GE launches wireless routers for oil and gas, mining sectors

Industrial giant GE has launched a new platform of industrial wireless routers aimed at helping oil and gas and mining companies to expand their communications infrastructure using a variety of technologies.

The company describes its MDS Orbit Platform as a next-generation wireless solution integrating cellular, licensed and unlicensed networks in a single device.

Novatel secures AT&T approval for M2M devices

M2M device maker Novatel Wireless says US operator AT&T has approved a number of its products supporting vehicle telematics, telemetry and embedded solutions.

The approvals mean devices made by Novatel Wireless (San Diego, CA, USA) can be used on the AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) network.

These include the manufacturer’s MiFi-powered SA2100, the MT 4100 mobile tracking device, the SA-G+ telemetry platform and the Enabler HS 3002 module.

Ooredoo launches Algeria's first 3G network

Qatari incumbent Ooredoo has launched what it claims is the first 3G network in Algeria, where it is the smallest of the country’s three mobile network operators.

In a statement, Ooredoo (Doha, Qatar) – formerly known as Qtel – said it had switched on its network in the country’s ten biggest cities just hours after getting the final regulatory sign-off.

Although it promises its 3G services will be available “at no additional cost”, the operator requires customers to procure a second 3G-enabled number (which it will supply) and add this to their SIM cards.

PCCW to pay $2.43 billion for CSL

Hong Kong’s PCCW has announced plans to buy Telstra’s 76% stake in local rival CSL for the sum of $2.43 billion.

The deal will put PCCW (Hong Kong) in control of assets it sold more than ten years ago, reports Bloomberg, and help to reduce the level of competition in Hong Kong’s saturated phone market, where there are approximately twice as many subscriptions as people.

EE to invest $450 million in improving mobile calls

UK operator EE says it will invest £275 million ($450 million) in improving the quality and reliability of mobile calls on its 2G and 3G networks in 2014.

The funds will also be used to conduct trials of new voice technologies such as voice over LTE (VoLTE) and voice over WiFi.

Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio form network-sharing partnership

Indian operators Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm have announced a network-sharing plan aimed at avoiding “duplication of infrastructure” and lowering costs.

The companies said they would share inter- and intra-city fiber-optic networks, submarine cable networks, towers, internet broadband services and other technologies that might emerge in future.

Besides avoiding duplication and freeing up capital for other projects, the operators said that comprehensive network sharing would help to “preserve the environment”.

Hong Kong regulator denies 3G re-auction will cause disruption

Hong Kong authorities have denied that plans to re-auction some of the 3G frequencies currently in use will cause disruption and lead to higher prices for the country’s 3G users.

Frequencies in the 2.1GHz band are due to expire in October 2016, but under a so-called “hybrid approach” regulators plan to re-auction just a third of these frequencies, which – it insists – represents just 7–10% of the overall spectrum held by the incumbent operators.

Huawei retains top spot in RAN market: ABI Research

Huawei held on to its number-one spot in the global market for radio access networks in the third quarter of 2013, with Alcatel-Lucent overtaking Nokia Siemens Networks to claim third place in the rankings, according to ABI Research.

Huawei (Shenzhen, China) now controls about 28.1% of the market, up by 3.8 percentage points since the third quarter of 2012, with second-place Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) boasting a 21.8% share.

LTE to become main cellular M2M technology by 2022: Machina Research

The M2M modules market is on the verge of a dramatic shift caused by the rising adoption and falling prices of LTE technology, according to a new study from Machina Research.

According to the research, LTE modules will account for more than two thirds of all modules shipped for use in wireless wide area networks in 2022, up from just 0.5% in 2013, as the initial wave of LTE migration transforms markets in the US, Japan, South Korea, China and parts of Europe.

Vodafone Qatar signs M2M deal with NetComm

Vodafone Qatar has become the latest operator to form a strategic partnership with M2M device maker NetComm Wireless.

The deal comes just weeks after NetComm (Sydney, Australia) announced partnerships with Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY) in the US and Etisalat (Abu Dhabi) in the United Arab Emirates, and is aimed at helping Vodafone Qatar (Doha, Qatar) develop a portfolio of smart-city applications, including security systems, intelligent transport systems, smart metering and smart medical devices.

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