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Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/22/2019 06:04
Italy has a new MVNO in the form of *Withu*, an offshoot of utility firm *Europe Energy*. The new virtual operator – which piggybacks on the *Vodafone Italy* network – is currently restricting its proposition to existing electricity and gas customers. Withu also offers fibre-optic connectivity, which is believed to be delivered via *Open Fiber’s* infrastructure. Sticking with Italy, Massimiliano Parini, the boss of *CoopVoce*, has informed Mondo Mobile Web that his company plans to make the transition from a Light MVNO to a Full MVNO in 2020, following the deployment of ‘independent technological infrastructure’. Following the switch, CoopVoce will continue to utilise *Telecom Italia (TIM)* as its network provider – a relationship which dat.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/22/2019 06:04
Indian mobile provider Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) has registered operating revenue of INR116.8 billion (USD1.7 billion) for the period ending 30 June 2019, up from INR81.1 billion a year earlier. EBITDA for the quarter increased by 48.9% year-on-year to INR46.9 billion, whilst net profit rose to INR8.91 billion from INR6.12 billion over the same period. The operator also added 24.5 million net new subscribers during the quarter, bringing its mobile customer base to 331.3 million at end-June, although ARPU continued to trend downwards, falling to INR122.0 from INR134.5 a year earlier. Commenting on the results, Jio Chairman Mukesh Ambani was quoted as saying: ‘Growth in Jio mobility services has continued to surpass all expectations. In les.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/22/2019 06:04
Ecuador’s government has outlined plans to allocate 3.5GHz spectrum in 2020 in preparation for the launch of 5G services, reports TeleSemana. Speaking at the presentation of the ‘Digital Ecuador’ strategy intended to foster digital transformation, the Minister for Telecommunications & Information Society, Andres Michelena Ayala, highlighted that one of the priorities of the initiative is to establish a regulatory framework governing spectrum allocation. The government hopes this will reduce mobile internet prices and promote investment. Under the plan, the process of allocating frequencies in the 700MHz and 2.5GHz bands will begin by November 2019, with the goal of extending 4G coverage from the current 50% to 80% by 2021, while spectrum in.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/22/2019 06:04
Angelo Cardani, head of Italy’s Communications Regulatory Authority (Autorita per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni, Agcom), says a single national fibre network in the hands of Telecom Italia (TIM) would be a ‘backward step’. TIM is in negotiations with wholesale network operator Open Fiber, which could see the latter firm merged into TIM. A report from Reuters cites Cardani as saying: ‘Should the incumbent [TIM] control the new entity it would not just be a big U-turn but also a backward step.’ He added that any deal which creates a monopoly would reduce the benefits of competition. A tie-up between TIM and Open Fiber would have to be cleared by Agcom and Italy’s Competition Authority (Autorita Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, AGCM)
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/22/2019 06:04
The head of Poland’s telecoms regulator has called on the government to ease restrictions on base station radiation levels to encourage operators to deploy 5G networks. Marcin Cichy of the Office of Electronic Communications (Urzad Komunikacji Elektronicznej, UKE) told Reuters that legislation must be passed to reduce limits on radiation emissions to allow each base station to cover a wider area, otherwise telcos will find it too expensive to roll out effective networks. Poland has some of the tightest restrictions on base station radiation levels in the EU. Cichy said: ‘If we want to meet the EU goal of launching 5G in Poland by the end of 2020, there are a few months left to convince investment funds and shareholders that this problem wil.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/22/2019 06:04
Mobitel, the mobile subsidiary of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), has completed a further demonstration of fifth-generation technology at the recent grand opening of the Ancient Technology Museum in Polonnaruwa. Carried out as part of Mobitel’s strategy to provide ‘a new lease of life to national heritage’ through the adoption of digital technologies, the cellco says it should ensure its 5G network will deliver ultra-fast connectivity in Colombo and other major cities across Sri Lanka. The SLT-controlled operator plans to spend upwards of USD50 million in 2019 to deploy a 5G network and to further develop its existing infrastructure. As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month Mobitel completed a series of 5G trials using a comm.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/22/2019 06:04
Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has granted additional frequency licences to the country’s three main mobile network operators, namely Batelco, Zain and Viva, in the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands, in response to increasing demand for mobile data services, especially social networking applications. The regulator did not provide a breakdown of the spectrum allocation but, as previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the TRA’s second consultation document published in March 2019 had detailed plans to allocate 60MHz (2×30MHz) in the 800MHz FDD band (791MHz-821MHz/832MHz-862MHz) and 140MHz in the 2600MHz TDD band (2550MHz-2690MHz).
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/22/2019 06:04
Hong Kong’s Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) has invited applications for 5G licences in the 3.3GHz, 3.5GHz and 4.9GHz bands. The regulator intends to auction a total of 380MHz of spectrum across the three bands, including 100MHz at 3.3GHz, 200MHz at 3.5GHz and 80MHz at 4.9GHz. The first auction – for the 3.5GHz frequencies – will be held on 14 October, and this will then be followed by the 4.9GHz and 3.3GHz sales. Applications are being accepted until 13 September. Reserve prices have been set at HKD2 million (USD256,000) per MHz for the 3.3GHz spectrum, HKD4 million per MHz for the 3.5GHz spectrum and HKD3 million per MHz for 4.9GHz frequencies. A spectrum cap of 70MHz will be imposed on winning bidders in the 3.5GHz band auc.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/22/2019 06:04
CityFibre, the UK-based alternative provider of wholesale full fibre infrastructure, has confirmed that 14 further towns and cities are being planned and mobilised for full fibre deployment. They form the second phase of CityFibre’s GBP2.5 billion (USD3.1 billion) investment plan, which seeks to bring competitive full fibre infrastructure to at least five million homes. The cities in question are Batley, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Doncaster, Inverness, Ipswich, Leicester, Lowestoft, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Rotherham, Slough, Swindon and Worthing. TeleGeography notes that twelve ‘Gigabit Cities’ have previously been announced by CityFibre, namely: Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Coventry, Stirling, Huddersfield, Leeds, Cambrid.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/22/2019 06:04
US telecoms giant AT&T is exploring the sale of its business in Puerto Rico, people familiar with the matter have informed Reuters. Indeed, the telco has hired an as-yet undisclosed financial adviser to manage the sale process, which could be worth up to USD3 billion. As per the report, the Puerto Rican business generated twelve-month EBITDA of around USD300 million last year. The source noted that the potential sale is expected to help AT&T cut the debt pile it took on after the USD85 billion purchase of media and entertainment conglomerate Time Warner Inc, which closed in June 2018. AT&T’s strong market position in Puerto Rico – it is believed to be the territory’s largest mobile operator by subscribers – has attracted interest from a mix.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/19/2019 06:28
British telecoms regulator Ofcom has opened an investigation into BT’s compliance with price regulations related to Excess Construction Charges (ECCs). ECCs are charges levied by BT to recover the costs of customer-specific network construction that is required to extend the telco’s existing infrastructure out to where a customer requires a new connection. Since 16 May 2014 BT has been subject to an obligation to exempt certain new provisions of business connectivity services from the first GBP2,800 (USD3,495) of excess construction costs (i.e. the ECC exemption). BT is then allowed to make up the resulting loss of revenue with a balancing charge which is part of the standard connection charge for all relevant business connectivity services.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/19/2019 06:28
The Slovenian fixed and mobile operator Telemach has won a legal appeal which will allow it to keep 2x5MHz of spectrum in the 2100MHz band which it had been ordered to relinquish by the country’s telecoms regulator. As reported by CommsUpdate earlier this month, the Agency for Communications Networks & Services (Agencija za komunikacijska omrezja in storitve, AKOS) wanted to revoke the spectrum on 30 September and then offer it for sale. The frequencies were originally awarded free of charge in 2008 to Tusmobil, a cellular operator which was acquired by Telemach in 2014. Slovenia’s other cellcos challenged the decision to hand the frequencies to Tusmobil at no cost when they themselves had paid for 3G licences which included 2100MHz spectru.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/19/2019 06:28
Filipino behemoth PLDT Inc. (incl. Smart Communications) has reportedly postponed the commercial launch of 5G services to early 2020, as the country’s largest operator by subscribers continues its quest to select suitable equipment vendors for the project. In a news briefing, chairman and president Manuel Pangilinan was quoted as saying ‘I don’t think it will happen this year, but certainly sometime next year, early next year,’ despite having previously announced that it was targeting Q4 2019 for fifth-generation services to be available for home broadband and enterprise customers. Pangilinan, whose company trails its main rival Globe Telecom – which launched the Philippines’ first commercial fixed-wireless 5G service last month – bemoaned
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/19/2019 06:28
US mobile giant Verizon Wireless has announced that it has launched its 5G mobile network in a fifth city, namely St Paul in Minnesota. According to Verizon, consumer and business customers will be able to access the ‘5G Ultra Wideband’ service in parts of Downtown, Lowertown and the West Seventh neighbourhoods, and around landmarks such as the Minnesota Children’s Museum and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. TeleGeography notes that St Paul joins Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis and Providence as a Verizon 5G mobility city. Going forward, the cellco aims to cover 30 markets with 5G mobile technology by end-2019.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/19/2019 06:28
Sure South Atlantic – a member of Bahrain’s Batelco Group – has partnered with Canada-based vendor Star Solutions to launch LTE services in the Falkland Islands. Sure’s existing GSM network was upgraded with GSM and LTE infrastructure from Star Solutions, and the new network and services were turned on and fully operational in August last year, the two companies noted in a joint statement. Sure CEO Ian Kelly was quoted as saying of the development: ‘We are committed to offering the most up-to-date mobile services to our subscribers in the Islands. The recent network upgrade is an indication of our continual endeavour to fulfill this promise. 4G LTE has been added to provide our customers with the latest technology, meeting the growing deman.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 07/19/2019 06:28
New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has released its final report recommending that Spark’s resale copper voice services be deregulated. The regulator noted that consultation on its draft report, released in April this year, supported its view that retailers can provide the service over fibre and other networks to almost all New Zealanders. ‘Competition in this market is now well-established and no longer depends on the resale of copper voice services from Spark,’ noted Telecommunications Commissioner Stephen Gale. The watchdog is therefore recommending the Minister of Communications removes the relevant provisions from the Telecommunications Act. The few remaining consumers who only buy a voice service on a copper line, and effectively have

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