Displaying items by tag: China Mobile
Nokia and China Mobile Research Institute today launched the industry's first hybrid indoor radio solution with location services to meet 5G connectivity demands inside busy large buildings such as business campuses and shopping malls. The jointly developed 5G hybrid distributed indoor system is aimed at lowering operators' deployment costs.
China Mobile is reportedly in talks with Brazil’s telecom regulator to purchase Brazilian telecom provider Oi SA’s mobile phone division. According to Exame magazine, China’s largest telecom company is interested in taking over the Brazilin telecom company, which is currently under bankruptcy protection.
China Mobile wouldn’t be responsible for paying overdue fines that Oi owes if it were to purchase the struggling telco, according to Exame, referring to China Mobile’s discussions with Anatel, Brazil’s agency of telecommunications. The agency reportedly confirmed on Sept. 11 that the talks took place.
If China Mobile were to purchase Oi, it would be the company’s first international buyout and could fire up tensions amid a crackdown by regulators on financing for outbound acquisitions. The Brazilian telecom company has around $19 billion in debts. The company filed Brazil’s largest bankruptcy protection request in June 2016.
Once regarded as one of Brazil’s “national champions”, Oi’s financial problems are mostly attributed to debt accrued from the heavy CAPEX required to meet mandatory goals for the expansion of its fixed-line network, and from mergers and acquisitions, said a report by the Financial Times.
Anatel is Oi's largest individual creditor, with $3.5 billion in fines accumulated during Oi's 20 years of operations. The regulatory agency set a deadline for Oi to present a competent recovery plan by August 23, but it failed to do so, according to Exame. Therefore, the company is facing intensifying pressure to come up with a solution to its financial woes.
Oi’s CEO, Marco Schroeder, said in August that the company needs a capital boost soon in order to survive. The company is said to have lost around 6 million clients in Brazil in the first year under bankruptcy protection. Brazil’s economy is facing a massive amount of pressure due to its recession, with many companies facing heavy debt.
Three of China’s state-run mobile operators have posted positive financial results for the first-half of 2017, after enduring a difficult 2016. China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile all made solid gains on their bottom line, largely due to the continued rapid demand for data and 4G uptake.
All three entities suffered a decline in earnings during 2016 - but in the first-half of this year they’ve made a combined profit of CYN 77.6 billion ($11.6 billion) compared with a combined profit of CYN127.6 billion for all of 2016.
Analysts have attributed the success of the state-owned mobile operators to significant 4G subscriber gains from January-June. The trio took its LTE user base to 885 million. In addition to this, it was further disclosed that both China Telecom and China Mobile are increasingly close to reaching the 70% 4G penetration mark, with China Unicom lagging behind by a reported 14%.
China Mobile remains the market incumbent with a 64% share of total subscribers, 67% of which are 4G users. The Chinese operators ended June with 3.47 million 4G base stations, the breakdown of which consisted of China Mobile (1.65M) China Telecom (1.05M) and China Unicom (770,000). It was also disclosed that China Mobile has announced its intentions to construct an additional 120,000 4G sites in the second-half of next year, whilst China Telecom has said it will deploy another 110,000 by the end of this year.
Mobile voice revenue continues to decline sharply due to the dominance of OTT’s, but all three operators still managed to grow mobile service revenue by 5%. It’s the universal demand for data which has contributed to the operator’s success so far this year. China Telecom has enjoyed a healthy increase of 24% in mobile data, accumulating CYN55.3 billion in the process. China Mobile reported a 34% increase in mobile data accumulating CYN185 billion, whilst China Unicom’s data growth increased by 21%, accumulating CYN43.5 billion.
The state-run operators have signed up 23.7 million 4G subscribers in July, which takes the country’s total to 908M. However, China Mobile has announced its plans to end 2017 by amassing 630M 4G subs, which analysts suggest is a target they should easily surpass. At this extraordinary pace, China will likely end the year with well over 1 billion 4G customers, which would also subsequently mean that China would have 40% of the 2.45 billion global LTE connections by the end of the year.
Chinese state-owned telecom company China Unicom, formally known as China United Network Communications Group, is to receive about $12 billion investment from Chinese tech firms Baidu and JD.com in a move to boost the telco lagging behind its rivals China Mobile and China Telecom, a source told Business Insider.
The Chinese government is reportedly attempting to drive investment in state-owned giants through private capital. The government selected China Unicom among other state-owned enterprises last year, the report says, to see “mixed-ownership reform”.
From an outside perspective, China Unicom appears strong, as one of the world’s largest carriers by user numbers, but the company’s earnings don’t measure up to its fierce competition. The carrier, according to the report, is perceived as slow, often lagging behind its competition in terms of developing new technologies and services, including cloud and big data services, and mobile software.
Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Tencent would be among new investors contributing a total of about $10 billion into China United Network Communications, China Unicom’s Shanghai-listed unit, Reuters reported last month. With Baidu’s 10 billion yuan investment ($1.48 billion) and JD.com’s 5 billion yuan, the total investment in China Unicom is about 80 billion yuan ($11.8 billion).
The source told Business Insider that 15 billion yuan is likely to be raised from Tencent and invested into China Unicom, while Alibaba is likely to raise about 7 billion yuan. The biggest investor, however, would be China Life Investment, which would commit about 20 billion yuan.
The unnamed sources claim majority of the capital would be raised through new shares, while China Unicom would sell off its stake in the Shanghai unit. Thomson Reuters data suggests that it would be the most significant capital raising in Asia Pacific since insurer AIA Group’s initial public offering in 2010.
The World’s largest mobile operator has announced its intentions to double its VoLTE user base by the end of 2017. Chairman of China Mobile, Shang Bing made the announcement during his keynote address at Mobile World Congress Shanghai. (MWCS 2017)
Bing declared that China Mobile would increase its VoLTE customer base from 86 million to 150 million by the end of December – and that its overall VoLTE penetration would reach 17%. In addition to this, it was disclosed that the telecommunications colossus has launched VoLTE in 313 cities across China.
China Mobile’s Chairman also claimed that the operator’s mobile 4G user base will reach 620 million by the end of 2017 – with overall 4G penetration hitting a staggering 72%. It has been reported that the China Mobile has invested an estimated CNY450 billion ($66 billion) in the last three years to construct the world’s largest 4G network. Its 4G customer base reached 583 million in May of this year – with penetration rates standing at 67.5%. In broad terms it means that basically one in four 4G users in the entire world is a China Mobile customer.
Bing said: “We’ve deployed 1.6 million 4G base stations which accounts for about 30% of the global total. Our 4G coverage will reach 99% of the population by the end of the year – and our LTE base station will rise to 1.77 million.”
He conceded that after an initiative pursued by the Chinese government overall mobile phone bills fell by around 60% in 2015, and that household monthly broadband fees declined from CYN51 to CYN32.7. Bing added: “Our cost-reduction initiatives have boosted information consumption and the information economy.”
He concluded by announcing that the operator aims for its broadband coverage to reach 70% of households by the end of 2017, with fiber making up about 90% of the market.
China Mobile and NTT DOCOMO announced that they have jointly developed the world's first multi-vendor embedded subscriber identity module (eSIM) system within their commercial environments based on the GSMA's Remote Provisioning Architecture for Embedded UICC3.1 (GSMAv3.1) standard.
The system enables interoperability between the two carriers' eSIM systems, which adopt different vendors' subscription management platforms. Previously, for different carriers to reprogram the same eSIM, they had to adopt an eSIM system of one vendor. The new multi-vendor eSIM system incorporates subscription management platforms of two different vendors - one by G+D Mobile Security that DOCOMO has adopted and the other by GEMALTO, which China Mobile has adopted.
China Mobile and DOCOMO have been jointly developing IoT technologies and related business based on the Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement (SCFA). The new multi-vendor eSIM system is one of the results of this agreement.
Going forward, China Mobile and DOCOMO will continue developing services to enable corporate customers' products exported from Japan to China, such as automobiles, industrial equipment and agricultural machines, to smoothly switch from a Japanese carrier to Chinese carrier without replacing their SIMs.
Nokia and China Mobile are deploying millions of home gateways to provide residential customers across 29 different provinces in China with access to fiber-based ultra-broadband applications and intelligent home services.
"This important announcement furthers Nokia's role as a key technology provider in China,” said Federico Guillén, president of Nokia's Fixed Networks Business Group. “Our home gateway solution provides China Mobile with the ultra-broadband access technology they need to capitalize on IoT and deliver new services that support their evolving customer needs. We are very pleased to continue our close work with China Mobile and look forward to helping them deliver on their commitments."
Under this contract, China Mobile will deploy home gateway units with Nokia's solution to over 30 million users during 2017. Using established fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks, which bring greater service experiences and gigabit speeds to customers, the new gateway will extend internet coverage in the home and enable IoT communications between devices and sensors. The ability to flexibly add software functions and enhanced analytics capabilities allows China Mobile to deploy and deliver a new intelligent home experience and associated services.
"China Mobile is progressing fast as a converged telecommunications operator -- with more than 31 million FTTH subscribers -- and has proven it can successfully leverage its extensive fiber access network to deliver ultra-broadband applications such as 4K TV services and Gigabit access to customers across various provinces,” said Roland Montagne, principal analyst at IDATE.
Roland added, “With the addition of intelligent home gateway technology, China Mobile will be able to further differentiate its services, providing consumers with enhanced internet coverage in the home and a more seamless experience for connecting various devices and sensors."
On May 15, 2017, Ericsson signed an MoU with China Mobile’s Government and Enterprise Customers Branch and Mobike for a smart travel partnership under the “Belt and Road” framework. The partnership is a response to the government’s call for green travel and the “Belt and Road” initiative which aims to improve the overall service level of smart travel and drive the global collaboration and development of the bicycle-sharing industry.
Wei Bing, Deputy General Manager of China Mobile’s Government and Enterprise Customers Branch, Zhao Juntao, President of Ericsson China, and Wang Xiaofeng, co-founder and CEO of Mobike, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective company. Anna Johansson, Minister for Infrastructure, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Sweden, who was visiting China for the ongoing 2017 “Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation” in Beijing, and Anna Lindstedt, Swedish Ambassador to China, attended the signing ceremony, and also paid a visit to the Beijing office of Mobike.
At the end of last year, Ericsson, China Mobile Shanghai Company, and Mobike completed an industry-first end-to-end application trial based on live cellular IoT network in Shanghai. The signing of this MoU indicates that the three parties will further explore deep collaboration in digital services and accelerate the application of the new IoT technologies as well as global IoT operations.
According to the MoU, the specific areas for collaboration include:
- Optimize the existing IoT solution for bicycle sharing and jointly develop key technologies for the next generation travel. The three parties will pilot the application of the new IoT technologies in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Sichuan, and jointly optimize the end-to-end IoT solution for bicycle sharing, to improve user experience, and to promote the maturing of the bicycle-sharing ecosystem.
- Jointly explore the big data on travel and work together to drive the global collaboration for bicycle sharing. The three parties will promote information sharing and explore smart travel solutions. They will respond to the call of the government’s “Belt and Road” initiative, provide cooperation for the global strategic expansion of Mobike, and jointly develop the one-stop global IoT solution, so as to build a global IoT connection platform that is convenient and easy to use.
- Improve the digital service level in smart transportation. They will work together to develop digital service applications for smart travel and improve the overall digital service level of smart travel.
- Integrate the best resources of each party and work together to explore business models for co-marketing. The three parties will work together to explore innovative business models such as how to exchange points and how to launch co-branded cards, so as to achieve a win-win result for all.
Wei Bing, Deputy General Manager of China Mobile’s Government and Enterprise Customers Branch, said: “China Mobile is keen to collaborate with bicycle-sharing service providers and supports the effort of Mobike to launch smart and connected locks, so as to enable the real-time network connection and real-time interaction of bicycles for sharing. By signing the MoU today, we will join hands with Mobike and Ericsson to accelerate the application of the key IoT technologies as well as the global IoT operations and provide green, safe and shared travel services.”
Zhao Juntao, President of Ericsson China, said: “In order to promote the application of IoT technologies in a wider range of areas and grow the IoT ecosystem, Ericsson is willing to work together with our long-term partner China Mobile and our innovation partner Mobike to explore new models, to create new opportunities, and to seek a win-win result for all. We believe that our breakthrough collaboration for smart travel will help to accelerate the large-scale commercial deployment of IoT in China starting from bicycle sharing.”
China Mobile announced that it has joined forces with Cobham Wireless, a provider of wireless coverage and mobile communications systems, to trial an LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) Dual Connectivity system for 4G and 5G networks at Mobile World Congress 2017. The system demonstrates how throughput and capacity can be improved across a network, by utilising radio resources from multiple mobile cells simultaneously.
Using its TM500 network testing solution, Cobham Wireless, with partner China Mobile, is able to show a real-time working dual connectivity system and demonstrate how dual/multi connectivity can be achieved in a live network environment. The system is being trialled over LTE-A Carrier Aggregation (CA) cells, allowing a mobile phone to receive multiple signals from two different eNodeBs simultaneously, at around three times the speed currently offered by standard LTE. By conducting the trial over LTE-A, Cobham Wireless has proven that its dual connectivity system is ready to be introduced into operator networks today.
“The new system can improve the end-user experience by combining data from more than one base station operating on multi-connectivity modes,” said Evan Gray, VP Business Development, Cobham Wireless. “This will support the demand for data-intensive mobile services and ultra-high capacity, low-latency data delivery.”
As the industry transitions to 5G, some of the 4G LTE cells can be replaced with 5G cells in the dual connectivity set-up. Operators and users stand to benefit from this, taking advantage of both 4G and 5G resources. This will also remove the need for operators to deploy a full 5G network and replace all 4G base stations. Network infrastructure can instead be upgraded gradually and cost effectively, in line with the progression of 5G technology and standards.
“5G may not be fully realised quite yet, but it’s important that we continue to push boundaries in its development,” said Dr. Hayk Manukyan, Market Solutions Director, Cobham Wireless. “Networks are under strain, with more people using data-intensive mobile services. Our work with China Mobile has shown a workable system to ease the current strain on our networks, as well as being 5G-ready for the future.”
The use of mobile data has skyrocketed over the past five years. Research suggests that data usage in 2015 increased 74 percent, putting the overall figure at around 3.7 exabytes per month. Behind this growth is the explosion of streaming services, including audio and video, as well as the growing use of apps - all served by the expectation of having high-speed data at all times . 4G is the current global standard in developed markets for mobile broadband, but 5G, which will provide faster speeds and more capacity, is just around the corner, according to analysts.
A study led by chipset giant Qualcomm claims that by 2035, 5G's "full economic benefit should be realized across the globe," and could produce up to $13.3 trillion worth of goods and services. Overall, 5th Generation (5G) mobile networks are expected to handle much more data volume, connect many more devices, and significantly reduce latency, which will eventually bring new levels of reliability to users.
Qualcomm's study indicates that the 5G value chain itself is seen as generating up to $3.5 trillion in revenue in 2035 and could support 22 million jobs. The study further claims that, over time, 5G will boost real global GDP growth by $3 trillion dollars cumulatively from 2020 to 2035, roughly the equivalent of adding an economy the size of India. Tell this to the next person who asks you why 5G is such a big deal…
A report by the National Infrastructure Commission defines 5G as "seamless connectivity". 5G will be, "Ultra-fast, ultra-reliable," and have "ultra-high capacity transmitting at super low latency," says the report. "It will support the ever larger data requirements of the existing network and new applications from augmented reality to connected vehicles and the Internet of Things, and many more, as unknowable today as the 4G services we take for granted would have been a decade ago."
There are plenty of reasons to look forward to 5G deployment, but the question is: when can we expect to use it? In a 2016 post by analyst Mike Roberts, Practice Leader covering carrier strategy and technology at global technology research and advisory firm Ovum, he says it's likely that 5G commercial services will launch in 2020 and says there will be 24 million 5G subscriptions worldwide at the end of 2021 for fixed mobile and fixed broadband services.
Roberts says North America and Asia will each account for more than 40% of global 5G subscriptions at the end of 2021, which will be followed by Europe with more than 10 percent of subscriptions, and then the Middle East and Africa accounting for the rest.
Ovum estimates that 5G services will be available in over 20 markets worldwide by the end of 2021, with services in all four major world regions. However, the report indicates that the vast majority of 5G subscriptions will be concentrated in the US, Japan, China, and South Korea, where major operators have revealed aggressive timelines for launching 5G services.
Commercial 5G: A global race
US telecoms giant AT&T recently announced the cities where it will initiate its first 5G rollout campaigns. It will launch 5G in the US cities of Austin, Texas and Indianapolis, Indiana. The company has dubbed the high-speed network plans the ‘5G Evolution' and has indicated that it will we be able to provide staggering top speeds of up to 400Mbps - which, to put that into context, is around forty times faster than a standard cellular data connection.
Network upgrades could enable peak speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second in some areas this year, according to AT&T. The initial rollout is part of a much larger project initiative by the US's second-largest wireless carrier. Network 3.0 - or Indigo - is set to use software advancements to improve the performance of hardware; bringing upgrade costs down and speeds up without being required to make significant network infrastructure investments moving forward.
AT&T is racing against its top rival, Verizon, to deploy the first commercial 5G in the US. It was recently reported that Verizon is in the midst of launching ten 5G market trials across the country in both dense urban and suburban areas beyond its local exchange carrier footprint. Verizon CFO, Matt Ellis, said during a call with investors that Verizon's goal is to test 5G services in varying neighborhoods as it prepares for commercial launch.
Verizon released its own 5G specifications to vendors last summer, which it said was intended to assist vendors to develop interoperable 5G equipment for pre-standard testing and fabrication. The company has been trailing what it calls "wireless fiber".
Because 5G requires a strong fiber or microwave wireless component for backhaul traffic, Ellis noted that Verizon is excited about its acquisition of XO Communications, which it announced in February 2016. The strategy behind the deal is for Verizon to expand its metro and on-net fiber network using XO's fiber assets as well as lease XO's millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum holdings with an option to buy those leases in 2018, according to reports.
Meanwhile, in the highly developed nation of South Korea, the government recently announced plans to expand the bandwidth allocated to 5G mobile services by next year, when the country will host the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning will share bandwidth in the 1.3GHz range between the country's three mobile carriers, Korea Telecom (KT), SK Telecom and LG Uplus. South Korean ministry official Choi Young-hae said the ministry is forming a team to "work on allocating 5G bandwidth and come up with a detailed plan."
According to a report by South Korean news agency Yonhap, the plan was finalized during a government meeting presided over by minister Yoo Il-ho. The ministry did not specify how much bandwidth would be allocated for 5G applications in the 1.3GHz band. Spectrum in the 1.3GHz range does not appear to have been used for mobile telephony in the past - most services use 900MHz and below, and 1.7GHz and up. GPS satellites use 1.38105GHz.
The ministry said it had been in talks with South Korea's mobile carriers, as well as technology firms, including Samsung and LG, to draw up the plan aimed at taking the lead in 5G network technologies.
In China, the leading telecoms operator China Mobile, said in December last year that it will begin major trials for 5G in 2018, kicking off a new round of billions of dollars in new investment to usher in the high-speed communications era of the Internet of Things (IoT). The company said it will test the technology for about two years, with the target date of 2020 set for launching 5G commercial services, according to CEO Li Yue.
In the past, China has rolled out its newest generation of mobile networks about two to three years after its Western counterparts. Li said at an event discussing the rollout of 5G that the technology will "change the parameters for development in many industries."
Li added that the high-speed technology is optimized for IoT, a concept in which humans and smart devices use the internet to communicate with one another to perform tasks like switching on devices remotely. He also said the response time after inputting information is just 1 millisecond for 5G, compared with 20 milliseconds for current 4G networks and 100 to 150 milliseconds for 3G.
Working towards standardization
There are a number of operators that have announced plans to launch 5G services before 2020. However, these will not typically be based on networks and devices complying with 5G standards, and so are excluded from Ovum's forecasts, Mike Roberts' report says.
Ovum defines a 5G subscription as "an active connection to a 5G network via a 5G device". 5G is further defined as a system based on and complying with 3GPP 5G standards, beginning with parts of 3GPP Release 15 (the first set of 5G standards) which is scheduled to be finalized in 2018, ahead of early rollouts in 2020. But as of now, there's no single definition for 5G. This leads to a potential problem for both business and users.
"The main use case for 5G through 2021 will be enhanced mobile broadband services, although fixed broadband services will also be supported, especially in the US," says Roberts. "Over time 5G will support a host of use cases including Internet of Things and mission-critical communications, but Ovum does not believe those use cases will be supported by standardized 5G services through 2021."
In an effort to overcome these 5G issues - which mainly consist of incompatible hardware - various parties such as handset manufacturers, operators, vendors, and the 3GPP, are working together to make sure the arrival of 5G is seamless.
In addition, Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm announced in September last year the formation of the "5G Automotive Association" (5GAA) with the goal of addressing the issues around connected mobility and road safety in the IoT era.
Vodafone was the first to join the association - a move that showed how the company is stepping up activities in developing connected cars, following its announcement that it had begun testing LTE-V2X, a new technology for vehicle-to-vehicle communications.
Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone's head of R&D and technology strategy, who will join the 5GAA board, said the communication between vehicles, infrastructure and pedestrians using C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything) "will be fundamental to the creation of intelligent transport systems."
China's ZTE Corporation was the latest company to join the association in January. Other members include China Telecom, NTT DoCoMo, Ford, Gemalto, LG, SK Telecom, T-Mobile and Verizon.
The main activities of the association include defining and harmonizing use cases, technical requirements and implementation strategies; supporting standardization and regulatory bodies, certification and approval processes; addressing vehicle-to-everything technology requirements, such as wireless connectivity, security, privacy, authentication and distributed cloud architectures; and running joint innovation and development projects.