The Current Wireless Network Landscape
As the popularity of smartphones, tablets and other intelligent mobile devices increases, and as consumer’s leverage these devices for increasingly high-bandwidth applications and services, today’s 3G wireless networks, and associated backhaul networks, are frequently overwhelmed. In fact, the amount of bandwidth currently consumed is reaching levels equal to that of wired broadband connections.
China Telecom Corp Ltd (Beijing, P.R.C.), the smallest of the country's three carriers, is considering entering the U.S. wireless market by offering services to handset consumers who frequent both countries, a company executive said on Wednesday.
China Telecom plans to work out a scheme using MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), aiming to use the network infrastructure of a U.S. operator to provide such services, the executive said.
He said he did not expect significant regulatory hurdles for the MVNO plan, although some analysts are skeptical.
On Friday, DragonWave, Inc. (Ottawa, Canada) announced plans to acquire Nokia Siemens Networks' (Espoo, Finland) microwave transport business, including its associated operational support systems (OSS) and related support functions. Under the deal, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) will retain responsibility for its existing sales and associated services for microwave transport, while DragonWave will be responsible for the product line, including R&D, product management and operations functions.
Market research firm Infonetics Research (Campbell, Calif., U.S.A.) on Tuesday released excerpts from its Service Provider Capex, Opex, ARPU, and Subscribers report, which reported that telecom capital expenditures (CAPEX) were up 6% to $311 billion in 2011, while revenue was up 8% to $1.86 trillion.
France Telecom-Orange (Paris, France) and Publicis Groupe (Paris, France), an advertising and communications company, announced on Monday plans to launch a new venture capital fund. The fund will finance and develop digital start-up, particularly in France and the European Union, says Orange.
Sierra Wireless (British Columbia, Canada) and Sprint (Overland Park, Kan., U.S.A.) last week announced they are collaborating to help application developers, product manufacturers, and machine-to-machine (M2M) service providers deploy new services. The two companies will co-market Sierra Wireless’ M2M Cloud Platform and Sierra Wireless will support Sprint modules pre-certified on its network.
Sprint Nextel Corp (Overland Park, Kan., U.S.A.) said it could use the proceeds from a private debt offer to fund Clearwire Corp (Kirkland, Wash., U.S.A.), sending shares in the cash-strapped high-speed wireless firm up 8% on Friday.
Sprint sold $4 billion in bonds on Friday, according to underwriters. The company had included Clearwire funding among possible uses for the debt proceeds when it announced the offering on Friday morning.
Telecom operators have begun to release financial results for the third quarter of 2011. In the United States, AT&T, Verizon Communications and Sprint all posted revenue in line with expectations, although both AT&T and Verizon saw weak smartphone sales. In Europe, France Telecom was hurt by the weak European market, and has continued to move into the Middle East and Africa to offset its losses.
As customers begin to own multiple devices there is a need to consolidate usage into one shared data plan. According to a white paper put out at 4G World by Infonetics Research (Campbell, Calif., U.S.A.) and sponsored by Tekelec (Morrisville, N.C., U.S.A), shared data plans will allow multiple devices to dip into one data plan, making billing easier and reducing shock billing.
Clearwire Corp (Kirkland, Wash., U.S.A.) needs another big wholesale customer to make investors less nervous about buying stock in the wireless service provider, which is majority owned by its biggest customer Sprint Nextel (Overland Park, Kan., U.S.A.).
Some on Wall Street worry that Clearwire -- which has been seeking almost $1 billion more financing to fund its operations and upgrade its network -- is over-reliant on Sprint, with which it has clashed repeatedly in the past.