Articles from Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile
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Japan's Softbank will invest $20.1B for a 70% stake in Sprint Nextel, which says the infusion will help it compete with Verizon and AT&T(Read Full Article)
China's ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) is aiming to capitalize on the current woes of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; Toronto: RIM) by grabbing a greater share of the smartphone market and boosting its global brand.
"Knowing the dynamic in the mobile market, the situation is very fluid, with some going through dramatic decline. This is an opportunity for ZTE to establish its brand," said executive board director and vice president He Shiyou, speaking to Light Reading Mobile at the U.K. launch of its latest Android smartphone, Grand X, in London last week(Read Full Article)
Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) and Vodafone España S.A. launched on Monday the first Joyn-branded services based on the operator-backed Rich Communication Suite enhanced (RCS-e) initiative in a move to compete with offers from over-the-top (OTT) providers.
But it wasn't easy.
[Ed note: Does this mean, if you can't beat them, Joyn them?]
Joyn is the consumer brand for services based on the RCS-e set of specifications, which is an industry initiative managed by the GSM Association (GSMA) . The RCS-e project aims to define service specifications for mobile operators to deliver instant messaging, chat, file sharing and video calls over any device on any network.
The underlying technology for RCS services is an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) core network, and the goal is to make these advanced services as universal as voice and SMS are today.
In Spain, the first services available as of this week are chat (group and one-to-one), file sharing (including photos, music and videos) and a feature that allows videos or photos to be shared in real time during a voice call (thereby making it a so-called "enriched call.")(Read Full Article)
While wireless equipment suppliers have developed a new generation of small cells designed for public access in mobile data networks, operators have to overcome some deployment challenges that these diminutive base stations create, according to a Heavy Reading analyst.
As Light Reading Mobile's recent report, there is a diverse range of public access small cell products designed for use in various places, including indoor venues, outdoor urban hot spots, or rural areas.
But product availability is one thing, deploying it is another matter.(Read Full Article)
India's largest operator, Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL), launched the country's first 4G services based on Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) in Kolkata (Calcutta) on Tuesday.
Bharti's 4G network in Kolkata is supplied by ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763), while the operator has selected Nokia Siemens Networks for its coming LTE TDD network in Maharashtra. (See ZTE Wins 4G Deal With Bharti Airtel and NSN Manages for Bharti.)(Read Full Article)
For France Telecom SA (NYSE: FTE)'s Orange, Wi-Fi will be an important part of mobile broadband access networks, but the operator says standards are needed to make it easier for customers to use it.
In an interview with Light Reading Mobile, Yves Bellego, director of technical network strategy at Orange, explained that while the operator already has deployed more than 30,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, Wi-Fi access needs to be "completely transparent" to the customer, which requires a standardized way to select the wireless access on all devices.
In addition, that access selection needs to be secure, so that "we know which customer is connected to which access," he added.
"Once we have that, I expect Wi-Fi access to develop a lot," he said.
But how soon might Orange get its wish for Wi-Fi standardization and service integration? According to Bellego, it's "not so far" off. He noted that there has been some standardization progress and pointed to the HotSpot 2.0 initiative as an example.(Read Full Article)
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile
BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2012 -- Some of the world's largest operators will have a say in the design of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s lightRadio products as part of a development program the vendor announced here on Tuesday.
China Mobile Communications Corp. , Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), Orange SA and Verizon Wireless are the first operators that are working with AlcaLu on the joint development projects. AlcaLu calls the model "co-creation."
"We're not going to do co-creation with every customer," said Rajeev Singh-Molares, AlcaLu's president of Asia/Pacific. "That sort of mass customization would be too expensive."
But the idea behind these projects is that certain customers can influence the design and direction of the new small-cell radio products, thus making sure that the products are on the right track to meet operator needs.(Read Full Article)
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) announced on Tuesday that it has agreed buy BelAir Networks Inc. for an undisclosed sum in a bid to add Wi-Fi access to its Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) infrastructure offering. Word that such a deal was imminent first surfaced last month. (See Ericsson Sizing Up BelAir Buy for Wi-Fi Push.) BelAir, a privately held Canadian firm established in 2002, provides indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi systems and counts AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) among its customers. (See BelAir Racks Up Cable Wins.) Ericsson said the deal marks a step toward creating a "truly integrated network" and will accelerate the integration of Wi-Fi and cellular technologies. As part of the Swedish vendor's HetNet strategy, the acquisition will also complement Ericsson's work on managing the co-existence of these different technologies in mobile operator networks. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2012, and BelAir's 120 employees are expected to transfer to Ericsson. Why this mattersThe fact that Ericsson, the largest mobile infrastructure vendor, has shelled out to acquire a Wi-Fi access business shows just how important Wi-Fi technology has become to mobile operators. Since Wi-Fi has become a critical way to offload mobile data traffic from congested radio access networks (RAN), operators are now looking at how to integrate that technology more tightly into their networks while also improving the management of those Wi-Fi services. Ericsson launched a Network Integrated Wi-Fi product last September that puts Wi-Fi access control in operator networks, rather than on a smartphone client. Now, with BelAir's portfolio, Ericsson will have a Wi-Fi offering among its radio access products as well. For moreEricsson's BelAir buys adds to the Wi-Fi buzz that will abound in Barcelona next week at Mobile World Congress ...(Read Full Article)
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