Displaying items by tag: 4G
VEON, the global provider of communications services, formerly known as VimpelCom, and its subsidiary Global Telecom Holding S.A.E., announced the acquisition of additional 4G/LTE spectrum in Pakistan, through their local 85% owned subsidiary, Jazz.
This is a crucial milestone for VEON in its ambition to become a global digital leader and is expected to improve the customer experience in terms of voice quality, data speeds and connectivity.
Jazz won the auction, awarding it 10 MHz paired spectrum in the 1800 MHz band for a total consideration of USD 295 million plus withholding tax of 10%.
Jon Eddy, VEON’s Head of Emerging Markets and Chairman of GTH, commented, “VEON is committed to creating the best user experience for Jazz’s more than 53 million customers. This additional spectrum will let our customers surf faster, with better quality and coverage, making VEON the ideal platform to fulfill Pakistan’s digital ambitions.”
Jazz is considered to be Pakistan’s leading telecom service providers, spearheading service excellence and product innovation in the country, with a subscriber base above 50 million and a legacy of more than 20 years.
His Excellency Eng. Yasser El Kady, Egypt’s ICT Minister, has announced that 4G frequencies are ready to be used in the country. Following delays, 4G services will soon be deployed. The Egyptian Government has completed preparations for the transfer of 4G frequencies to operators, according to the Minister, after selling four licenses in a 2016 auction.
“We are now ready to hand over 4G mobile frequencies to any company that is ready. We are waiting for companies to finish preparations to receive the frequencies,” said El Kady speaking to Reuters news agency.
The first operators to sign deals with Egypt’s regulator to acquire 4G licenses in October 2016 were Vodafone Egypt, Etisalat and Orange Egypt. Meanwhile, the nation’s state-owned Telecom Egypt also plans to launch 4G within a year of receiving its frequency license.
Obtaining the licenses wasn’t a straight forward process for the operators, with Vodafone Egypt, Etisalat and Orange Egypt at first rejecting the terms of the auction because they felt there wasn’t enough sufficient spectrum on offer. The telcos also disputed conditions which required 50 percent of the total license cost to be paid in US dollars.
The spectrum sales were delayed due to the telecom operators refusing to participate until the issue was sorted out. Orange Egypt, for example, came to an agreement with Egypt’s regulator to pay half the license fee in US dollars.
Introducing 4G to Egypt has been part of the government’s long-term plan to reform the telecom industry and raise more money for the state. After the spectrum auction, Minister El Kady said $1.1 billion had been raised, and an additional $1.13 billion for the state budget.
At the Telecom Review Summit in 2016, Minister El Kady explained that in Egypt, and in other nations in the region, governments are executing sustainable development plans, noting that Egypt’s sustainable development strategy bears the title “Egypt Vision 2030”. The main pillars of the Strategy include social justice, knowledge and innovation and economic development. “ICTs are at the core of this Vision and over 30 projects have been implemented,” he said.
The Minister shared the recent deployment of national telecom and IT infrastructure projects, emphasizing improved services offered to the citizens. He also commented on the successful awarding of the 4G licenses to Egypt’s four operators, allowing them to offer numerous new services for their subscribers.
Nokia, together with Finland's public safety network provider, State Security Networks Group, and Telia Finland have successfully trialed the use of network features, developed by Nokia, which ensure public safety communications are given priority over any other voice or data traffic in busy 4G/LTE networks.
LTE can support mission-critical operations securely and cost-effectively, enabling new capabilities for public safety agencies, such as video, in addition to traditional voice communications, to enhance situational awareness, command and control, and the safety of both first responders and the public. As such, a vital step in the transition towards LTE-based public safety networks is to give priority to first responders and their command centers allowing them to share mission-critical information in emergency situations.
"Finland has historically been a forerunner in public safety communication, demonstrating leadership in building technical solutions and many other countries have followed our lead,” said Sami Orakoski, COO, State Security Networks Group. “Although the current TETRA-based network will be in use for some time, we have now started working with commercial operators to lay the foundation for delivering public safety communication with LTE and future generation technologies."
Nokia, State Security Networks and Telia Finland began testing the features with public authorities in 2016 to accelerate Finland's transition to LTE-based public safety communications.
Field trials using the Nokia LTE radio access network infrastructure have delivered valuable insight on network management and critical service delivery, as well as ensuring network prioritization in a variety of situations, with an ice hockey game at a large sports venue used as one testing scenario. Finnish authorities are preparing for a gradual transition from the existing TETRA public safety network to commercial LTE networks.
"The test results show that we can prioritize public safety communication over an LTE network, even when that network is extremely busy,” said Tommi Uitto, head of Global Product Sales, Mobile Networks at Nokia. “We can use this insight to accelerate the adoption of LTE-based public safety applications, not only here in Finland, but across the globe."
Pasi Mehtonen, Head of Operator Business at Telia Finland said: "Everyone understands the importance of public safety communication in exceptional circumstances. The successful trials show that by combining advanced technology know-how, together with deep experience of providing mission-critical services we can pave the way for future solutions.”
Qualcomm Incorporated and Smartron India Private Limited, announced they have entered into a 3G and 4G patent license agreement. Under the terms of this agreement, Qualcomm has granted Smartron a royalty-bearing patent license to develop, manufacture and sell WCDMA, CDMA2000, and 4G LTE complete devices. With this agreement, Smartron joins the growing list of key Indian OEMs to have direct access to Qualcomm’s technology.
Smartron was founded in August 2014 with a vision to build India’s first global technology OEM and IoT brand that is ‘designed and engineered’ in India for India and the world. Smartron developed and introduced tronxTM, an AI powered IoT engine offering next generation of smart devices and delivering intelligent and seamless experiences to customers across IoT verticals.
Qualcomm and Smartron will also strategically collaborate on early technology access and advancements in RF, camera testing and tuning and other critical calibrations required for smart devices. This enables Smartron to be in the top of the technology curve, thereby offering cutting-edge experiences to its end users. It also enhances Smartron’s core competency and vision of developing innovative and world-class products across different markets.
“We are pleased to enable Smartron to create compelling products with our industry leading mobile technologies,” said John Han, senior vice president, Qualcomm Incorporated and general manager, Qualcomm Technology Licensing. “It is exciting to see inventions created by our dedicated R&D investment transform people’s lives through mobile devices created by OEMs like Smartron.”
“Qualcomm is passionate about innovation and is committed to help enable Prime Minister Modi’s Make in India vision and lay the foundation for a Digital India. We are thrilled to enable Smartron in its mission to create technologies that advance the mobile industry,” said Jim Cathey, senior vice president & president, Asia Pacific & India, Qualcomm International, Inc.
“We are excited to collaborate with a global technology leader like Qualcomm to bring new and powerful products that delight our customers. As India’s first premier technology OEM and IoT brand, we are committed to developing next generation of smart devices based on our tronX platform to deliver intelligent experiences to our customers” said Mahesh Lingareddy, Founder and Chairman, Smartron India Pvt Ltd.
The potential of 5G, which is expected to launch commercially in 2020, has telecom operators eager to adapt in order to implement the technology early on. But progressing from 4G to 5G isn’t necessarily straight forward. 4.5G and 4.9G – the generation’s between 4G and 5G – are now common terms in the wireless industry, designed to establish a smooth path to 5G for operators, explains Kai Sahala, head of Radio Access Marketing at Nokia.
4G won’t just fade away when 5G arrives. In fact, 4G is expected to complement 5G. 4.5G provides better performance than 4G systems, as an interim step towards deployment of full 5G capability.
The technology involves LTE-Advanced (a major enhancement of the LTE standard) including 4X4 MIMO (a method for multiplying the capacity of a radio link using multiple transmit and receive antennas to exploit multipath propagation). 2X2 MIMO is already in basic LTE from day one and 4X4 MIMO is part of the LTE-Advanced specification.
4.5G features include much faster download speeds (4 to 5 times that of 4G – 600Mbps compared to 100-150Mbps), far greater spectrum efficiency and use of heterogeneous network (can boost network capacity by 3 to 5 times in comparison to 4G), and carrier aggregation (up to five carriers can be used on 4.5G).
4.5G is based on LTE-Advanced (3GPP Rel. 10-12; prominent features include 2560AM, 4X4 MIMO, Carrier Aggregation) and LTE-Advanced Pro (3GPP Rel. 13; prominent features include NB-IoT, LTE-M). It was designed to “further improve network data rate, improve user experience and expand vertical applications.” Huawei introduced the concept of 4.5G in 2014, saying it represents “the right way along the LTE evolution path towards 5G.”
4.5G helps operators protect their 4G network investment, improve the data rate and user experience based on legacy infrastructure, and serve vertical markets utilizing their own advantages, says Huawei.
One of the 4.5G milestones Huawei oversaw was the first 4.5G trial in Africa in April 2016 in Namibia. Huawei collaborated with MTC, the largest operator in Namibia. A speed test showed the peak download speed of the LTE-A network reached 300Mbps, and the 4.5G network reached 1Gbps. Other 4.5G milestones for Huawei include the implementation of the fastest mobile site in New Zealand.
Last September, Nokia introduced 4.5G Pro, an advanced mobile technology to deliver the significant capacity and speed enhancements by operators as they build towards next-generation networks (5G), including meeting the demands of ultra-connected megacities (smart cities).
Powered by the Nokia AirScale radio portfolio, 4.5G Pro is designed to enable major increases in LTE capacity, coverage and speed where and when they are needed. Nokia also outlined its plans for 4.9G, a technology which will allow users to maintain a continuous 5G service experience using an evolved LTE to complement 5G coverage. Nokia has defined 4.5G Pro as “the next step in a technology that will optimize the journey to 5G.”
“While we are developing 5G heavily, we have also identified a need to evolve 4G networks further than they are today to be able to have more capacity and satisfy subscribers’ 4G connections,” Kai said. “5G will only come gradually, and data traffic is growing up to 50 percent per year on networks, so we need to take care of 4G.”
Nokia’s 4.5G Pro is available commercially today. It is the “next step towards 5G,” says Kai. “We are talking about 1 gigabit speed.
Kai continued: “It is beneficial for operators to go to Nokia AirScale Cloud RAN because in 5G you need cloud to be able to process the massive amount of data, so for network architecture, it makes sense to begin this process so there aren’t any surprises when 5G arrives.”
In March this year, Nokia and Ooredoo Qatar deployed 4.5G Pro technology to increase mobile data speeds to up to 800 Mbps for Ooredoo's customers in some of the busiest areas of Qatar's capital city Doha. With the deployment, Ooredoo Qatar became the first operator in the Ooredoo Group, and one of the first operators in the world, to launch 4.5G Pro services.
The technology is powered by the Nokia AirScale radio platform and the deployment leverages two component carrier aggregation with 4x4 MIMO antenna technology and 256 QAM to deliver the peak 800 Mbps speeds.
In a demonstration of 4.9G technology at Mobile World Congress this year, Nokia showed Ooredoo how data speeds could be increased to 3Gbps in the future. Nokia says it will introduce its 4.9G technologies by the end of 2017, allowing operators to dramatically enhance their network performance and manage the significantly higher infrastructure demands on the path to 5G.
A 4.9G massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna will also increase cell capacity by up to five times, while a new 4.5G Pro AirScale Micro Remote Radio Head (RRH) will allow operators to take advantage of unlicensed spectrum to enable Gigabit speeds.
4.9G is about bringing 4G to a level which can allow 5G users who fall out of the 5G coverage to enjoy the services with the wide LTE footprint that’s available, Kai explained. Operators can select different features of 4.9G that they want to employ on their network. Nokia 4.9G will ultimately provide significant increases in capacity and several Gigabits of speed-per-second on the path to 5G.
“4.9G also supports lower latency of less than 10 milliseconds to support 5G-like applications, and also utilizing new architecture cloud,” said Kai. “Many operators already have their core networks on cloud and now we are also moving Radio Access to cloud. This enables bringing content closer to users, as well as more capacity and abilities to control traffic.”
Nokia has also launched the first end-to-end 5G solution called 5G FIRST for the early adopters of 5G, which will be available during the second half of this year, according to Kai. “It’s not just radio access – it has everything such as services for accelerating 5G deployments, as well as devices from our partner Intel to make 5G deployment real,” he said.
5G will meet three key pillars according to Kai: huge speeds (up to 10Gbps), extremely low latency (1 millisecond), and a massive number of devices. We can imagine, he explained, that if the Internet of Things is starting to pick up during the 4G era, then during the 5G era the number of devices will grow immensely. 5G could support a million devices per square kilometer, Kai said.
“We are trying to demonstrate why these key pillars matter. For example, high speeds enable things like virtual reality 4K videos. There is huge demand for faster speeds and more capacity. Low latency can be illustrated very well with virtual reality because the response time for VR needs to be instant for it to be enjoyable.”
The important thing to remember, Kai said, is that you can deploy 4.5G Pro, 4.9G and 5G simultaneously. While you’re developing your 4G networks you can start working on 5G and “they will come together nicely.”
5G FIRST, which Nokia has brought to the market, is based on early specifications of 5G and one of the specifications is 5GTF (5G Technical Forum) which is being driven mainly by Verizon and other industry leaders, said Kai. The Verizon 5G Technology Forum (V5GTF) was formed in late 2015 in cooperation with ecosystem partners Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, LG, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung.
The V5GTF forum partners collaborated to create the 5G technical specifications. The 5G radio interface is composed of Layers 1, 2 and 3 and defines the interfaces between the User Equipment (UE) and the network. These specifications promote interoperability among network and UE/chipset manufacturers.
Nokia successfully carried out the world's first connection based on the 5GTF 'pre-standard' in February this year, marking a further milestone in Nokia's momentum to make 5G a commercial reality. The test adds another key component to the development of 5G and the implementation of the first 5G applications, demonstrating the ability to provide fast pace implementation according to early standards including device interoperability.
The fact that the 3GPP 5G standards are not yet complete is not a barrier, says Kai. “We need to make the standards proper from day one so we can start implementing them,” he said. “We understand that the standards take time and effort from within the industry to make them perfect. The benefit for us is that we can now start 5GTF which is already established, so we can gain early experience.”
“The reason our industry has been so successful is because it has been standardized,” Kai continued. “Standardization takes consultations, time, and alignments. At the moment we are at the stage where the requirements for 5G are fully understood and agreed: we need massive capacity, low latency, and we need to be able to connect billions of objects. Those are the key elements of 5G.”
O2 has switched on Wi-Fi and 4G calling, giving customers another way to stay connected. The launch of Wi-Fi calling gives customers the option of making and receiving calls over Wi-Fi even if they can’t connect to the mobile network, whilst 4G calling provides customers with clearer calls and better indoor coverage over 4G.
Both of these options work together to provide a seamless, uninterrupted experience and less dropped calls when moving between the two. From launch, Wi-Fi and 4G calling will be available to eligible iPhone 7 and 7 Plus customers on any O2 consumer Pay Monthly, SIM only and business tariffs, with customers shortly to receive a software update to enable Wi-Fi and 4G calling. More devices will be coming soon, the company says.
Customers can use Wi-Fi calling wherever there’s Wi-Fi coverage, while 4G calling will initially be available in London, Leeds and Slough with more cities rolling out over coming months. Wi-Fi and 4G calling allows customers with eligible handsets to be able to make voice calls using a Wi-Fi connection or the O2 4G network.
Wi-Fi calling can help when you can’t get a mobile signal, while 4G calling gives you great quality calls. In 4G calling areas, they work together, switching automatically and seamlessly between the two without dropping.
Wi-Fi calling uses any available Wi-Fi connection to help you make and receive calls. It’s perfect for when customers don’t have a phone signal but do have a Wi-Fi connection e.g. O2 Wi-Fi, home or office broadband. Although O2’s free TU Go app offers O2 customers the ability to make calls over Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi calling means no app is needed – just dial a number as normal.
4G calling means customers can make high-definition calls over the O2 4G network. This can bring benefits like better quality voice calls, a faster call set-up, better indoor coverage and longer battery life. It also means customers can make a 4G call and get online using 4G at the same time.
ZTE Corporation, a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, announced an agreement with Digicel Group to expand 4G LTE networks across its 26 markets in the Caribbean and Central America.
Digicel is deploying ZTE’s world-class 4G LTE solutions to deliver the highest-performance mobile broadband services to consumers and businesses across the region.
ZTE’s innovative 4G LTE solutions including Uni-RAN help Digicel upgrade and optimize its infrastructure as part of an ongoing network transformation program, providing subscribers with superior mobile internet connectivity and coverage. ZTE Uni-RAN solutions will support network evolution at Digicel by enabling deployment of next-generation digital services and business innovations.
Deployed by mobile carriers around the world, ZTEs Uni-RAN solution increases the network operation efficiency by prolonging the lifecycle of devices through network upgrades and smooth evolution. Based on ZTE’s SDR (Software Defined Radio) technology, Uni-RAN protects operator’s investment and dramatically reduces network costs and increases the stability and reliability of network operation.
Digicel recently announced its Digicel 2030 global transformation program, promising customers a completely new communications and entertainment experience made possible by a more agile, customer-centric application of resources and investment.
Nokia has extended its long-term relationship with TIM in Brazil, signing a new contract supporting the operator's strategy to build a robust network infrastructure to cope with increasing consumption of mobile data with 4G.
TIM, the leader in 4G coverage in the country, is the first operator in Brazil to use the frequency of 2600 Mhz and refarm the 1800 Mhz frequency band to 4G LTE. TIM is now ready to make the move to future-proofing its network using the 700 MHz spectrum band, which enables excellent indoor and rural area coverage for 4G-enabled devices.
To support this groundbreaking network project, TIM has selected the Nokia AirScale radio access platform, which runs multiple radio technologies simultaneously in one base station and allows virtually unlimited scalability that will support massive IoT demand and 5G speeds. With the network upgrade to 4.5G Pro the operator will be able to better mix frequencies and technology usage at the same site, reducing costs and ensuring a fast and smooth deployment of the new LTE network.
"We're looking at the highest technology quality standard today in the market, with the combination of three spectrum bands to increase our capacity and improve the end-user experience,” said Leonardo Capdeville, head of Technology at TIM. “With the support of Nokia and its AirScale radio access, we will be able to reach more areas and speed up LTE coverage in the country, reinforcing our innovation capabilities and commitment to the Brazilian market."
Luiz Tonisi, head of the TIM Brazil customer team at Nokia, said: "Our commitment with TIM is to deliver a best-in-class service experience for its subscribers. This project is an important milestone for us as it paves the way towards the network of the future and reinforces our long-standing partnership with TIM. The near future looks very promising with the possibility to expand further our LTE footprint and make a positive impact in the digital society."
This news follows another initiative, announced in late 2015, in which Nokia and TIM collaborated to modernize and expand TIM's 3G and 4G LTE networks in 17 states in Brazil with the use of Nokia's small cells products, as well as the implementation, optimization and care services.
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.
French telecoms giant Orange has primarily chosen LTE-M to be progressively deployed on its 4G networks in Europe, starting with Belgium and Spain this year before the rest of the Group's European footprint.
This versatile and cost-effective technology is seen by Orange to support the broadest of uses, connecting - in a secure and scalable way - a wide variety of IoT devices, from smart utility meters, asset monitoring trackers, vending machines and alarm systems to fleets of vehicles, heavy equipment, mHealth and wearables. It also offers rapid deployment involving a simple software upgrade to the Group's existing global 4G network.
The group is also launching new LTE-M pilots this year, amongst them one on smart electric metering (to remotely control power consumption and adapt user subscriptions); and another on wearables (to measure individual movement, positioning, temperature or other health-related information). For those pilots, Orange is working closely with leading LTE-M chipset manufacturers: Altair Semiconductor, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Sequans as well as various network equipment vendors.
Orange is cementing its commitment to develop the IoT ecosystem with Europe's first LTE-M Open IoT Lab, designed to boost the ecosystem around the Mobile Internet of Things. It is the first of its kind in Europe based on LTE-M technology and is to be launched under the GSMA Mobile IoT initiative.
Available from 1April, the Open IoT Lab is located at Orange Gardens, the Group's innovation campus in Chatillon, France, and is designed to support partners wishing to accelerate the development of LTE-M devices with access to: an IoT Starter Kit; network equipment to test performance, low data rate, coverage extension and energy optimisation features; its IoT & Analytics platform, a key component of the Orange Datavenue IoT solution; and Orange technical experts, designers and marketers to benefit from the Group's go to market ability in industries such as smart cities & territories, automotive & transportation, industry & manufacturing, healthcare and smart home.
The Open IoT Lab also allows partners willing to evaluate how their product or service performs over LTE-M or LoRa technologies as two complementary IoT solutions.
"Futureproof, secured and reliable connectivity is a key pillar of Orange's IoT strategy. By working together with IoT partners, device manufacturers and innovators, we can accelerate the development of the LTE-M technology end-to-end chain, and therefore advance towards the future of the Internet of Things," said Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Executive Vice President Innovation, Marketing and Technologies, Orange.
This LTE-M announcement comes as a new illustration of Orange's investment strategy on LPWA, which started with the opening of a LoRa network in early 2016 in France, now providing indoor or deep indoor coverage in more than 2,000 towns, cities or industrial sites. The Orange LoRa solution serves more than 60 live B2B projects, in numerous verticals such as smart cities, smart building, parking, smart home, industry, supply chain, tracking, and agriculture, and enables Orange and its B2B customers to quickly gain in experience on LPWA benefits.
The Orange LoRa end to end solution will be extended worldwide in July 2017 as an Orange Business Services offer to provide focused coverage on cities, harbours, or industrial sites. To meet all of its customers' needs, Orange also continues testing and evaluating other Mobile IoT technologies, as well as preparing for 5G.