Tue, Oct


  • Virgin Media Business (VMB) has had 600,000 users register to use its London Underground WiFi network since it launched in June 2012. Those users have generated 40 million sessions, an average of 90,000 per day since launch, Kevin Baughan, Director of Metro Wireless at Virgin Media Business told Avren Events’ Het Net 2012 Conference in Bristol.

  • New entrant hails "resounding commercial success" of mobile launch

    Iliad Group's Free Mobile attracted 3.6 million customers in the first half of 2012, taking 5.4% market share, according to its first half year financial statement.

    Free Mobile had revenues of €320 million for the six month period, reflecting an ARPU of over €10, according to Iliad Group, and generating an Ebitda loss for the period of €44 million. Iliad said this was a "resounding commercial success" for the mobile division.

  • Fujitsu shows off its combined LTE-WiFi small cell - ready to ship in September 2012.

    Mobile Europe readers may remember this demo from a year ago from PicoChip (now Mindspeed Technologies) and Interdigital, showing the combination and management of WiFi and LTE radio.

    Now Fujitsu has a product ready to roll in September 2012 that can intelligently select whether to use LTE or WiFi radio per service or application, or even combine the capacity of both for certain applications. They company's also considering a public access product combining 3G, LTE and WiFi.

  • Arqiva, the communications infrastructure and media services company, has announced today that it has agreed to buy Spectrum Interactive, a UK based Wi-Fi operator, for £23.4 million in cash.

    Arqiva said the deal would enable it to accelerate its wholesale mobile data business by acquiring a well regarded and sizeable independent Wi-Fi portfolio. It is intended that all employees of Spectrum Interactive will join Arqiva.

  • I've written a report on the main speech of the morning at LTE World Summit. But there have been other conference soundbites that I thought were worth a quick review. Here they are:

    1 Can I have your job, Chika?

    "The CFO is asking for flexibility, and we are being asked not to commit, and to review capex every three months so they can play with capex. I think we, as the technical team, have a responsibility to be the conscience of the future of the business... watch out if we don't invest now because at the end we will lose our position." - Eduardo Dato, CTO, Orange Spain

    "It's a global issue. COO's are more interested in the dividend than investment, then if that is the focus then we will not be able to grow. It's time for top management to stand up to shareholders and say we need to invest. If we don't invest there won't be growth." - Marwan Zawaydeh, CTIO, Etisalat, UAE

    "I do have a review every three months, but as data demand is doubling every year, every time I am being pushed to deploy as much as possibie by my CFO because LTE is more efficient cost per bit, better margin." - Yoshioki Chika, CTO, Wireless City Planning, SoftBank, Japan

    2. WiFi's Mutally Assured Destruction:

  • Sales growing but WiFi-cellular integration to bring challengers into market

    Infonetics Research has forecast carrier WiFi sales will "explode" to $2.1 billion by 2016, driven by the increased operator need to complement mobile data services and overcome spectrum challenges.

    The research company said that global revenue in 2011 for what it terms "carrier WiFi equipment" grew 35% from 2010, and forecast that sales would continue to grow in "high double digits" to at least 2016.

  • Focus on joint solutions for User Self-Help, Advanced Customer Service and Wi-Fi Offload effectiveness

    Birdstep and CIQUAL today announced a partnership to combine Birdstep wireless connectivity and security solutions with Ciqual customer service and customer experience reporting products.

    The integrated user self-help and advanced customer service solution reduces the number of mobile broadband-related calls into the call centre and reduces the hold times of calls made to the Call Centre.

    "The top 2 priorities for Mobile Operators are to increase mobile data revenues and deliver the best customer service. The combined Birdstep-Ciqual offering is 100% focused on these priorities", commented, Tom Walls, Ciqual CEO. "We are delighted to work with Birdstep and their best-in-class wireless connectivity solutions."

    "Interest from mobile operators in South Africa, the US and Europe has confirmed a solution to both measure user experience and lower the cost of support and retention activities is at the top of their list. The combined solution we now offer with CIQUAL has become a crucial part of any solution in the mobile data area. " says Anders Harrysson, CEO Birdstep Technology

    With Mobile Data users now concerned by data usage and quality of service, CIQUAL and Birdstep constantly measures the effectiveness of Wi-Fi offload, enabling the mobile network operator's customers to receive the best broadband experience as they are moved from congested 3G networks, onto local Wi-Fi hotspots.

    A recent study from Echo Research highlighted that 50% of smart phone users would prefer to use a mobile self-service application to try to resolve their customer service issue before calling into the contact centre. .

  • Companies enable mobile operators to extend new IMS-based voice and messaging services over existing Wi-Fi networks

    Kineto Wireless and Taqua have announced a joint solution that enables mobile operators to include Wi-Fi as part of their Voice over LTE (VoLTE) deployment strategy.
    Using Taqua’s IMS core network solution mobile operators can enable smartphones equipped with Kineto’s Smart Wi-Fi client to receive IMS-based voice and messaging services over existing Wi-Fi networks, such as at homes and offices.  Operators can now embrace Wi-Fi as a part of their VoLTE deployment plans, adding critical network coverage and capacity in the exact locations subscribers spend most their time.

  • Free Mobile has announced that it will be opening up four million Free WiFi access points to mobile users.

    Freebox subscribers on the €15.99 per month tariff, as well as Free mobile subscribers on the €20 per month tariff, will now be able to access all other Freeboxes using their Free mobile phones. The operator is calling the service FreeWiFi Secure.

    The carrier will enable phones that can support EAP-SIM authentication to connect automatically to WiFi access points sold to Free's fixed broadband customers. WiFi data consumption will not count against users' mobile data limits.

  • Finnish operator DNA today announced the availability of Sierra Wireless' AirCard® 762S mobile hotspot. The LTE-connected WLAN access point, named the DNA 4G WLAN Mokkula, provides an LTE backhaul connection for up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices. This is the first European launch for the AirCard 76xS product family, which was unveiled at Mobile World Congress in late February.

  • SFR, the French operator that announced the departure of its CEO earlier this week, is deploying its Twitter stream to make a series of update announcements on its network — covering LTE, HSPA, WiFi and Femtocells.

  • The GSMA and Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) announced yesterday that they will be working together to enable easier and more integrated WiFi-cellular roaming, with the results of their efforts visible in commerical terms in 2013.

    The programme will take advantage of existing work to enable SIM-based authentication onto WiFi networks, as carried out by the WBA and the WiFi Alliance in their aligned Next Generation Hotspot and Hotspot 2.0  programmes. Although device-level authentication is one aspect of the process that enables devices to roam between WiFi and cellular networks there are other technical and commercial issues to sort out, and this is really what the GSMA-WBA announcement is about.