Driven by increased consumer expectations for mobile broadband, solving operator problems by adding small cells to more traditional network topographies in outdoor environments was a recurring theme at this year’s Mobile World Congress. A roundup of some of the backhaul news from the shows follows.
T-Mobile USA, the fourth biggest U.S. mobile service provider, said on Friday that it would start selling the highly anticipated and much delayed BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen smartphone to its business customers on March 11.
The U.S. unit of Deutsche Telekom said business customers could get delivery of the device by the end of next week. It declined to give a date for the consumer launch except to say that it would be before the end of March.
European operators have called for greater progress on the development of “horizontal” M2M standards independent of the vertical industries they are addressing.
Speaking at this week’s M2M Zone Conference at the CeBIT tradeshow in Hannover, Jurgen Hase, the head of M2M for Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany), warned operators that if they built up “silos”, as they have done in the past, they would fail.
“We need standards for different layers – not just connectivity,” he told attendees. “Otherwise this will not be scalable enough.”
Max Levchin, co-founder of online payment giant PayPal, launched a rival business on Tuesday called Affirm that will compete in the crowded but fast-growing mobile payments business.
Affirm's technology helps shoppers complete online purchases more quickly and easily when they are using smart phones and other mobile devices, according to the firm's website.
Deutsche Telekom has finally launched a joyn service in Germany just weeks after blaming technical difficulties for delays to its introduction of the technology.
The German incumbent becomes the latest operator to add joyn, the brand name for the Rich Communication Suite-enhanced (RCS-e) standard backed by the GSM Association (GSMA), to its portfolio of services.
Widely seen as an attempt by operators to fight over-the-top players on their own terms, joyn has been heavily criticised as too little and too late.
Telecom network equipment maker DragonWave Inc said revenue for the fourth quarter would miss its forecast, citing lower sales in the microwave technology business it bought from Nokia Siemens Networks last year.
DragonWave (Ottawa, Canada) shares slid 25 percent to a three-month low of C$1.81 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday.
Ottawa-based DragonWave also said it will cut costs further but did not specify what the measures were. Chief Financial Officer Russell Frederick said he could not provide more information on cost cutting.
Shares of Leap Wireless International Inc fell 3 percent on Thursday after the company said it may be able to sell only half the iPhones it has committed to buying from Apple Inc, potentially setting it back by $450 million over three years.
Leap (San Diego, USA), a provider of wireless services to cost-conscious customers, did not sell as many iPhones as it had hoped in the fourth quarter. It said that overall customer additions were hurt by general softness in the prepaid sector and phone prices were higher than many consumers could pay.
Networks, whether superfast mobile broadband, wifi or a combination of both, are helping add pizzazz to new mobile products as the rapid evolution in smartphone and tablet design slows to a trickle.
The world's fastest smartphone, new "phablets" - sized between a phone and tablet - and small tablets optimized to watch video and run multiple applications on 4G mobile networks were making the biggest splash at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Networks are also enabling millions of other devices, from coffee makers to bicycles and cars to homes, to become "smart".
Etisalat has joined the Jasper Wireless-powered M2M alliance that includes a number of leading international operators.
The operator’s membership was announced during this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and means the alliance now comprises eight players, including an operator from the Middle East for the first time.
Etisalat (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) was already a customer of Jasper Wireless (Mountain View, USA), whose Control Center platform is a core component of the M2M alliance.
Swedish operator Ericsson has signed an agreement with German software company SAP for the joint marketing and sale of cloud-based M2M services to enterprises around the world.
The partnership will combine Ericsson’s M2M platform expertise with enterprise services from SAP (Walldorf, Germany) and is designed to overcome some of the barriers to the adoption of M2M technology.