Tue, Dec


  • Operators have started the new year with a range of 4G LTE announcements but, as always, the issue remains spectrum availability and licence fees.

    At last Britain is holding 4G LTE spectrum auctions. Due to start on 23 January, the eventual winners will be announced in early March with deployments anticipated by mid-year.

  • Lucy Dimes, CEO UK & Ireland, Alcatel-Lucent, has taken over management of the Vodafone Group global account at the vendor.

    Earlier today Light Reading and Telecoms.com both reported on the departure of Alcatel-Lucent's global account manager for Vodafone, Wolfgang Hackenberg, to rival vendor Nokia Siemens Networks, where he will lead its Vodafone Global Customer Business Team.


    Adax now offers a high-performance GTP-U acceleration card; the Adax GTP-AMC.
    GTP-U is the critical data plane protocol in today’s emerging LTE networks. User appetite and willingness to pay for mobile broadband data is driving network build out fuelled by usage-based data plans. User service level agreements based on Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS) rely heavily on both network intelligence and data plane throughput. GTP-U acceleration is key to delivering the services and quality customers demand and expect from their LTE network service providers.
  • Infonetics analyst Stéphane Téral has confirmed, in a recent report, that mobile operators are increasingly deploying SON techniques - written into the 3GPP standards at LTE level - to help them manage their 3G networks.

    Téral interviewed operators for his latest market survey: SON and Optimization Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey. He found that while SON is up and running in a few LTE networks around the world, some of the large incumbents have deployed SON as the key optimization tool in their 3G networks as well.
  • Many mobile operators are still unsure of the value that IPXs (IPeXchanges) can bring to their businesses, according to Isabelle Paradis, CEO of research company Hot Telecom.

    Originally conceived by the GSMA to cater for the growing IP needs of mobile operators; IPX has since come to include the IP-requirements of fixed operators, cable companies, ISPs and "OTT" players. Hot Telecom has carried out a survey of 100+ providers and customers of IPXs, and found that there appears to be a disconnect between how IPX providers view their businesses, and how their customers do.

  • In recent months we at Mobile Europe have noted an increasing amount of noise around the automation of network processes - whether that's for planning, optimisation or management. In this guest post, Thomas Neubauer, Managing Director of Symena, an AIRCOM company,explains why automation will be essential for the efficient and economical operation of LTE networks and where automated processes can deliver the most value. 

  • Swisscom will launch commercial LTE services in 26 locations in Switzerland on 29 November, following trials in Berne, Zurich and seven tourist regions launched late in 2011.

  • Tre (H3G Italy) has selected Aircom International’s OPTIMA software to provide it with an end-to-end view of its LTE network performance

    OPTIMA provides mobile operators with a single view across all network technologies including GSM, UMTS, HSPA, LTE and WiMAX. The software delivers central control and provides a holistic picture of customer experience in real-time. OPTIMA is compatible with infrastructure equipment from over fifty different vendors, making it a single access point where multiple users within H3G can efficiently identify network issues. The software is also capable of collecting data at the device level to further enhance quality of service analysis and reporting.

    This deal continues H3G Italy’s long-standing relationship with Aircom. The operator has used Aircom’s OPTIMA, ASSET and CONNECT software since 2001 to plan and monitor its UMTS network. Aircom also regularly provides consulting services to H3G, spanning network planning, optimisation, and drive testing services.

    “Operators migrating to LTE need to maximise their investments by driving operational efficiency throughout their network and business processes,” said Alwyn Welch, CEO, Aircom International. “Maintaining close scrutiny on network performance, despite increasing technical complexity, will play a key part in H3G Italy achieving this aim. We’re delighted to be extending our long working relationship with H3G Italy as it launches its differentiated LTE services.”

  • Freeview provider Arqiva is not happy about Ofcom's proposed re-allocation of spectrum in the 700MHz band for future mobile broadband services, saying that Ofcom is "yet to make the case" for such a transition.

    Ofcom, mirroring discussions at the World Radiotelecommunications Conferenceheld from January-February 2012, has proposed that spectrum in the 700MHz band, currently used by digital terrestrial television - is re-allocated for mobile broadband services. 

  • Vodafone Ireland has said that it gained a "winning combination" in the Irish spectrum auction, after paying €35 million more than Telefonica, and €110 million more than Hutchison in the multi-band auction.

    The operator spent €160 million in up front fees to secure the spectrum, compared to Meteor's €144 million, Telefonica's €125 million, and Three's €51 million.

    That bid gave it the largest spectrum holding in the country.

  • LTE1800 is now the most widely used band for LTE worldwide, according to the GSA. The industry body said that LTE in 1800 MHz spectrum is sdeployed on over 37% of the 113 commercial LTE networks which had entered service by November 2, 2012. 

    A total of 42 operators have commercially launched LTE1800 either as a single band system, or as part of a multi-band deployment. The second most popular band in which LTE systems are deployed is 2.6 GHz, followed by 700 MHz.

  • Shenick's diversifEye data generator supports integrated traffic models on Aeroflex E500 Capacity Test platform

    Aeroflex has announced support for a comprehensive range of IP data services with the Aeroflex E500 LTE Capacity Test platform. Adding end-to-end data services supplements the functional capability of the E500, providing network equipment vendors and cellular operators with realistic lab-based LTE end-to-end test solutions.
  • Considers removing unpaired 2GHz spectrum from mobile landscape

    The European Commission has said that member Governments must, by June 2014, allow mobile operators to deploy LTE services in spectrum that is currently reserved for UMTS.
    The EC has released a Decision making it mandatory for Goverments to allow operators to refarm 3G spectrum for LTE use. The spectrum bands in question are at 1920-1980 MHz paired with 2110-2170 MHz. These are the bands currently used by operators for UMTS, or 3G, services. 
  • Still not many big names in either Sisvel or Via's LTE pools

    A month after US-based patent company Via Licensing announced it had launched an LTE patent pool, Sisvel has formally launched its own pool. The patent pool operator, which in 2011 bought 450 patents filed by Nokia, has announced that its pool will include patents from EADS, the China Academy of Telecommunication Technology, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ESRI), France Telecom, TDF, and KPN, as well as the patents originally filed by Nokia that Sisvel acquired.

    Sisvel said its pool license makes its current portfolio of essential LTE patents available under standard terms and conditions with a running royalty rate of 0.99 Euros per device.

  • As operators across Europe prepare for LTE launches by thinking about their data tariffs and how they can match pricing to consumer needs, here's an approach from Swisscom that bundles existing fixed ormobile data subscriptions with speed-based pricing for tablet and laptop use. 

    Swisscom is introducing new data tariffs for laptop or iPad users based on speed and is offering them at a discount to existing subscribers to fixed or mobile data packages. 

  • SpiderCloud Wireless has said that its indoor enterprise wireless system will be LTE-ready from mid-2013.

    The small cell vendor sells its E-RAN (Enterprise RAN) solution, a combination of Power-over-Ethernet capable radio nodes with an on site controller node, termed the Small Cells Services Node (SCSN). Until now the radio nodes have offered 3G and WiFi radio capability. From the middle of 2013 SpiderCloud will have an LTE+WiFi radio node available, according to CMO Ronny Haraldsvik. The company will also make the SCSN software-upgradeable to support LTE.

  • Last week ABI Research reported that an increasing amount of network optimisation would be moving to a managed service model. This would happen because operators will increasingly look to operate network optimisation as an on-going process aimed at improving customer experience, rather than as a project or one-off process aimed at securing certain network level KPIs.

    ABI said that this outsourcing will happen as part of a wider transition of network operations into a managed services model, provided by the liked of Ericsson, NSN and Huawei. The danger for operators is that they design contracts and SLAs with their managed service providers that don’t give them enough control over the actual experience of their most high value customers.

  • A few words about pricing mobile data...

    As EE bats away charges that it has got its LTE pricing wrong, what could be more topical than an article that rounds up recent trends in mobile data pricing? Why have operators swung away from, and then back to, unlimited offers? What about shared data plans, toll free pricing, or per-application pricing? Is there scope for operators to be more innovative in their pricing, without confusing the hell out of consumers. Here, in a guest article for Mobile Europe, Chris Goswami, of Openwave Mobility,takes us through recent developments, and tries to plot a future direction for mobile data pricing.

  • One of the downsides of being Mobile Europe is that we don't always have an excuse to follow the global market, but I thought the following news from SK Telecom was interesting, shining a light as it does on ways of marketing and launching LTE, and services that take advantage of LTE.

    It's become axiomatic that LTE doesn't bring with it "LTE services", it just brings more speed and lower latencies to existing services. 

  • ZTE has released a capacity planning tool (CPT) for LTE radio access networks. The company said the software incorporate system modelling and simulation features developed by accessing real world data from networks. The tool can model scenarios for dense urban, urban, suburban and rural environments.