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.

Egypt unified telecom licence to be activated before June 30: minister

Reuters

Egypt's Telecommunications Minister Atef Helmy said on Sunday the country's long awaited unified telecom licence for both mobiles and landlines will be activated within three months.

The licence would allow telecommunication companies to operate fixed-line and mobile networks, which would in turn allow Egypt's fixed-line monopoly Telecom Egypt (Cairo) to offer mobile services.

Sprint cuts jobs, closes stores as part of broader plan

Reuters

Sprint Corp cut 330 jobs and closed 55 stores around the country this week, as part of an ongoing plan to shrink its workforce in 2014, Cnet.com reported.

The third largest U.S. mobile operator would not specify the number of jobs lost, but said it will retain 85 percent of employees affected by the closings.

The operator also closed call centers in New York, Kansas, California and is shrinking centers in Florida and Texas.

Telecom Council Deep Dive: Infrastructure as a Service, IaaS

Date
Start Date: 
Thursday, May 22, 2014
End Date: 
Thursday, May 22, 2014

San Jose, CA:

The Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) industry is a young one, but it has grown incredibly fast, revolutionizing the deployment of IT infrastructure, radically altering the business model, lowering the costs of entry, and empowering hundreds of entrepreneurs to shoe-string their tech venture. Join 100 of your telecom colleagues as we dive deeper into IaaS, examine the greater trends, discuss the role of telecoms, and hear from some of the cutting edge companies changing the cloud game. 

Bouygues to sell network to Iliad if SFR merger approved

French telecoms player Bouygues has agreed a €1.8 billion ($2.5 billion) sale of its mobile-phone network to rival Iliad on the condition that French competition authorities approve its €14.5 billion takeover of SFR, the country’s second-biggest mobile operator.

Announced at the weekend, the deal would see Bouygues (Paris, France) transfer ownership of its mobile network and a batch of frequencies to Iliad (Paris, France), which currently rents capacity on the network of Orange (Paris, France) to provide mobile-phone services under the Free brand.

Deutsche Telekom cuts earnings targets to fund US expansion

Deutsche Telekom has slashed its free cash flow target for 2015 from €6 billion ($8.33 billion) to little more than €4.2 billion owing to the investment demands of its T-Mobile US subsidiary.

Reporting full year results, the operator said it would increase spending on the rollout of its LTE network using the 700MHz frequencies it recently acquired from Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA).

Its goal is to extend coverage to about 250 million people, up from 225 million at the end of 2013.

Mexico telecoms regulator reins in Slim and his empire

Mexico's telecommunications watchdog unveiled a slew of regulations on Friday to claw back the massive telephone business of billionaire Carlos Slim, but said it would not order a break-up of his companies for now.

Mexico is trying to open up its phone and TV industries to more competition following last year's passage of a major telecoms reform that targets the vast market shares enjoyed by Slim and the country's no. 1 broadcaster, Televisa (Mexico City, Mexico).

AT&T cuts wireless data charges for individual customers

Reuters

AT&T Inc said on Saturday it is cutting wireless data charges for individual customers who have no annual service contract, as the No. 2 U.S. mobile operator attempts to better compete with rival T-Mobile US Inc.

Customers having one smartphone with no annual service contract will now pay $65 per month instead of $80 for a plan that includes 2GB LTE wireless data, unlimited talk and text messaging, unlimited international messaging and 50 GB cloud storage.

Customers with two smartphones will now pay $90.

Mobile messenger WhatsApp to add voice calls

Reuters

WhatsApp, the world's biggest mobile messaging service, is to add a voice call service for its 450 million customers, laying down a new challenge to telecom network operators just days after it was bought by Facebook for $19 billion.

Chief Executive Jan Koum said his aim was for WhatsApp users to be able to make calls by the second quarter, just as they can now text messages, in a bid to expand the service's appeal to help it hit a billion users.

Mobile privacy sells in post-Snowden world

Reuters

Following the Snowden snooping revelations, there is growing interest in a range of mobile phone products with one central selling point: privacy.

The latest contender is the Blackphone, an Android software-based mobile which encrypts texts, voice calls and video chats and will be launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday.

It aims to tap into the market for so-called mobile security management (MSM) products, which was estimated at $560 million in 2013 and is expected to nearly double in size to $1 billion a year by 2015, according to ABI Research.

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