Displaying items by tag: networks

Chinese telecommunication vendors ZTE and Huawei have both endured a difficult number of years in the US marketplace – and their issues have multiplied during the Trump administration.

ZTE were momentarily crippled and almost went out of business following a decision by the US Department of Commerce to ban US companies from using their equipment and products for 7 years. However, following an intervention from US President Donald Trump, the ban was overturned and the vendor was instead hit with a $1bn fine and has to adhere to a number of strict rules and regulations.

Huawei have also been subjected to sharp criticism and have been deemed by US intelligence as a serious threat to national security due to their close ties to the Chinese government. Observers believe that the aggression from the US towards the Chinese telecommunication vendors is part of Trump’s plan to use them as pawns in his trade war with China.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing escalated when ZTE were initially banned, and it sparked an angry backlash from China. The rest of the world looked on anxiously as the two economic superpowers clashed head-on, it has since deescalated, but the high-profile arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver has once again put diplomatic relations between the two countries under the microscope.

However, the situation in the US for both ZTE and Huawei is set to worsen following reports that US President Donald Trump is set to issue an executive order that would effectively ban operators in the country from using the Chinese manufacturer’s equipment and products.

Reuters has reported that the Trump administration has been mulling over the order for eight months, but it expected to formally enact it later this month.  It is said the order would not name Huawei or its compatriot ZTE by name but would give the US Department of Commerce scope to ban any supplier it suspects of being a threat to national security.

Published in Telecom Vendors

European telecommunications vendor Ericsson has compiled another comprehensive Mobility Report and the strategic forecast is projecting that 5G will reach 1.5bn subscriptions by 2024.

5G is expected to reach more than 40 percent global population coverage and 1.5 billion subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband by the end of 2024. This will make 5G the fastest generation of cellular technology to be rolled out on a global scale, according to the latest edition of the Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) Mobility Report.

Key drivers for 5G deployment include increased network capacity, lower cost per gigabyte and new use case requirements. North America and North East Asia are expected to lead the 5G uptake.

In North America, 5G subscriptions are forecast to account for 55 percent of mobile subscriptions by the end of 2024. In North East Asia, the corresponding forecast figure is more than 43 percent.
In Western Europe, 5G is forecast to account for some 30 percent of mobile subscriptions in the region by end of 2024.

The uptake of NB-IoT and Cat-M1 technologies is driving growth in the number of cellular IoT connections worldwide. Of the 4.1 billion cellular IoT connections forecast for 2024, North East Asia is expected to account for 2.7 billion – a figure reflecting both the ambition and size of the cellular IoT market in this region. 

Diverse and evolving requirements across a wide range of use cases are prompting service providers to deploy both NB-IoT and Cat-M1 in their markets.

Mobile data traffic grew 79 percent between Q3 2017 and Q3 2018 – China a key engine
Mobile data traffic in Q3 2018 grew close to 79 percent year-on-year, which is the highest rate since 2013. Increased data-traffic-per-smartphone in North East Asia– mainly in China – has pushed the global figure notably higher.

With a traffic growth per smartphone of around 140 percent between end 2017 and end 2018, the region has the second highest data traffic per smartphone at 7.3 gigabytes per month. This is comparable to streaming HD video for around 10 hours per month.

North America still has the highest data traffic per smartphone, set to reach 8.6 gigabytes per month by the end of this year – which can be compared to streaming HD video for over 12 hours monthly.

Ericsson claims that between the timeframe of 2018-2024, total mobile data traffic is expected to increase by a factor of five, with 5G networks projected to carry 25 percent of mobile traffic by the end of the period.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks, says: “As 5G now hits the market, its coverage build-out and uptake in subscriptions are projected to be faster than for previous generations. At the same time, cellular IoT continues to grow strongly. What we are seeing is the start of fundamental changes that will impact not just the consumer market but many industries.”
The Mobility report also features articles on fixed wireless access and how to make it a reality, streaming video from megabits to gigabytes, and developing the smart wireless manufacturing market.

Published in Telecom Vendors

TELUS reports strong financial results for Q3

Written on Sunday, 11 November 2018 09:00

TELUS Corporation today released its unaudited results for the third quarter of 2018. For the quarter, the operator consolidated operating revenue of $3.8 billion increased by 11 per cent over the same period a year ago.

This growth was driven by higher wireless network and equipment revenues, wireline services revenue growth and higher other operating income resulting from our share of the non-recurring equity income related to real estate joint ventures of $171 million arising from the sale of TELUS Garden. Excluding this equity income consolidated operating revenue increased by 5.8 per cent.

Earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 8.2 per cent to $1.3 billion due to higher revenue growth as referenced above and improved wireless equipment margins.

This growth was partly offset by incremental employee benefits expense due to recent business acquisitions and increased costs to support our growing customer base. Adjusted EBITDA was up 6.4 per cent when excluding the net gain from the sale of TELUS Garden, as well as restructuring and other costs, which included our committed donation of $118 million to the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation.

“TELUS reported strong operational and financial results for the third quarter, including robust customer growth across both the wireless and wireline segments of our business. This was buttressed by a continued excellent performance in wireless and wireline customer loyalty and lifetime revenue,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO. “Importantly, the TELUS team continues to achieve industry-leading postpaid wireless churn, and realized record third quarter high-speed Internet and TV retention levels. This performance was driven by our team’s relentless focus on providing exceptional customer experiences, and was anchored by the ongoing generational investments we are making in our leading broadband wireline and wireless networks, both of which are hallmarks of TELUS’ successful, long-term growth strategy.”

Mr. Entwistle added, “The efficacy of our broadband technology investments is reflected in TELUS, once again, being named as having the fastest mobile network in Canada by PCMag. This repeat acknowledgement builds on our outstanding record of achievement with respect to network excellence, having already earned the top spot in all major mobile networks reporting this year, including Ookla, J.D. Power and OpenSignal. These leading network rankings, each received consecutively for two or more years, reinforce the consistent superiority of TELUS’ broadband networks available to citizens across the country.

Mr. Entwistle further commented, “Our dividend increase announced today, on the back of our 41 per cent free cash flow growth, reflects the sixteenth increase since 2011, and is the fourth in our most recent three-year dividend growth program, targeting annual growth between seven and 10 per cent through 2019. This builds on our proven track record of providing investors with the industry’s best multi-year dividend growth program, which continues to generate significant value for our shareholders. Notably, TELUS has now returned $16 billion to shareholders, including $10.8 billion in dividends, representing $27 per share since 2004. We look forward to updating investors on the progression of this program at our 2019 annual general meeting.”

Doug French, Executive Vice-president and CFO said, “For the third quarter of 2018, TELUS delivered positive operational and financial results, reflecting the strength of our multiple product and valued service offerings, our commitment to customer service excellence and our network superiority. Our strategic capital investments are clearly paying off, as evidenced by our strong subscriber and loyalty results, and position us to maintain our network leadership as we progressively move towards the arrival of 5G.”

Mr. French added, “As we head into the seasonally important final quarter of 2018, we remain focused on executing against our strategy, amplifying our efforts on cost efficiency, focusing on margin accretive customer growth and investing to support our growth strategy. Today we are raising our full year 2018 assumption for restructuring and other costs, including an additional $50 million targeted towards further streamlining our business and enhancing our effectiveness in serving our growing customer base. This additional investment in restructuring, to be recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018, is expected to deliver annual cost savings of more than $50 million beginning next year. Meanwhile, our net debt to EBITDA leverage ratio continues to improve, putting us in good position for 2019.”

Published in Telecom Operators

AT&T and Nokia are teaming up to provide virtually seamless Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity around the world. The companies are using Nokia’s Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) to offer AT&T’s enterprise customers the benefits of Nokia’s global IoT ecosystem. These include core network, dedicated IoT operations, billing, security, data analytics, and more.

AT&T and Nokia will develop, test and launch the next generation of IoT services. They’ll cover a wide range of industries including transportation, health, manufacturing, retail, agriculture, utilities, consumer electronics and smart cities.

Commercial deployment starts later this year. WING’s core network assets are expected to be available in more than 20 countries across Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and the Middle East by the first quarter of 2020. The collaboration will help set the stage for the evolution to global 5G.

Together the companies can help enterprise customers:

  • Bring more capabilities to more places with increased performance and flexibility, lower latency, and enhanced platform capabilities.
  • Address specific business requirements through capabilities like 5G network slicing that allows a single network to be partitioned into multiple networks.
  • Meet local regulatory requirements for IoT devices.

“Our work with Nokia WING will help clear away the complexity of large-scale IoT adoption so that our customers can unlock the potential of IoT worldwide,” said Chris Penrose, President, Internet of Things Solutions, AT&T. “Boosted by Nokia’s globally deployed ‘one-stop shop’ network technology, we can be more nimble and responsive to our customers’ needs.”

“This collaboration proves our commitment to the global IoT market, providing seamless connectivity across geographical borders and technologies,” said Sanjay Goel, President of Global Services at Nokia. “With AT&T’s leading position in IoT and proven experience meeting real customer needs, we have a winning combination to bolster our global IoT capabilities.”

AT&T offers global IoT solutions through a combination of owned and third party-provided capabilities that enable superior network performance in more than 200 countries and territories. Connected devices are deployed and controlled easily and quickly in multiple countries using a single, global SIM.

AT&T’s cloud-based Multi-Network Connect platform will simplify connectivity and platform capabilities for AT&T’s use of Nokia WING. Multi-Network Connect lets businesses manage IoT devices across multiple cellular and satellite networks, operators and regions through a single portal.

Nokia WING offers a fully integrated, global managed service for IoT connectivity enablement for mobile network operators, providing innovative features, optimizing investments and reducing time to market. Working with WING, AT&T will speed the delivery of IoT services on a global scale and drive emerging IoT applications.

Published in Telecom Operators

Infinera and Seaborn Networks (Seaborn) tells us they have deployed Infinera’s new XTS-3300 meshponders on Seaborn’s Seabras-1 submarine cable to rapidly offer cloud connectivity services like SeaCloud™. Seabras-1 is the only submarine cable system with a direct connection between São Paulo, Brazil and New York City, enabling Seaborn to offer SeaSpeed™, its proprietary lowest-latency route, between these key global financial centers. 

Seaborn recently announced that Seabras-1 is now ready for operations. At 10,600 kilometers of subsea cable with multiple branching units, Seabras-1 is the longest uncompensated cable deployed connecting North and South America. Seabras-1 is designed to provide additional route diversity to Virginia Beach, Miami, St. Croix, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, southern Brazil and Cape Town. Seaborn selected the XTS-3300 to deliver the industry’s highest subsea spectral efficiency and lowest power consumption available in a commercially deployed, compact, easy-to-use platform. 

While many subsea cables can take days to activate capacity, the Seaborn team was able to configure the XTS-3300 and light the fiber in an impressive 30 minutes. Infinera’s unique large-scale photonic integration technology delivers terabit super-channels and, along with the Advanced Coherent Toolkit (ACT), enables rapid activation of subsea links. With Infinera Instant Bandwidth, the industry’s first software defined capacity (SDC) solution, Seaborn can deploy bandwidth in 100 gigabits per second increments within minutes and a few clicks of a mouse, while the XTS-3300 platform enables scalability up to 11.8 terabits per second on a fiber. The XTS-3300 seamlessly integrates with Seaborn’s existing Infinera terrestrial backhaul networks in Brazil and New York, which include Infinera’s XTC and XTM Series.

The XTS-3300 provides Seaborn with a subsea platform that integrates the groundbreaking performance of the Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine 4 (ICE4), which features unique performance-enhancing technologies such as Nyquist subcarriers and SD-FEC gain sharing. The deployment of the XTS-3300 on Seabras-1 significantly exceeded Seaborn’s capacity-reach performance targets, helping increase the return on Seaborn’s deployed subsea cable asset. The XTS-3300 is a highly efficient rack-and-stack solution with the lowest power consumption in a commercially deployed platform.  

“In our quest to meet unprecedented bandwidth demand from our customers, we rely on solutions that are easy to operate, highly reliable and provide cloud scale capacity in a small form factor,” said Larry W. Schwartz, Chairman & CEO, Seaborn Networks. “The Infinera XTS3300 meshponder significantly exceeded our expectations, allowing us to provision services within minutes between our Infinera metro networks in Brazil and New York. This, combined with Instant Bandwidth, enables us to rapidly respond to our customers’ hyperscale requirements and offer cloud scale service on demand.”

“We are honored to partner with Seaborn to light the Seabras-1 cable,” said Tom Fallon, Infinera Chief Executive Officer. “Infinera continues to push the physics of the optical transport world for the benefit of our customers and the networks they run. The XTS-3300 is purpose-built for subsea applications, delivering industry leading subsea performance while integrating seamlessly into Seaborn’s existing terrestrial and subsea network.” 

Published in Infrastructure

Irish telecommunications incumbent Eir has announced that it will ‘retire’ its mobile phone brand Meteor in September. Meteor has been a huge success since its inception in 2001, and has been particularly popular with the young generation of mobile phone users.

However, the mobile phone network will now be rebranded as ‘Eir’, which will see it join an existing mobile phone service provided by the company under the Eir name. Meteor has over 750,000 customers but the new merger will see Eir now have around 1.1 million mobile customers.

A spokesman for the Dublin-based telecommunications firm said that customers would benefit significantly from the rebranding, and assured customers that the transition from Meteor to Eir will be ‘seamless’. Eir, CEO, Richard Moat declared that the new merger decision would enable customers to explore a ‘world of possibilities’.

In a statement, the CEO said, "Meteor customers will continue using their mobiles exactly as before - with the added benefit of a world of possibilities. By focusing on a single mobile brand and reducing the duplication of supporting two brands, we can offer better value and increased innovation."

In addition to this, Meteor customers have received assurances that there will be no change to their current contract and data plans during the transition and rebranding process, whilst the current customer care lines will also remain intact.

Eir formerly known as Eircom acquired Meteor in 2005. It adopted an aggressive approach to marketing and advertising and a significant investment into both areas was subsequently made. Meteor sponsored a number of commercial events, including the Meteor Choice Awards.

The company is reported to be spending around €3m and €4m on its 'Let's make it possible' campaign and believes that the mobile phone business would be better served by benefiting from the lift provided by this campaign than separate marketing investment in Meteor.

It has also been claimed that Eir will begin to communicate the change to customers from this week onwards. The group has 84 retail units nationwide which is comprised of Eir, Meteor and dual branded stores that will all become part of the Eir franchise in the forthcoming months ahead.

Spokesman for Eir, Paul Bradley, said the decision to merge services clearly highlights and indicates the organization’s confidence in Eir. He said, "We have adopted a single brand strategy. You can get your bundle from Eir, your broadband from Eir, your TV from Eir and mobile from Eir. What it reflects is our growing confidence in the Eir brand. We are almost two years in from when the company launched the brand and there has been work to evolve the Meteor brand over the last couple of years because initially it was a youth brand and a pre-pay focused brand. But now it is a much healthier mix of prepay and bill pay."

Published in Telecom Operators

ZTE Corporation, a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, announced the company successfully completed tests in seven major scenarios that are part of the second phase of China’s National 5G tests, setting multiple new records for network speeds and performance.

Phase 2 of China’s National 5G tests, organized by IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group, were conducted in Huairou in Beijing. ZTE completed tests for continuous wide coverage, eMBB (enhanced mobile broadband) at sub-6Ghz, eMBB at millimeter-wave frequencies, uRLLC (ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications), eMTC (massive Machine Type Communications), in addition to two hybrid scenarios, achieving multiple breakthroughs:

  • eMBB@Sub6GHz Test: New Record for the Peak Value, with Cell Throughput Exceeding 19 Gbps

In the eMBB@Sub6GHz test scenario, ZTE provided 28 streams for multiple users by using the 3.5 GHz pre-commercial base station, with a peak cell throughput higher than 19 Gbps, a new industry record. This data rate is higher than the ITU-defined value (10 Gbps). ZTE’s solution overcomes the limitations of standard interfaces, and provides more spatial division streams than the standard and common value (16 streams) in the industry. This technology is especially suitable for China's densely-populated urban areas, highlighting ZTE’s technology leadership in 5G eMBB scenarios.

  • Industry-first eMBB@mmWave Test: Single-User Rate Exceeding 13 Gbps

ZTE was the first to use the 26GHz base station in the high-frequency eMBB test scenario, and achieved a 4-stream rate of 13 Gbps even when a single test terminal supported a bandwidth of less than 1 GHz. This rate is higher than that defined by ITU (10 Gbps), and is a major step forward in the development and commercialization of high-frequency mobile communications.

  • mMTC Scenario: Massive Capacity of 90 Million Connections/MHz/hour/km2

In the mMTC test scenario, ZTE increased the overload rate of connected terminals by 600 percent by using the innovative MUSA (multi-user shared access) technology, and verified an equivalent massive IoT access performance of 90 million connections/MHz/hour/km2, which is 90 times the value (1 million connections/square kilometers) currently defined by ITU. mMTC is one of the three key scenarios defined in 3GPP standards. ZTE plays a leading role in the NOMA (non-orthogonal multiple access) Working Group, serving to accelerate industry standardization of 5G globally.

  • uRLLC Scenario: Ultra-Low Latency of 0.416 ms

In the uRLLC test scenario, ZTE achieved an ultra-low latency of 0.416 ms based on a unified test platform, lower than the ITU-defined 1 ms. The system is based on ZTE's self-developed chipsets, which is self-adaptable in eMBB and uRLLC scenarios. The results show ZTE’s leadership in the implementation of key 5G uRLLC technologies and prototypes, which is a key step for 5G commercialization in the future.

  • Network Slicing: Unified Solution to Three Scenarios

In the hybrid test scenarios, ZTE created a unified network supporting the air interfaces in eMBB, mMTC, and uRLLC scenarios through network slicing and base stations at sub-6GHz. This achieved flexible configuration of services, allowing a cell to connect a variety of service terminals. Test results showed that the single-cell peak rate reached 15 Gbps, while the air interface latency was lower than 0.416 ms, and the massive connectivity capacity was more than 90 million connections/MHz/hour/km2 at the same time. These three scenarios represent industry breakthroughs in the development for network air interfaces. Through the application of network slicing technology, ZTE simplified the complex network deployment and management, by providing unified air interfaces, bringing flexible and extensive user experience on the future 5G networks.

During the second phase of China’s National 5G tests, ZTE completed verification of its pre-commercial 5G products at sub-6GHz, millimeter wave as well as VCNs, and launched the laboratory and field tests smoothly when interconnecting with the instruments and chips from other manufacturers in the industry. The test results showed that ZTE's products can meet the key performance requirements in seven typical application scenarios, including higher spectral efficiency, greater connection density, higher reliability, and lower latency of air interfaces. ZTE is committed to driving the commercialization of 5G products, laying a solid foundation for commercial 5G deployment in China by 2020.

Published in Telecom Operators

SK Telecom CTO, Alex Jinsung Choi, has claimed that whilst AI (Artificial Intelligence) will undoubtedly play a critical role in enhancing 5G networks – the technology itself still has a long way to go. SK Telecom’s CTO was speaking ahead of a VR and AR summit at Mobile World Congress Shanghai. (MWCS 2017)

According to Choi, AI will become a natural part of a consumers daily life, but did expresses his fears that it still has a considerable way to go before it’s in a position to be commercially deployed on a large scale. However, he did concede that he feels that AI technology does have the capabilities to ‘transform our lives’ by realizing things beyond our imaginations.

Choi said, “Although AI is being talked about a lot recently, it still has a long way to go. However, it is clear the pace of AI development and advancement will be accelerated thanks to the rapid development of related software and hardware technologies. As a result, AI will be used in many more areas to become a natural part of our daily lives.”

The consumer applications of AI continue to dominate the discussion at ICT industry exhibitions and tradeshows. However, Choi believes that AI represents great potential for mobile operators to utilize the technology to enhance the performance of forthcoming 5G networks.

He said, “Mobile networks have grown in complexity as they evolved from 2G to 3G, then to 4G. In the era of 5G the networks will become even more complex due to the use of diverse mobile technologies and massive cells. Also, the number of services, applications and devices it must support will grow explosively. AI will play a crucial role in operating these 5G networks in a stable and efficient manner.

Published in Telecom Operators

British telecommunications giant Vodafone has given the green light to its Indian unit to merge with Idea Cellular in order to create India’s largest telecoms operator. The merger has been made out of necessity following the emergence of 4G newcomer Reliance Jio.

Reliance Jio has disrupted the competitive Indian telecommunications market since it entered the sector in September, 2016. The company which is owned by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani - announced its arrival in emphatic fashion by offering vastly cheaper data packages and free voice calls for life. That subsequently led Norwegian operator Telenor to see its operations in India to Bharti Airtel.

The merger between Vodafone India and Idea Cellular has been touted for a number of months now – but it was officially confirmed by both organizations in a joint statement which was released to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The statement read, “Vodafone Group Plc and Idea Cellular today announced that they have reached an agreement to combine their operations in India. The combined company would become the leading communications provider in India with almost 400 million customers, 35 percent customer market share and 41 percent revenue market share.”

Following the merger, shares prices In Idea have rose by almost 4% in Mumbai – the partnership between Idea and Vodafone will now ensure it overtakes Bharti Airtel as India’s largest telecoms operator.  It’s believed that Vodafone will hold 45.1% of the merged entity – while Idea will have 26%.

According to reports from Bloomberg the merger will be worth around $23.2 billion based on the combined enterprise value of both organizations. It has also been disclosed that both companies will nominate three directors each in order to form a board.

Global brokerage firm CLSA has estimated that the Vodafone-Idea tie-up would command a revenue market share of 43 percent by the start of the 2019 financial year ahead of Airtel on 33 percent. Jio would have 13 percent.

The combination of Vodafone India and Idea will create a new champion of Digital India founded with a long-term commitment and vision to bring world class 4G networks to villages, towns and cities across India," Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao said in the statement.

Published in Telecom Operators

Vodafone confirmed that it has entered into merger negotiations with Idea Cellular in a move that could result in the creation of the largest telecoms company in India. The announcement has ended months of speculation in relation to the two operators entering a partnership agreement in an effort to fend off Reliance Jio.

Its emergence into the market has had a significant impact in what is already a saturated and ultra-competitive mobile network market. The confirmation of the negotiations has a huge impact on trading with idea shares, rocketing by a whopping 26% on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Vodafone India issued a statement and declared that there is no certainty any agreement will be reached between the two operators, but conceded if it did, that it would result in the de-consolidating of Vodafone India.

The statement said: “Vodafone confirms that it is in discussions with the Aditya Birla Group about an all share merger of Vodafone India (excluding Vodafone's 42% stake in Indus Towers) and Idea. Any merger would be affected through the issue of new shares in Idea to Vodafone and would result in Vodafone de-consolidating Vodafone India. There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms or timing of any transaction.

Some analysts have suggested that a merger between Vodafone India and the Mumbai-based Idea Cellular would effectively turn India lucrative multi-billion dollar telecommunications market on its head.  The group of analysts has estimated that the pair would command a combined revenue market share of 43 percent, ahead of rival Bharti Airtel, which would hold 33 percent.

Reliance Jio, has enjoyed great success since its inception last year – and the company is owned by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani who would have 13% according to some analysts who have carried out research into the proposed merger.

In September, the 4G Jio network launched an audacious free service for the remainder of the year. In addition to this it offered customers considerably cheaper data plans and free voice calls for life. That forced the hand of its rivals – and they responded by dramatically reducing their tariffs. It forced them to dig deep to compete with Jio who is heavily financed by India’s wealthy energy-to-chemicals conglomerate Reliance Industries.

Published in Telecom Operators
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