Reliance Jio, RCOM form closer ties

Reliance Jio Infocomm has announced another network-sharing deal with Reliance Communications (RCOM) in a further sign of improving relations between India’s Ambani brothers.

The so-called Master Service Agreement will give Reliance Jio (Mumbai, India) access to RCOM’s (Mumbai, India) nationwide inter-city fiber network, which it hopes will help to speed up its deployment of a 4G network across India.

Reliance Jio said the agreement was based on “arm’s length pricing at prevailing market prices”.

New Zealand's 2degrees to launch 4G services in July

New Zealand operator 2degrees says it has kicked off a three-month trial of 4G technology with plans to introduce commercial services by July.

The operator – the smallest of New Zealand’s three mobile players – is running an LTE trial at ten sites in central Auckland, using 1800MHz spectrum.

The aim is to launch commercial services in central Auckland by July before expanding into the wider Auckland area and the cities of Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch by the end of the year.

Kore strengthens 2G capability with Jazz takeover

Kore Telematics has taken over Jazz Wireless Data to expand its footprint and expertise in the M2M connectivity area.

Under the deal, whose terms were not disclosed, Kore (Alpharetta, GA, USA) will acquire a “six-figure” subscriber base from Jazz (Raleigh, NC, USA), which provides M2M networking services in North America.

Raco to support Audi's LTE rollout

US MVNO Raco Wireless says it has won a contract to support German carmaker Audi with the rollout of 4G LTE services.

The news comes shortly after Audi (Ingolstadt, Germany) teamed up with US telecoms giant AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) on the launch of the 2015 Audi A3 sedan, which is being promoted as the first car in the US market that will include 4G LTE connectivity.

Audi plans to launch the 2015 Audi A3 sedan this spring.

Half of Africa to have 4G coverage by end-2018: ABI Research

Half the population of Africa will be covered with 4G networks by the end of 2018, according to a new study from ABI Research, as the number of base stations deployed across the continent increases at a compound annual growth rate of 40% over the next five years.

Even so, LTE network population coverage will be far from homogenous across the region, says ABI Research.

Kore, Multi-Tech to advise M2M players on 2G shutdown

Kore Telematics has launched an educational program in partnership with modem maker Multi-Tech Systems aimed at supporting M2M players facing a shutdown of 2G networks.

Leading US operators AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) and Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA) have both announced plans to switch off their 2G networks over the next few years and run all voice and data traffic over 3G and 4G infrastructure.

The plans have generated concern among companies that currently use those 2G networks for their M2M services.

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.

Encore, Wyless offer 4G starter kit for M2M applications

Router manufacturer Encore Networks has teamed up with MVNO Wyless to offer what they call a “4G wireless starter kit” for M2M applications.

The two companies say the new kit will allow customers to develop and test industrial M2M applications at no cost before they commit to a long-term wireless data plan.

The package includes an Encore (Chantilly, VA, USA) router, technical support and up to 500 megabytes of free data on the 4G network of Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA) – prepaid for 60 days by Wyless (Lawrence, MA, USA).

NextG-Com launches LTE protocol stack for M2M

UK-based NextG-Com has launched what it claims is the first LTE protocol stack targeting M2M and special applications.

Its ALPs 520 is described as a customizable LTE modem stack that will meet the needs of target niche and special markets such as M2M services, LTE backhaul, relay nodes, routers and gateways.

The technology is suited to a range of M2M applications, says NextG-Com (Staines upon Thames, UK), from low-memory and low-cost M2M applications to high-performance special applications, with or without mobility.

Slovakia 4G auction raises $224 million, produces new entrant

Slovakia’s three existing mobile operators and new entrant Swan have emerged as the winners of new 4G licenses following the conclusion of the country’s multi-band frequency auction.

In a statement published on its website, Slovakia’s telecoms regulator said the auction raised a total of €163.9 million ($224 million) – 15% more than the base price it had set for the various lots on offer.

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