Why Idea isn’t losing sleep over spectrum bill

IndiaMUMBAI: Idea Cellular is not overly concerned about being saddled with a bill of more than Rs 30,000 crore that it bid for airwaves in the just-ended auction, unlike investors who dragged the stock down on Friday. India’s third-largest phone company sees things differently — it now has clarity about the next 20 years, which includes tapping the country’s surging data growth. “We only have to look ahead,” Idea CEO Himanshu Kapania told ET in an interview. He said that the airwaves that have been acquired mean Idea can launch improved 3G services on the cost-efficient 900Mhz band.


Tata Tele a surprise with its strong bids in spectrum auction

IndiaKOLKATA: Tata Teleservices surprised many by aggressively going after LTE spectrum in the 800MHz band, thwarting Reliance Jio Infocomm’s efforts to acquire contiguous spectrum in the band in key markets like Delhi, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh where the Tata group company won small slivers of the bandwidth, say analysts. “Tata Teleservices restricted Reliance Jio’s contiguous-800MHz footprint by preventing it from picking up contiguous (or full 5MHz slots) in Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra,” said analysts at J M Financial in a note seen by ET. Contiguous, or full 5MHz slots, frequency is necessary for good quality 4G LTE on 800Mhz.


Vodafone re-signs Nokia to run network from India to Australia

AustraliaVodafone Australia has signed long-term managed services partner Nokia Networks to continue running the telco’s network operations for four more years. Nokia Networks has provided managed services for VHA since 2006. It also supplied the telco with a 3G network in 2004. The contract extension will see Nokia Networks provide remote network management from its global delivery centre in India. The company will also provide service management for Vodafone’s multi-vendor paging, 2G, 3G and 4G+ networks.


Telstra promises to keep customer metadata safe

AustraliaAustralia’s largest telco Telstra has pleged to keep the metadata it is required to store on its customers for two years safe after the data retention scheme passed the Senate last night. The Government and the Labor Party united last night to vote through the Coalition’s data retention bill, despite a last-ditch effort by the Greens and several independents to make changes to the bill.


Taiwan Mobile to offer fastest 4G mobile service in country

TaiwanTAIPEI–Taiwan Mobile Co. (台灣大哥大), the country’s second-largest wireless service provider, said Thursday it will establish Taiwan’s fastest fourth-generation (4G) mobile network next month after integrating its current frequency bands.  The company said it recently gained approval from the National Communications Commission (NCC, 國家通訊傳播委員會) to use a 5-megaherz (MHz) block of the 700 MHz frequency band that it purchased from Ambit Microsystems Corp. last September.


India’s top three telcos spend Rs 85k crore in auction

IndiaMUMBAI/NEW DELHI: India’s top three mobile operators scooped up almost 80% of the country’s airwaves in fierce competition, spending $13.6 billion in the latest round of spectrum auctions that raised a record $17.6 billion.  The heavy bidding by the large operators underscores their big bets on the potential for mobile data in the world’s fastest growing smartphone market.The three operators bought airwaves worth a total 855.75 billion rupees ($13.6 billion), or about 78% of the total airwaves sold in the auction, telecoms minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday.


Telcos join app vendors to optimise smartphone usage, from IN

IndiaNEW DELHI: Top telecom operators including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea are actively working with mobile application vendors to improve the network performance and experience for smartphone users that will help them retain subscribers and drive data revenue.  Idea Cellular’s chief marketing officer Sashi Shankar and Aircel’s chief technology officer Sameer Dave told ET separately that the companies are in discussions with e-commerce firms and other services that require high traffic and high volume.


Telecom spectrum auction concludes after 19 days

IndiaIndia’s telecom airwaves auction has ended after 19 days and 115 rounds of fierce bidding among eight operators, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.  The government had received provisional bids worth more than 1.09 trillion rupees ($17.5 billion) at the end of 110 rounds of bidding on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Department of Telecommunications. It had expected to raise about $13 billion.


ZTE’s profit rises 94% post China 4G roll out

ChinaHONG KONG: Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE posted a 94% rise in 2014 net profit on Wednesday, in line with its own forecast, due to strength in its smartphone business overseas and high-speed 4G network division at home.  The Shenzhen-based company recorded profit of 2.63 billion yuan ($423.4 million) from 1.36 billion yuan a year earlier, in line with the company’s forecast of 2.6 billion yuan. Operating revenue rose 8.3% to 81.4 billion yuan.


Smart, Facebook offer free Internet

PhilippinesMANILA, Philippines – Subscribers of Talk ‘N Text, Smart, and Sun Cellular can now access a suite of mobile Internet services for free through Facebook’s Internet.org app, which made its Southeast Asian debut in the Philippines last Wednesday. Subscribers with a data-capable device can access Facebook, Facebook Messenger plus 22 other websites — providing news, health, weather, and other services – by downloading the Internet.org application on Google Play or visiting http://www.Internet.org on their mobile browser. They can get more information by texting INTERNET to 9999.


Govt seeks to limit Telstra advantage in NBN Co data flows

AustraliaThe federal government is seeking to remove any perceived or actual advantage to Telstra as a result of the information it receives from NBN Co on the network rollout. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has asked the ACCC to consult with industry on a proposed carrier license condition for NBN Co which would govern the way it provides rollout information to Telstra and retail service providers (RSPs).


Viettel Cambodia takes over local telecom service provider

CambodiaOn its announcement issued this week, Beeline unveiled that Sotelco Ltd, ex-owner of the Beeline Cambodia trademark, is to stop involving in the operation of the network. As from March 24, Beeline scratch cards will become invalid and all current sim cards will be shifted to Metfone system, the company declared. Beeline users will benefit from the takeover as they can access to their new provider’s advanced services such as 4G technology.


Fiber-optics and smart cities: Indonesia gets aggressive with infrastructure modernization

IndonesiaOver the next five years, the Indonesian government plans to spend more than US$420 billion on infrastructure projects in the archipelago. A large portion is to come from the private sector; for telecoms projects in particular, nearly all of it will. Indonesia’s tech minister, Rudiantara, is looking to streamline the new network build-outs and has asked the nation’s three major telcos – Telkomsel, Indosat, and XL Axiata – to submit their plans. The minister wants to ensure that the telecoms infrastructure push is efficient nationwide, and not just limited to the greater Jakarta area.


Alcatel-Lucent and Chuan Wei to set up 100G network in Cambodia

CambodiaALCATEL-Lucent and telco operator Chuan Wei are set to deploy Cambodia’s first 100 gigabit-per-second fibre-optic data network as the country invests further in its communications infrastructure to meet increasing demand for ultra-broadband access. With Cambodia’s economy growing at more than 7% annually, the country is becoming a key business hub for South-East Asia, Alcatel-Lucent said in a statement.


Vietnam’s Metfone to Absorb Struggling Beeline

CambodiaMetfone, Cambodia’s largest mobile phone provider by subscribers, will absorb Beeline, which has struggled to gain a foothold in the country’s fiercely competitive telecoms market, Beeline announced Thursday in a statement posted to its Facebook page. Beeline, whose parent company is Sotelco Ltd., was purchased by Cambodian businessman Huot Vanthan in 2013 from Amsterdam-based VimpelCom Ltd. Metfone is a subsidiary of Viettel, which is wholly owned by the Vietnamese military.


Bharti Airtel partners Amazon for cloud services

IndiaNEW DELHI: Telecom major Bharti Airtel has announced partnership with Amazon Web Services to offer its cloud computing services to customers in India. “In line with this market adoption, we are excited to strengthen Airtel’s cloud services portfolio by adding Amazon Web Services to our growing list of cloud services providers. We are confident that this will help our global customers truly leverage the benefits of cloud,” Bharti Airtel’s Global Business CEO Ajay Chitkara said in a statement.


Regulator set to punish SK Telecom

KoreaThe Korea Communications Commission (KCC) plans to impose a penalty on SK Telecom (SKT) for providing illegal kickbacks to attract more customers and to clear inventory ahead of the launch of new Samsung S6 mobile, said a senior KCC official, Saturday. The nation’s top telecom regulator is set to decide the level of “monetary penalties” at a general meeting, Thursday. The penalty is expected to be tough, considering that KCC commissioners regard SKT’s actions as a “serious violation.”


Acer Octon seeking cooperation with top-3 telecom carriers in North America

TaiwanAcer Octon, a joint venture established in November 2014 by Taiwan-based IT vendor Acer and US-based multimedia application developer Octon, will soon announce the outcomes of talks it has been holding with the three largest telecom carriers in North America about cooperation, according to company president James Sha. Acer Octon has also been making deployments in the China and Southeast Asia markets concerning adoption of abPBX plus, its cloud computing-based IP communication solution for businesses, Sha said.


Telstra runs out of IPv4 addresses

AustraliaTelstra has revealed it has run out of IPv4 internet addresses, prompting warnings that its use of network addressing translation could impact the carrier’s ability to accurately collect customer metadata for the Government’s proposed data retention scheme. Carriers worldwide are being urged to move to the new IPv6 addressing system, which was created to overcome limitations to the quickly dwindling IPv4 address supply. IPv6 can create a theoretically inexhaustible supply of addresses, but it is not interoperable with the older IPv4 protocol.


Spectrum auction kitty dips to Rs 1.05 lakh crore

IndiaNEW DELHI: The government’s telecom spectrum auction kitty today declined to Rs 1.05 lakh crore with provisional allocation of 88% airwaves at the end of day 15.  The total amount of bids received for spectrum stood at Rs 1.09 lakh crore with 89% of the spectrum provisionally allocated to bidders.  While auction witnessed renewed activity in the premium 900Mhz band, no activity was seen in 2100Mhz band, which is used for 3G services.