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Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/22/2019 06:39
*GITGE* has announced a new project aiming to link the island of Corisco and Cabo San Juan in Equatorial Guinea via a submarine cable. The *Mandji* system will have a total length of 50km and will comprise a total of 48 optical fibres. A marine analysis for the most appropriate route will commence in April, with the physical construction to be finalised by September. The laying of the cable is scheduled to start later this year. The European Investment Bank (EIB) board of directors has approved funding of USD25 million for a regional integration project aiming to connect Cape Verde to the rest of the region via an undersea link to Guinea-Bissau and the Mano River countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea-Conakry). Guinean broadband operat.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/22/2019 06:39
Executives at Swiss full-service provider Sunrise are confident that they can win shareholder backing for a CHF4.1 billion (USD4.1 billion) rights issue to facilitate the takeover of rival operator UPC Switzerland, despite the provider’s largest shareholder – German telco freenet – saying that it would not participate in the rights issue.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/22/2019 06:39
Russian cellco MegaFon posted a revenue increase of 4.3% in full-year 2018 to RUB335.55 billion (USD5.22 billion), whilst annual net profit increased by 2.7% to RUB21.07 billion. Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) for the twelve-month period rose by 1.8% to RUB124.04 billion and yearly CAPEX investment was raised by 45.5% to RUB81.46 billion. MegaFon’s mobile subscribers decreased by 0.3% year-on-year to 76.9 million as of 31 December 2018. MegaFon’s Mandatory Tender Offer (expired 7 March 2019) resulted in the company’s wholly owned subsidiary MegaFon Finance acquiring 126.25 million ordinary shares representing 20.36% of total outstanding shares of MegaFon and, as a result, the percentage of MegaFon shares held
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/22/2019 06:39
T-Mobile US has announced the start of an invitation-only pilot for a new in-home LTE service. The cellco plans to connect up to 50,000 homes in rural and underserved areas of the country by the end of the year, as it seeks to convince the regulatory authorities of the merits of its pending mega-merger with Sprint. Part of T-Mobile’s merger pledge involves the combined entity – ‘New T-Mobile’ – covering more than half of US ZIP codes with a fixed-wireless LTE solution by 2024. John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, commented: ‘We’re walking the walk and laying the foundation for a world where we can take the fight to Big Cable on behalf of consumers and offer real choice, competition and savings to Americans nationwide.’
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/22/2019 06:39
Latvian cellco Bite has unveiled plans to spend EUR4.5 million (USD5.1 million) on network development this year as it targets a 53% increase in capacity. To achieve that goal, Bite says it will deploy 50 new base stations – including several 5G base stations – and will upgrade 100 sites with LTE-A technology. Technical Director Gints Buten noted that having worked on network expansion last year, the company would concentrate on capacity this year, not only in the capital but also in the regions. Bite currently operates 810 base stations throughout Latvia, all of which are equipped with 4G, providing coverage to 99% of the population. Of that total, 300 have been upgraded with LTE-A whilst ten have been boosted further to 4.5G LTE-A Pro tec.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/22/2019 06:39
Hong Kong-based industrial group CK Hutchison has reported revenues of HKD453.2 billion (USD57.8 billion) for the twelve months ended 31 December 2018, a rise of 9% year-on-year. EBITDA climbed by the same margin to HKD113.6 billion, while profit attributable to shareholders was up 11% at HKD39.0 billion. In the telecoms sphere, 3 Group Europe, which has operations in the UK, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Austria and Ireland, saw revenues climb 11% to HKD78.4 billion, with EBITDA rising 18% to HKD28.8 billion. The European operations had 42.9 million active customers at the end of 2018, a drop of 4% in twelve months. The domestic business, Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings (HTHKH), which offers services under the ‘3’ brand, saw tota.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/22/2019 06:39
Openreach, the network arm of UK-based fixed line incumbent BT, has launched a consultation regarding the process of switching from its legacy copper infrastructure to fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP). According to ISPreview, Openreach is seeking input on from communications providers on three key areas, those being: how it builds its new fibre network; how the industry should migrate customers smoothly onto that network, once it has been constructed; and how Openreach should eventually retire the existing copper network. Meanwhile, within its consultation Openreach was also said to have outlined several guiding principles which it sees as crucial to a successful transition between its legacy network and the new infrastructure. These include: b.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/22/2019 06:39
Malaysian mobile network operator (MNO) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese vendor ZTE with a view to accelerating its deployment of 5G. In a press release ZTE claimed that the partnership will see both parties collaborating on various 5G related developments, including ‘Live testing’, 5G showcases and the implementation of Massive MIMO technology. U Mobile CEO Wong Heang Tuck said of the development: ‘U Mobile is delighted to partner with ZTE to accelerate 5G in Malaysia. We have a long standing working relationship with ZTE and it is a logical next step for us to collaborate on initiatives related to 5G … In the near future, we will be working closely with ZTE to conduct live tests in select areas in [Kuala Lumpur]
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/22/2019 06:39
The board of directors at Brazil’s National Telecommunications Agency (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes, Anatel) has approved its Regulatory Agenda for 2019-2020, which will involve the study a number of spectrum bands for future 5G use. Frequencies under consideration include: 700MHz, 2.3GHz, 3.3GHz-3.4GHz, 3.5GHz and 26GHz. The watchdog says that by publicising the agenda it seeks to bring transparency and efficiency to the regulatory process.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/22/2019 06:39
Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) yesterday (21 March 2019) published its second consultation on the award of mobile spectrum in the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands, inviting comments by 21 April. The licence application window is set for 30 May-6 June, with a date of 13 June 2019 scheduled for announcing the results of the tender. The spectrum on offer is 60MHz (2x30MHz) in the 800MHz FDD band (791MHz-821MHz/832MHz-862MHz) and 140MHz in the 2600MHz TDD band (2550MHz-2690MHz). The TRA will award three ‘Basic Spectrum Portfolios’, each comprising 2×10MHz in the 800MHz band and 40MHz of 2600MHz TDD spectrum, at a price of BHD4.39 million (USD11.57 million) each. The remaining 20MHz in the 2600MHz band will be auctioned via seal.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/21/2019 07:40
Hong Kong’s Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) has announced that all three firms which requested licences for spectrum in the 26GHz-28GHz band have been successful with their applications. HKT, SmarTone and China Mobile HK (CMHK) have provisionally been allocated 400MHz of spectrum each, though the final licence awards are still dependent on applicants meeting the requirements to prove that they have no links to any of the other bidders. The territory’s fourth cellco, Hutchison 3, declined to take part in the award process, saying that there is sufficient spectrum available for 5G services in the 3.3GHz, 3.5GHz and 4.9GHz bands, while the higher range frequencies are also not suitable for providing indoor coverage.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/21/2019 07:40
US telecoms giant AT&T Mobility has confirmed that it is starting to reconfigure its 3G spectrum in the 850MHz and 1900MHz bands ahead of a planned shutdown of its 3G networks in February 2022. In a statement to Mobile World Live, a company spokesperson noted that the cellco is in the process of ‘redeploying spectrum currently used for 3G services to support mobile services on our 4G LTE and 5G networks based on market-by-market evaluations’. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, AT&T formally shut down its 2G service on 1 January 2017. Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless – AT&T’s chief mobile rival – stopped activating 3G CDMA-based handsets in July last year, and plans to switch off its 3G networks altogether at the end of 2019.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/21/2019 07:40
UK-based Vodafone Group is likely to receive a warning from EU regulators regarding the possible anti-competitive effects of its proposed acquisition of Liberty Global’s Eastern European assets. According to Reuters, which cites two unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the warning – via a statement of objections setting out the European Commission’s (EC’s) concerns – is expected to be sent to both Vodafone and Liberty shortly. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in December 2018 it was revealed that an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of Liberty UPC/Unitymedia-branded operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic by Vodafone Group was opened by the European Commission (EC). At that date the EC sa.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/21/2019 07:40
Following the public response of its service trial which was launched in in December 2018, Singapore’s new fourth cellco TPG announced on 12 March 2019 that it is significantly expanding its free mobile service trial in the city-state. The newcomer’s trial plan is promoted as ‘completely free for the first twelve months and includes unlimited data, unlimited local mobile-to-mobile calls, 20 local SMS messages and 20 minutes of outgoing calls to local fixed lines each month’. The fourth operator’s executive chairman David Teoh said: ‘Public response to our mobile trial plan has been incredible and we have received positive feedback on our coverage and network quality … We are also pleased to confirm that we have achieved 99% island wide outd.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/21/2019 07:40
Norway’s National Communications Authority (Nasjonal kommunikasjonsmyndighet, Nkom) has confirmed that it is aiming to allocate spectrum in the 700MHz and 2100MHz bands via an auction which will commence in June 2019. In a press release regarding its plans, the regulator noted that it expects to publish the final auction rules for the sale process next month, with a deadline for registering to take part scheduled for May 2019. With test auctions then planned for the latter half of May 2019, the auction itself would then begin in the first week of June. The Nkom has, however, noted that all timings are subject to change. As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the watchdog previously revealed in July 2018 that it intends to make av.
Telegeography CommsUpdate 03/21/2019 07:40
Italian wholesale broadband network operator Open Fiber says it has now passed five million premises with its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) rollout. The firm’s CEO, Elisabetta Ripa, commented: ‘With over five million real estate units already wired in FTTH – the fibre that arrives directly at home – and a plan that covers 8,000 municipalities, Open Fiber is driving Italy's digital development, thanks to a network capable, even today, of reaching 1Gbps.’ Open Fiber says it plans to invest EUR1 billion (USD1.13 billion) a year in its rollout until 2023. The firm leases its network to third-party service providers such as Vodafone Italy and Wind Tre.

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