position in the market of mobile telephony. This is why we are making every effort to develop new products for the purpose of satisfying customers.”

However, Orange has yet to provide a concrete launch date for its planned 4G network.

Orange currently operates a 2G GSM network covering around 85% of the population and a 3G W-CDMA network which covers 150 cities; rivals Airtel Madagascar and Telma also offer 2G and 3G services.

Meanwhile, in related developments, Airtel Madagascar’s Indian parent group Bharti Airtel disclosed in its end-2014 financial report that it has obtained ‘trial authorisation from the [Madagascan] regulator for 4G LTE service based on existing frequencies’, adding that: ‘the operating licence renewal process in underway. The licence will expire on 21 September 2015 and is expected to be renewed for a further period of ten years.’


Zong Ends November with 1,452 4G LTE Subscribers

Pakistani mobile telephony operator Zong ended November with 1,452 4G LTE subscribers. The operator had launched its LTE service in the country in September 2014. In an initial phase, the LTE service will be commercially available in seven major cities across the country. The operator said it expects to invest USD 1 billion to deploy its LTE network nationwide within the next three to four years.


‘4G LTE’ A Dream Zong Made a Reality for Pakistani Mobile Users

“First and only operator to give both 3G & 4G LTE, Zong has given consumers a platform to enjoy the most advanced mobile technologies across the world”

High speed browsing on mobile phone with 4G LTE was once a distant dream of mobile users which was made a reality earlier this year by Zong.  Being the first and only operator to give both 3G & 4G LTE, Zong has given consumers a platform to enjoy the most advanced mobile technologies across the world.

Zong 4G LTE technology is the fastest mobile internet available in the country and is the perfect match for the data starved and ever evolving valued customers in Pakistan. With Zong 4G LTE customers can enjoy high speed browsing on mobile phone, multimedia streaming & download (songs, movies etc), video calling, live streaming TV, quick download of large email attachments and online gaming. To fulfill the requirements of the consumer 4G LTE is currently available in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Quetta & Peshawar, the major urban and business centers of Pakistan.

Babar Bajwa Executive Director Commercial Zong, said:

“Our extensive roll out of Zong 4G LTE will help consumers take advantage of lightning fast mobile internet speed that is multiple times faster than the available 3G networks in Pakistan. Zong 4G LTE heralds in a new era in the field of mobile communications technology and strengthens the company’s position as the most innovative and consumer oriented telecom operator in Pakistan.”

He added that:

“Zong, with our robust partnerships with leading device manufacturers and content players is well placed to provide customers the true benefits of 4G LTE capabilities, hence consumers can look forward to many exciting value additions in the near future.”

By becoming the first operator to launch 4G LTE Zong has taken a giant leap towards becoming the indispensable digital life partner of its customers. 4G LTE is available to all new and existing Zong customers, one can receive their 4G SIM at their door step simply by dialing 510 from any Zong number. Alongside a consumer must have a 4G enable handset and must be in the coverage area to enjoy this high speed service.

Vantage’s Fund II commits $30 million to Surfline Communications, the first 4G LTE data network in Ghana

A high-speed internet connectivity up to 10 times faster than the average speeds offered by the existing mobile network operators

Africa’s leading mezzanine debt provider, today announced it had concluded a transaction with Surfline Communications to provide $30 million (R330 million) of expansion capital to the company together with a fund co-investor.

The funds will be used for the on-going expansion of Surfline’s 4G LTE network in Ghana as well as to grow its product distribution and marketing network. By deploying the first 4G LTE mobile network in Ghana, Surfline is able to offer high-speed internet connectivity (up to 10 times faster than the average speeds offered by the existing mobile network operators) at rates that are competitive with existing internet service providers. Because the Surfline network does not rely on the limited fixed line telecommunications infrastructure in Ghana, the company is able to rapidly roll-out its services across its coverage area.

Surfline was established to provide wireless broadband and related services to the Ghanaian market, including meeting the emergent and largely unfulfilled data needs of Ghana’s businesses, government agencies, professional and academic communities and residential users. The network achieved a very successful commercial launch in August 2014 and is experiencing tremendous growth in its customer base, in both the consumer and corporate/enterprise segments. Just two weeks ago, Surfline was shortlisted for the award of “Breakthrough LTE Development” category by the Africa Communications Awards for its successful deployment of Ghana’s first 4G LTE network. John Taylor, Surfline’s Executive Chairman, has also been listed in the 2014 World Finance 100, which celebrates 100 individuals who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in their field of expertise.

John Taylor said:

“Vantage provided us with growth capital in a shareholder-friendly structure that we required to expand the business by supplementing the existing financing in place.”

Yaw Keteku, Associate Partner at Vantage leading their investment activities in Ghana, said:

“Under John Taylor’s visionary leadership, Surfline has assembled a team of highly-skilled professionals and technical partners who have built a first class communication network to meet Ghana’s ever-growing data demand. We have developed a close working relationship with the Surfline team and we look forward to supporting the business as it grows.”

Luc Albinski, Managing Partner at Vantage, added:

“We are delighted to announce that we have made our third investment outside of South Africa. Over the last five years, Vantage has reviewed over 600 investment opportunities and we consider Surfline to be one of the most exciting deals we have seen.” The investment in Surfline follows Vantage’s pan-African strategy of focusing on high-growth African markets such as Ghana, Nigeria, the East African Community members and some of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

Surfline is Vantage’s second investment in Ghana after its $18.5 million (R204 million) commitment to Genser Energy, an independent power producer that is currently commissioning a 30 megawatt power plant, which is expected to come on-line shortly. Mutle Mogase, Vantage’s Chairman, said:

“Vantage, with the support of its investors, is contributing almost $50 million (R550 million) towards the improvement of infrastructure in Ghana by supporting the rollout of a broadband network and new power generation projects. The developmental multiplier effect of increased power generation capacity and high-speed internet will drive further economic growth in the country.”

Surfline is the eleventh mezzanine transaction in Vantage’s second fund, of which more than 80% of available funds have been invested. More than half of the capital deployed has gone into growth projects such as Surfline. Vantage has commenced the raising of its third mezzanine fund, which is targeted to close by the first quarter of 2015 at $250 million (R2.75 billion).

Taiwan to Reach 3 mln 4G Subs by End-2014 – Chunghwa

4G LTE mobile communication subscribers in Taiwan are expected to reach 3 million by the end of this year, announced by local mobile operator Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) chairman Rick Tsai. LTE subscribers by the end of the year will represent 13 percent of Taiwan’s population. Chunghwa Telecom has launched 4G services in May. The telco provides the service through spectrum in the 1,800MHz band.

Warid Telecom Selects Ericsson for 4G LTE Deployment in Pakistan

  • Warid Telecom is using Ericsson’s solutions for Pakistan’s first large-scale commercial deployment and launch of 4G LTE which will make it become one of the first few operators in the world to transform from 2G to 4G LTE.
  • Ericsson becomes Warid Telecom’s sole supplier of 4G LTE deployment in Pakistan.
  • Warid Telecom subscribers in Pakistan will experience mobile broadband revolution with high-speed data on-the-go.

Warid Telecom, the most reliable and transparent cellular service provider in Pakistan, during GITEX Technology Week 2014 announced Ericsson as its technology partner in the roll-out of 4G LTE in Pakistan.

Ericsson, the world leader in providing state-of-the-art telecommunication services is the sole supplier of 4G LTE in Pakistan. Warid becomes one of first few networks in the world which will be shifted from 2G to 4G LTE technology directly.With the launch of its 4G LTE services, the customers of Warid Telecom in Pakistan will experience mobile broadband revolution with high-speed data on-the-go.

Commenting on the announcement,  CEO Warid Telecom, Mr. Muneer Farooqui said:

“Warid is gearing up for the 4G LTE launch with the best available network solutions and Ericsson has been committed to provide us with the state-of-art technologies and services. Our strong partnership and working relationship with Ericsson has given us complete trust in their technology and execution, making them the preferred partner for this landmark project as well.”

Warid Telecom has already started an internal trial to test the network capacity and service reliability after which public trials will be announced by the company along with a program for 4G LTE enabled devices as well. The company has already started delivering free 4G LTE SIMs to its customers who have 4G LTE enabled handsets.

Rafiah Ibrahim, President of Ericsson Region Middle East said:

“We are committed to bringing the Networked Society closer to Pakistan, and to play a role in the evolution of the country’s telecommunication services. As the newest phase of our relationship with Warid Telecom has started, we extend our support to Warid Telecom in delivering the superior experience to their customers through our latest innovative technologies and solutions.”

The announcement marks the extension of Warid Telecom’s long-term relationship with Ericsson in a move that will evolve the mobile broadband experience in Pakistan to pave the way to a “Networked Society”, where all the businesses as well as individuals are empowered to reach their full potential.

Pakistan is in the midst of an internet revolution, at the heart of which is the increasing uptake of smart devices and mobility. Connectivity via handsets already exceeds the number of connections through fixed line, and majority of first-time users experience the internet for the first time through their smartphones. With Ericsson’s solutions, Warid Telecom will deliver the optimum customer experience, whenever and wherever they connect in Pakistan.

GITEX Technology week is taking place in Dubai World Trade Center, United Arab Emirates, from October 12 to 16. Gitex Technology Week 2014 is considered the gateway to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia’s ICT Industry with the participation of over 3,500 ICT companies from all over the world representing 61 countries. Raising the slogan of “Re-Imagining Our Future”, the event is combining the evolution of the ICT industry.

Zong Launches 4G LTE Services in Seven Cities

Pakistani mobile telephony operator Zong has launched its 4G LTE service in the country. In an initial phase, the LTE service will be commercially available in seven major cities across the country. The operator said it expects to invest USD 1 billion to deploy its LTE network nationwide within the next three to four years. The operator also said it expects to deploy 4,000 mobile sites across the country by the end of this year. Zong currently has nearly 27.2 million subscribers across the country. Earlier this year, China Mobile Pakistan, which operated under the Zong brand name, won a 3G and a 4G license in Pakistan.

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