Just about every major carrier in the US will debut 5G networks and service next year, and Verizon seems to be in the front line, as the Big Red has just completed its first 5G data transmission on a smartphone.
Verizon has partnered with Motorola, Samsung, and Qualcomm to perform several tests over the 5G connection, including browsing the internet and placing a video call. They have been completed over the carrier's 28 GHz spectrum using Samsung's 5G New Radio solutions.
Last week, Google announced that it was ending that policy. It also ended the policy that forbade sexual harassment victims from bringing a companion or representative for support when discussing their complaints with HR--another change protesters demanded.
The following day, Facebook, which had a similar policy--that it defended as "official and appropriate" last year--announced that it was ending its forced arbitration policy as well. Microsoft, Uber, and Lyft all ended similar policies in the past year. But Google and Facebook's changes are significant, not only because they are "FAANG" companies (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google), the most high-profile companies in Silicon Valley, but also because both are companies that have traditionally been very careful--almost fanatical--about keeping nearly everything they do confidential, a practice that goes way beyond new product ideas and designs and also covers internal policies, aspects of corporate culture, and much more.
Verizon Wireless – in partnership with Motorola, Samsung Electronics America and Qualcomm Technologies – has announced that it has completed what it claims is the ‘world’s first 5G data transmission on a smartphone on a commercial 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) network’. This successful test was completed with a moto z3 paired with a 5G moto mod – supposedly the world’s first 5G-upgradeable smartphone – in Providence, Rhode Island.
The cellco notes that this device is the same 5G-upgradeable smartphone device consumers will use on Verizon’s 5G mobile network when commercial service begins in 2019. The companies performed several tests over the 5G connection, including browsing the internet and placing a video call. The transmissions were completed using Verizon’s 28GHz spectrum and Samsung 5G NR solutions.
Mobile network operator EE, part of Britain's top telecoms company BT Group, said on Tuesday it would launch next-generation 5G wireless services in 16 British cities next year.
The network would first be rolled out in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester and later in ten more cities, upgrading some 1,500 sites to 5G to start with, EE said.
EE rival Vodafone said in September it would have 1,000 5G-enabled network sites in Britain by 2020 capable of delivering blisteringly fast speeds and near-instant response times.
KPN announced plans to launch a new range of residential plans from 01 July. Designed to give customers more opportunity to customize their plans, the new portfolio comes with four basic subscriptions with internet and internet/TV, to which customers can add services such as fixed telephony, faster speeds, Spotify, Fox Sports and the Plus package with more TV channels.
The basic internet plan costs EUR 39 per month for up to 40/4 Mbps and adding TV takes the price to EUR 49. The other two plans offer internet at up to 80/8 Mbps and TV reception on two sets with recording for EUR 59 per month or internet at up to 100/10 Mbps and two 4K TV receivers with recording for EUR 69 per month.
All the plans come with the 'KPN Veilig' security service for two devices, or five devices on the most expensive plan. It's not yet known how much the additional options will cost. Customers who combine the new 'Thuis' ('At home') plans with mobile services from KPN will continue to receive the KPN Compleet offer with bonuses such as double the usual mobile data allowance or a free channels package.
Zain Group said revenues for the first three months to 31 March decreased by 11 percent to KWD 247 million compared to the same period in 2016. Group data revenues (excluding SMS and VAS) increased 4 percent year-on-year, representing 25 percent of total revenues. EBITDA reached KWD 107 million, down 13 percent, reflecting an EBITDA margin of 43.4 percent. Net profit increased by 3 percent to KWD 38 million, reflecting earnings per share of KWD 0.10.
Forex effects cost the company USD 148 million in revenue, mainly due to the 59 percent currency devaluation in Sudan, with an effect of USD 68 million on EBITDA and USD 32 million on net income. Excluding the negative effect, revenues would have grown by 4 percent, EBITDA by 3 percent and net profit by 27 percent.
The board approved the distribution of a cash dividend of KWD 0.35 per share for 2016, in a meeting that saw the election of the group board for the next three years. The new board appointed Mohannad Mohammad Abdulmohsen Al-Kharafi as chairman and Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi as vice-chairman and group CEO.
Finland’s Ukko Mobile, which offers LTE-based services using spectrum in the 450MHz band, has announced a ten year deal under which it will gain access to the antennas and masts owned by local broadcaster Digita. In a press release confirming the development Ukko said that the agreement will allow it to enhance both its network reliability and its coverage area.
As previously reported , in December 2014 Ukko Mobile switched on what it claimed was the world’s first commercial LTE-450 network. The infrastructure was rolled out in collaboration with Chinese vendor Huawei, with the new network covering 99.9% of the Finnish population at launch.
Dubai: Bahrain has made the biggest change in Arab country rankings by jumping 21 places to 27 as per International Telecommunication Union’s 2015 “Measuring the Information Society Report” released on Monday.
The report, which has been published annually since 2009, features key ICT data and benchmarking tools to measure the information society, including the ICT Development Index (IDI).
The IDI 2015 captures the level of ICT (Information and communications technology) developments in 167 economies worldwide and compares progress made since the year 2010.
In 2015, Bahrain is ranked 27th, followed by Qatar at 31st, UAE at 32nd, Saudi Arabia at 41st, Kuwait at 46th and Oman at 54th.
In 2010, Qatar was ranked 37th, followed by Bahrain at 48th, Kuwait at 45th, UAE at 49th, Saudi Arabia at 56th and Oman at 64th.
The report stated that the top five countries in terms of ICT development — Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait — have IDI values over 6.50 and are among the top fifty countries in the global rankings.
Three of them (Bahrain, UAE and Saudi Arabia) are among the ten countries which have seen the most dynamic improvements in IDI rankings and values since 2010, as are two other countries in the region (Lebanon and Oman).
However, there is a growing disparity between these high-performing countries and those lower down the distribution. While GCC countries improved their IDI values by 1.78 points between 2010 and 2015, the average improvement for non-GCC countries was 0.89 points, the global average.
“The strong performance of GCC countries reflects the association between IDI and national income levels,” the report stated.
Globally, Korea is ranked the top in 2015 rankings, followed by Denmark, Iceland, United Kingdom and Sweden.
Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, which produces the report each year, said that ITU’s work in gathering and publishing statistics allows us to monitor the real progre
Sonos and Apple will launch support for the Apple Music subscription service this month on Dec. 15, though it will initially be available as a public beta to users of Sonos speaker systems.
Sonos announced on Monday that it has been working closely with Apple to bring Apple Music to its Sonos ecosystem. Beginning Dec. 15, the "early preview" will offer Sonos users access to their Apple Music library, as well as the features "For You," "New," and "Radio."
Beyond the initial beta period, general availability will start in early 2016. Sonos is now allowing customers to register for the beta program on its website.
"Many of our members love Sonos and want to enjoy our service throughout their homes," said Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "We're thrilled to be working with Sonos to provide the Apple Music experience in even more places fans enjoy music."
Apple Music will be able to be controlled through the Sonos app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Mac, PC and Android phones. With Sonos speakers, users will be able to play their Apple msuic content in any or multiple rooms in their home.
"Streaming is bringing more music into everyone's lives — and that's a better life. The introduction of Apple Music marks an inflection point for streaming and its mass adoption," said Sonos co-founder and CEO John MacFarlane. "Now that we have access to virtually all the music on Earth, how music lovers listen to it is even more important. We are honored to bring Apple Music to Sonos listeners all over the world."
A Leading Telecom research company has recognized the partnership between Zain Group and Uber as the most innovative service for November 2015.
Around 82 innovative services launched by telecom service providers around the world were reviewed by the company.
The partnership between Zain Group and Uber was announced in September 2015. As per the deal, Zain is Uber’s main mobile service provider for any future Uber services in any country where Zain operates.
Zain Group, which has presence in 8 telecom markets in Africa and the Middle East, will be gaining from the potential to create incremental revenues, attract new mobile customers, and increase wireless customer loyalty as Uber is achieving continual growth across the region.
“As we transform Zain into a digital services company, partnering with technology providers such as Uber is a key component of our strategy,” said Zain Group CEO Scott Gegenheimer. The Middle East and North Africa is one of Uber’s fastest growing
Mobile operator Robi said it will need 12 months for completion of the merger with Airtel to become the second largest mobile operator in the country. An official approval for the proposed merger is expected to be released within the next three months, The Daily Star reports, citing Robi's CEO Supun Weerasinghe. "Twelve more months will be required to complete the whole process", Weerasinghe said.
Orange has signed a partnership with French international energy group Engie (formerly GDF Suez) to expand the rural electricity grid and optimise Engie's electricity supply to Orange equipment in Africa. The agreement between the two COP21 partners reasserts their willingness to apply their experience to achieve sustainable development in Africa.
Orange is present in 19 AME countries and Engie currently supplies 760 MW of power in Africa. Engie aims to become one of the continent’s energy leaders by 2025. The company has created a dedicated business unit with around a hundred employees and has several major projects in the pipeline.
The two groups will trial a range of domestic power supply solutions marketed for rural populations by Orange subsidiaries and billed via Orange Money. These could include individual solar kits and small local electricity networks. Orange intends to pursue its stable and secure power supply programme, to reduce its energy footprint and to contain costs despite rapid acceleration in energy demand.
An estimated 69 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s population and 90 percent of those in rural areas had no access to a power grid, according to a 2014 report from BearingPoint.
5 Feb 2015
WiseStrokes has offered another perk for their premium subscription service subscribers. The subscribers of this premium subscription service will now be entitled to a 30% Flat discount throughout the subscription year for all upcoming reports. An official said that this offer is available only for the subscription holders and it’ll enhance the value of their subscription package for the subscribers. WiseStrokes releases 6-8 Market research reports during the financial year on the booming topics and this offer is going to prove a money saver for its esteemed clientele.
5 Feb 2015
The organisers of Milan Expo 2015 have deployed one of the world’s most advanced smart city networks, with Italian telco Telecom Italia and networking supplier Cisco holding the reins.
With a history dating back to London’s Great Exhibition of 1851 – hosted at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park – a universal exposition, or world’s fair, is an international exhibition sanctioned and approved by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE).
Some 160 years on, the exhibitions organised under the BIE’s banner are designed to highlight scientific and cultural achievement and serve as a branding exercise and tourist draw for the host city.
The theme of the 2015 Expo is “Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life”. It will tackle two fundamental issues: creating the conditions to create sufficient, healthy food for all seven billion people on the planet; and environmental sustainability.
Visitors to the various national pavilions at a brownfield site in Rho, on the western side of Milan, will be able to explore and interact around themes such as nutritional science, sustainable agriculture, the fight against global hunger and so on.
Held between 1 May and 31 October, the organisers expect Expo 2015 to attract 20 million visitors, with up to 250,000 visitors on peak summer weekends.
5 Feb 2015
Says grants Tecnocom two-year information technology contract worth over 10.5 million euros ($12.01 million) Further company coverage: ($1 = 0.8740 euros)
5 Feb 2015
A new smartphone accessory has been developed by engineers at Columbia University which is capable of detecting three markers for sexually transmitted diseases by just pricking a finger.
The engineers said that the dongle takes less than 15 minutes to tell if a person has either syphilis or HIV.
The contraption has been tested by the researchers in Rwanda, where mother-to-child STD transmission is high. According to engineers, the dongle can be used to facilitate diagnoses for STDS in other disease-zone areas of the world.
They said that the new accessory could transform these diagnostic tests in developed countries like the United States in future too.
"In the US actually, there's a trend towards providing a lot of health care services away from hospitals - it's infrastructure-heavy and expensive, and you really shouldn't have to be there," lead author Samuel K. Sia, biomedical engineering professor at Columbia, told FoxNews.com.
"Catching diseases is about being proactive and preventative [with these accessories] I think you could actually see a lot of savings, and more privacy and convenience."
The dongle which works only with a smartphone replicates traditional lab-based diagnostics for the HIV antibody, as well as two markers for syphilis - the treponemal-specific antibody and the non-treponemal antibody for active syphilis infection - in a single-test format. The dongle does so by performing an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Syphilis and HIV are particularly chosen by the accessory to test because they are two serious infections that can be passed from mother to child in the womb, Sia said. "That doesn't mean other STDS aren't on the list - they are, and other non-STDs are. But these are priority because of the burden of disease and seriousness of disease, and how treatable they are," Sia added
5 Feb 2015
Apple is in talks aimed at getting hold of content for a pay-television service, technology news website Re/code reported on Wednesday.
The California-based maker of iPhones, iPads, iPods, Macintosh computers and Apple TV boxes is exploring the potential for deals that would let it sell bundles of programming directly to viewers.
Apple could model a service after recent moves by Dish and Sony to work with programmers to deliver live TV shows along with the kind of on-demand vi .
5 Feb 2015
Twitter has reportedly reached a deal with Google to make its tweets more searchable online, according to Bloomberg, which cites people with knowledge of the matter.
Tweets will be visible in Google search results as soon as they are posted, starting during the first half of the year.
Twitter and Google engineers have started working on the project, Bloomberg says, but there are no details on the terms of the deal.
Twitter and Google already had such a deal in place in 2011, but it was pulled after Google launched its own competing social network, Google Plus, that aimed squarely at Facebook and Twitter. Since then, Google had to crawl Twitter for indexing tweets, which it will no longer have to do -- they will now come directly from Twitter.
4 Feb 2015
The Government of Ecuador has concluded negotiations to award 4G LTE mobile licences to the country’s two private sector cellcos, America Movil-backed Conecel (Claro Ecuador) and Telefonica subsidiary Movistar Ecuador, for a total price of USD330 million, telecoms regulator Conecel reports on its website. Following confirmation from Minister of Telecommunication & Information Society Augusto Espin Tobar, on 2 February 2015 Conatel approved terms and technical, economic and legal conditions for the allocation of an additional 60MHz of frequencies to largest operator Claro for USD180 million, and a 50MHz spectrum allocation costing rival Movistar USD150 million, with the watchdog confirming that the licence awards include ‘a portion of spectrum to improve the quality of 3G services.’ As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Minister Espin last month disclosed that the portions of spectrum included the AWS (1700MHz/2100MHz) band – to be utilised for LTE – and the 1900MHz band – for expanding 3G, while an expansion of import quotas for LTE smartphones was also negotiated. State-owned Corporacion Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT) currently operates Ecuador’s only 4G LTE service, utilising the AWS band. Ecuador’s National Secretary of Telecommunications, Ing Ana Proano, was quoted in Conecel’s press release as saying: ‘The additional allocation of spectrum for advanced mobile service is a direct benefit for citizens, since it will improve the quality of 3G and 4G, deliver[ing] new services across the territory,’ whilst noting that licensed operators of advanced mobile services must roll out new voice and data coverage across specified territory (‘990km highway’). TeleGeography notes that Claro and Movistar currently offer 2G/3G services in the 850MHz and 1900MHz bands, and the new AWS and 1900MHz frequencies will be added to their 15 year licences which were renewed in 2008 (expiring in 2023).
4 Feb 2015
Georgian mobile operator Mobitel, which provides services under the brand Beeline, has announced the commercial launch of its 4G LTE network. Coverage of the new high speed service is currently available in 30 towns and cities across the country, including the capital Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Telavi, Kobuleti, Poti, Zugdidi, Senaki, Rustavi, Gori, Samtredia, Zestafoni and Senaki. Mobitel, which is backed by the Vimpelcom group, states that 4G customers can surf the internet at average downstream speeds of between 10Mbps and 20Mbps. A number of LTE internet tariffs are on offer, ranging in price from GEL1 (USD0.5) for 200MB of data (valid for one day), to GEL15 for an allowance of 5GB (30 days), while the ‘Beeline Mix’ tariff bundles range in price from GEL2 for the daily package of 500MB of data, 50 voice minutes and 500 SMS to GEL20 for 2GB and unlimited calls and SMS.
Last month TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) confirmed it had sold a 4G spectrum licence for 2×10MHz blocks in the 800MHz band to Mobitel for around GEL50.782 million. Under the terms of the concession, the cellco is required to provide 4G coverage to 30% of settlements with a population of less than 5,000 by 1 February 2016, with this condition rising to 50% by 1 February 2017, 70% twelve months after that and finally 90% of all settlements with less than 5,000 inhabitants by 1 February 2020.
4 Feb 2015
The total number of mobile number portability (MNP) applications in Russia reached 1.462 million on 1 February 2015, ComNews reports, citing data from the Central Research Institute of Communications. However, of this figure, only 1.002 million numbers have successfully been ported to date. The article notes that most of the rejected applications relate to incomplete applications or a user’s ineligibility to
4 Feb 2015
Turkcell’s fixed broadband subsidiary Superonline has partnered with Telekom Austria Group to deploy a multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) point of presence (PoP) in Istanbul. According to the Turkish ISP, the interconnection that will connect the PoP has a capacity of 8Tbps capacity and utilises 100Gbps technology. The collaboration underlines Istanbul’s strategic location as a global data hub. Superonline’s data centres and infrastructure began to host the PoP last month.
South Africa’s Vodacom Group said normalised revenue for its fiscal third quarter ended 31 December 2014 declined by 1.1% year-on-year to ZAR19.993 billion (USD1.744 billion), with service revenue down 2.7% to ZAR15.815 billion, impacted by the 50% decline in mobile termination rates (MTRs) in South Africa, increased competition and growing pressure on consumer spending in a weak economy. Further, taking into account currency fluctuations, the fall in revenue was an even steeper 2.2%, while service revenue was 3.9% lower, it said. The fall in turnover came despite it adding a net 5.1 million new customers over the past twelve months, prompting its CEO Shameel Joosub to say it had been a ‘challenging quarter’ for the group.
In its home market, Vodacom reported a 3.1% y-o-y fall in revenue to ZAR15.987 billion, mainly down to a drop in service revenue relating to the regulator Icasa’s ongoing phased reduction in MTRs. ‘Service revenue declined 5.8% due to the 50% cut in MTRs in April 2014 and by increased competition and weaker consumer spending. Excluding the impact of MTRs, service revenue declined 1.7%,’ Vodacom said.
On a more positive note, Vodacom reported strong growth in mobile data revenue, which climbed 19.9% on an annualised basis to ZAR4.3 billion – equivalent to 27.4% of total service revenue. Data traffic in South Africa surged by 62.2% (and active data customers increased to 16.8 million) and climbed threefold across the group’s international operations (Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania). In addition, Vodacom said the total number of active smartphones and tablets on the South African network rose by 23.6% in the year to 9.5 million, generating average monthly data usage of 358MB, up by 41.1% y-o-y. Data revenue expanded by 18.8% to ZAR3.526 billion and accounted for 29.7% of group service revenue. The CEOnoted that in order to support South Africans’ demand for data it has continued to expand its 4G Long Term Evolution (
4 Feb 2015
Netherlands-based KPN has posted revenues of EUR2.105 billion (USD2.395 billion) for the three month period ended 31 December 2014, up 2.1% from EUR2.601 billion in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, revenues for full year 2014 dropped 4.6% on an annualised basis, from EUR8.472 billion to EUR8.083 billion. EBITDA for 4Q14 increased 19% from EUR581 million to EUR691 million y-o-y, while operating profit more than doubled, from EUR98 million to EUR218 million. CAPEX in 4Q14 increased from EUR411 million to EUR482 million.
In operational terms, KPN notes that its total 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) user base exceeded two million at year-end, of which 1.332 million were consumer connections, up from 1.1 million quarter-on-quarter. Business users represented the remaining 733,000 4G accounts.
KPN CEO Eelco Blok commented: ‘2014 was a transformational year for KPN in which we made good strategic progress. Following the sale of E-Plus we acquired the remaining stake in the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) joint venture Reggefiber, further strengthening our position in the Netherlands … The attractive 20.5% stake in Telefonica Deutschland provides additional flexibility and upside via potential dividends Supported by the excellent operational momentum we have seen a stabilising financial performance through successive quarters of 2014.’
4 Feb 2015
Bharti Airtel reported revenues for its fiscal third quarter to December up 5.8 percent year-on-year to INR 232.2 billion (USD 3.75 billion). EBITDA rose a faster 9.6 percent to INR 77.9 billion, and the margin improved to 33.5 percent from 32.4 a year ago. Net profit more than doubled, to INR 14.4 billion from INR 6.1 billion. Amid a 60 percent increase in capex for rolling out LTE and expanding 3G in India, operating cash flow fell 23.4 percent to INR 32.8 billion.
The mobile customer base increased 3.1 percent compared to September, to 299.71 million. Growth was strongest in Africa, up 4.5 percent to 74.60 million customers, while India grew by 2.6 percent to 217.22 million, and the rest of South Asia rose 2.8 percent to 7.89 million. The broadband customer base was little changed at 3.39 million, and TV subscribers increased by 2.8 percent in the three months to 9.81 million.
In India, Airtel grew mobile service revenues 14 percent year-on-year to INR 130.1 billion, thanks to a bigger customer base and more stable pricing. ARPU rose 2 percent from the previous quarter and 4 percent year-on-year to INR 202, driven by growing data usage. The data customer base increased 32 percent to 42.25 million, of which 16.94 million used 3G. Data traffic nearly doubled year-on-year and was up 14 percent from the previous quarter to 77.28 million MB. Data now accounts for 22.6 percent of service revenue, versus 17.0 percent a year ago.
Airtel added almost 3,800 3G sites in the quarter for a total 41,850 at the end of December. Tota network sites were up by 1,600 to just under 143,000, and the operator also added almost 5,000 km of fibre in the quarter.
In Africa, revenues in dollars were under pressure from currency fluctuations and economic pressure in a number of oil- and commodity-dependent countries. Revenues fell 5.3 percent year-on-year to USD 1.10 billion, but were up 3.9 percent at constant currency rates. ARPU dropped to