EE boosts 4G coverage to 50% of UK population

UK mobile-phone operator EE says it has switched on its 4G network in another 13 cities and now covers half the country’s population with the superfast mobile service.

The joint venture between Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) and France Telecom (Paris, France) is racing to boost availability and take-up as its rivals prepare to launch their own 4G services.

T-Mobile USA eyes growth from iPhone, marketing changes

Reuters

T-Mobile USA said on Tuesday that it will start selling Apple Inc's iPhone on April 12, making it the last of the big national U.S. operators to sell the popular smartphone.

The No. 4 U.S. mobile provider, which is seeking to merge with smaller rival MetroPCS Communications (Richardson, TX, USA), is hoping the device can help stem customer losses. The launch follows a marketing overhaul that eliminates device subsidies and two-year service contracts favored by its bigger rivals.

ZTE swings to net loss on weak operator spending

A slowdown in network equipment and device markets has taken its toll on China’s ZTE, which has reported a net loss of RMB2.84 billion ($457 million) for 2012, compared with a net profit of RMB2.06 billion the year before.

China’s second-biggest network equipment maker, behind Huawei (Shenzhen, China), ZTE (Shenzhen, China) also reported a 2.36% decline in revenues, to RMB84.22 billion.

In a statement accompanying the figures, ZTE pointed to the slowdown in equipment investments by the global telecoms industry in 2012.

Global telecoms giant ZTE sees gold in Chinese roots

Reuters

China's ZTE Corp, which helped bring the telephone to millions of homes during the Deng Xiaoping era, is counting on a new generation of tech-savvy smartphone users to drive at least $7.5 billion of 4G network projects and elevate its sagging fortunes.

Crest hires help in battle against Sprint takeover of Clearwire

Clearwire shareholder Crest Financial has hired proxy-solicitation firm D.F. King & Co. to help it fight the proposed takeover of Clearwire by majority owner Sprint.

Noting that it is the largest Clearwire (Bellevue, WA, USA) shareholder currently unaligned with Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA), Crest (Dallas, TX, USA) has also demanded that Clearwire make available the company’s list of shareholders.

LTE for M2M has "numerous benefits", says Heavy Reading

Despite the doubts about its appropriateness, LTE technology offers numerous benefits as an M2M communications technology, according to new research from Heavy Reading.

In a new paper, the analyst company claims that LTE can help to reduce operating costs associated with M2M services, and offer a “future proof” alternative to more widely used 2G and 3G systems.

Bouygues gains regulatory permission for 4G at 1800MHz

French telecoms regulator ARCEP has introduced rules allowing Bouygues Telecom, the country’s third-biggest operator, to use its 1800MHz spectrum to provide 4G services.

Until now, the spectrum has been reserved for use with much older, 2G services, but the ARCEP decision means Bouygues (Paris, France) will be able to introduce LTE technology in the 1800MHz band from October 1 this year.

It will, however, be forced to relinquish some of its 1800MHz holdings so it does not gain an unfair advantage over its rivals.

For China Mobile, 4G and iPhone key to unlocking Apple demand

Reuters

China Mobile Ltd said it plans to spend 41.7 billion yuan ($6.7 billion) developing 4G technology this year, hoping to tap pent-up demand for Apple Inc smartphones as it gets an iPhone model that will finally run on its network.

The world's largest mobile carrier - with more than twice as many subscribers as there are people in the United States - already has more than 10 million of its customers owning an iPhone even though the gadget doesn't properly work with the Chinese firm's homegrown TD-SCDMA 3G technology, which is not compatible with global technologies.

Sistema wins LTE-suitable spectrum in India auction

SSTL, the Indian unit of Russian investment company Sistema, has announced it will pay $665 million for 800MHz spectrum in eight of the 21 telecoms ‘circles’ where it had licenses revoked by authorities last year.

The company was the sole bidder in a government auction of frequencies used to support CDMA-based services.

SSTL’s new licenses are valid for 20 years and cover the regions of Delhi, Kolkata, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh (West) and West Bengal.

Czech regulator suspends 4G auction

The Czech telecoms regulator has taken the unusual step of suspending a 4G spectrum auction because bid prices had risen too high.

In a statement on its website, the CTU said that bid prices had reached about CZK20 billion ($1 billion), nearly three times the minimum amount of CZK7.4 billion established at the outset of the auction.

The regulator’s fear seems to be that operators will pass those costs on to 4G consumers, inhibiting the take-up of high-speed mobile internet services in the Czech market.

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