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Short-Term Loan in Aggregate Value of EUR 200,000,000 Concluded between the Digi Group and a Syndicate of Banks

The Company informs the market and its investors that, on 13 October 2017, RCS andamp; RDS S.A. (the Company’s subsidiary in Romania – „RCSandamp;RDS”), DIGI Távközlési és Szolgáltató Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság (RCS andamp; RDS S.A.’s subsidiary in Hungary – „Digi Kft.”), as the borrowers, the Company, as a guarantor, and Citibank N.A., London Branch and ING Bank N.V. as the arrangers, have concluded a short-term loan with two facilities in the aggregate amount of EUR 200,000,000 (the „2017 Bridge Loan”). Click here for more.

Cellular News

Seaborn Networks’ Seabras-1 subsea cable system between the USA and Brazil is ready for operations

BOSTON , Sept.andnbsp;Seaborn Networks, a leading developer-owner-operator of submarine fiber optic cable systems, announced today that its Seabras-1 subsea cable system is ready for operations. Seaborn’s Seabras-1 is a new 6-fiber pair, 72Tbps submarine cable system that is the first and only direct point-to-point system between São Paulo (Brazil) and New York (US).andnbsp; Click here for more.

Cellular News

India Seeks to Block 3G Roaming Deals Between Networks

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has again ordered the 3G mobile networks to suspend roaming between each others networks where they lack coverage. Click here for more.


Smartphone accelerometers distinguish between different transport modes

Researchers from the University of Helsinki have developed methods for extracting information about vehicular movement patterns from measurements of a smartphone accelerometer. Click here for more.


Orange wifi director: “The biggest challenge is the mix between unlicensed and licensed spectrum”

Cedric Gonin, wireless broadband director at Orange France

Cedric Gonin, wireless broadband director at Orange France and director and co-chair of the Wireless Broadband Alliance Board, is speaking at the Broadband World Forum 2012, taking place on the 16 – 18 October 2012 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam. Here he gives his views on where wifi fits in with the overall strategy at Orange France.

With the development of LTE and small cells is there a role for public wifi?

The main difference between public wifi and LTE/small cells  is that with small cells the venue is able to optimise its footprint for its customers but there is no service that can be branded by the operator at the venue,  as with wifi. Small cells are more interesting for the operator and its customers, whereas wifi is valuable for the operators and the venue. The technology enables the venue to communicate on top of it and provide a service under its brand.

Could widespread public wifi cannibalize profits from LTE?

Today operator wifi hotspots are addressing a complementary space, allowing wifi devices to get connectivity, and enabling an operator to provide more connectivity on a site. Wifi is not scalable enough for national coverage but a very good solution to support mobile broadband at indoor high density areas.

Where does wifi fit into the Orange’s overall mobile strategy?

Wifi is a B2B services that we as Orange provide to hotel brands, airports, and retailers. It’s also an additional connectivity technology, enabling Orange to provide a continuity of service at high traffic density locations.

Connecting to unfamiliar wifi access points is still a pain point for many users. What work it being done to improve this?

This is where Next Generation hotspot make sense. It adds wifi as a mobile bearer like 3G or 4G and the end-user will not need to know the difference between the technologies. When available, in this case wifi will be an underlying technology that is used to provide the best network connectivity with a seamless user-experience.

Why do some manufactures, such as Apple, only enable certain applications over wifi. Is this the correct approach to take?

In some areas 3G networks are not widely deployed so wifi has the perception of being faster and cheaper. This is why some companies communicate about wifi, specially. It really depends on location but with development of fast mobile networks the differences will disappear.

What impact on the market do you foresee the arrival of 802.11ac equipment having?

This just provides ongoing continuity of performance improvements. As licensed networks are going faster (3G to 4G) so wifi and unlicensed networks are developing the same way. It’s not a break in the market, just the natural evolution to better performance.

What are the biggest challenges you expect to face in the next couple of years?

The biggest challenge is the mix between unlicensed and licensed spectrum because the business models are so different. We have to be smart to make them live together, in order to deliver the best user experience. In the short term though, it will be the adoption of Next Generation Hotspot, which will bring wifi technology to the same level as 3G/4G.

Why are you looking forward to speaking at the Broadband World Forum?

I’m looking forward to sharing the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s point of view on wifi’s role as a connectivity enabler, either as a stand-alone technology or integrated into a global mobile approach. I would like to explain how broadband providers could leverage their assets to extend the user experience of their customers outside their homes or offices through public wifi. I will also defend wifi as the most suitable companion for improving user satisfaction and not as a threat for other models.

The Broadband World Forum 2012 is taking place on the 16 – 18 October 2012 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Click here now to register your interest. – telecoms industry news, analysis and opinion

China’s Wearable Device Market Continues to Grow, with Varied Performance Between Segments

Throughout Q3 2015, several highlights in the wearable device market stood out, such as the explosive growth in sales of children’s watches, successive market launches of Android Wear smart watches, emergence of wearable payment devices, and the outstanding performance of sport wearable devices. Click here for more.

Cellular News

NEC deploys 176km microwave link between the islands of Sao Tome and Principe

NEC has installed a microwave radio link between the islands of Sao Tome and Principe, providing twenty 2Mbps channels for GSM communications Click here for more.

Cellular News

CTO, Sprint: “Interoperability between FDD and TDD offers exciting opportunities”

Stephen Bye, CTO, Sprint

Stephen Bye, CTO, Sprint

Stephen Bye, CTO at leading US operator Sprint is speaking on Day One of the TD-LTE conference, taking place on the 23rd-24th April 2013 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Ahead of the show we speak to him about Sprint’s role is leading the TD-LTE charge.

How is the progress of your LTE roll-out going in the US?

We are very excited about 2013.  We continue to make solid progress and we have strong momentum. We have been launching five to ten LTE markets each month since July 2012. For the rest of 2013 – we plan to launch in more and more markets. As of early February, we have launched LTE in 58 cities and announced nearly 170 more where LTE is coming soon. We have well over 200 markets where we already have one or more sites on air for 3G enhancements and/or LTE.

Why you believe that TD-LTE is a better choice for delivering mobile data than FDD LTE?

We support the use of both. Their use is linked to specific spectrum allocations. We are using FDD-LTE with Band 25 and Band 26, while we are also working very closely with Clearwire on support for Band 41 TDD-LTE.

The inaugural TD-LTE Summit is taking place on the 23rd-24th April 2013 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore. Click here to download a flyer.

There are big changes afoot for Sprint – you have announced plans to acquire Clearwire, and in turn Softbank has announced its intention to buy 70 per cent of Sprint. Assuming these go ahead could you summarise how this will reposition Sprint in the US market in terms of spectrum and economy of scale?

Even as a standalone business, our wholesale relationship with Clearwire provides us with access to additional LTE capacity to support the data needs of our Sprint customers.  Our Network Vision architecture allows for better strategic alignment and the full utilisation and integration of additional spectrum bands, while achieving operational efficiencies and improved service for customers as the spectrum and network is migrated to LTE standards.

Sprint spent heavily to get the iPhone. What impact is this having on Sprint and how critical is it for you that the next version will offer support for TD-LTE?

The iPhone has been an important device in our portfolio and, with our competitive ‘Truly Unlimited’ plans we have been able to win over new customers to Sprint. For the last reported quarter, 4Q 2012, we sold nearly 2.2 million iPhones in the quarter, with 38 per cent of the activations being new customers to Sprint.

Will Sprint continue with its unlimited data strategy for LTE?

We continue to offer our customers simplicity with our unlimited data plans and they offer a great value to new and existing customers. These plans have been very successful for Sprint, and we plan to continue to offer them to customers.

With both FDD and TDD spectrum what are the challenges around interoperability?

Interoperability between FDD and TDD offers exciting new opportunities.  Significant progress has already been made to ensure that users can operate between these two duplex modes. Working with our key suppliers and other operators, Sprint continues to work on evolving the interoperability specification to enhance the already existing solutions. The continued work in 3GPP, defining the test specifications and developing interoperability specifications, are critical to achieving economies of scale and broad adoption.

Does TD-LTE offer up any specific challenges around backhaul?

No, operators have the same challenges for backhaul regardless if it is a TD-LTE system or an FDD system. The bigger issue is having a more competitive backhaul market in the US.

What plans do you have for carrier aggregation?

Carrier aggregation is something we are studying but do not have anything to share at this time.

Where do small cells fit into your strategy?

We remain on the same strategic path shared last year. Small cells and heterogeneous networks are just one piece of a larger solution. In theory it looks great. The challenge is the cost of large-scale small-cell physical deployment.

What do you think will be the most exciting new development in the TD-LTE market in 2013?

2013 represents a year where we are seeing more wide-scale deployment and adoption of TD-LTE technology. This is important to achieve the necessary economies of scale and we look forward to helping build the ecosystem for TD-LTE. – telecoms industry news, analysis and opinion

AsiaInfo founder calls for greater integration between telcos and OTTs

AsiaInfo President Edward Tian urges telcos and OTTs to play nice

AsiaInfo President Edward Tian urges telcos and OTTs to play nice

Operators should rethink their strategy and open their businesses more to OTTs according to Edward Tian, President and co-founder of Chinese BSS vendor AsiaInfo. In an interview with he said providing OTT services as a partner offering is not fully benefiting operators, and they should adopt a more integrated approach to collaboration.

Tian said that while OTTs are good at innovating new products, telcos have a wealth of experience in another part of the marketing mix: pricing, distribution, packaging and promotion. He said operators should take an advantage of this by building themselves up as digital service platform companies, rather than just continue as traditional telecoms providers.

“I think telecommunication operators have a tremendous opportunity to open themselves up and become what I call a platform company: provider of network security, provider of the customer-base to OTTs. I think this current trend where telcos are just using a BSS as a platform and an OTT service as their partner offering has created a venomous situation [for telcos].

Tian claimed that if operators want to be successful in the future telecoms sector, they need to forget about the historical industry classifications, and embrace the sector lines becoming more blurred with the increasing prominence of software, services, cloud computing and big data. “In the past we separated telecoms, IT, the internet and media into four major industries. I think we are now seeing convergence [of all of these],” he said.

“All industries are coming together, with cloud computing [running] in the background, internet of things at the front, and big data is really the key for all industries in realising this convergence. Maybe in 20 years’ time we are fully rid of these kinds of [industry] classifications, all operating as digital companies, or digital service providers.”

Of course AsiaInfo itself has created a whole product around this concept: the Veris O2P platform, which so far has been used by its Chinese customers China Telecom and China Unicom. The software vendor plans to introduce the platform to the Western market too.

“If a telecommunication company does not have a new generation BSS, they cannot provide payment-as-a-service, or customer management services, or data-plan-as-a-service. I think in that case they will just become a commodity, just the provider of the physical network. I think this is really a key issue where operators can add value to those OTT services rather than just provide the network for them.”

But AsiaInfo’s vision is not all just about working together as partners. It also sees new ways for operators to compete with OTT providers. Tian said telcos should be thinking about moving their business to an ecommerce platform.

“I think telcos can only not offer a platform for OTTs but that they could actually also compete in the OTT area. Telecom operators have tremendous physical distribution stock, a really trusted relationship with customers, and also very strong payment processing methods. They also already have some of the products needed to sell over an ecommerce platform rather than through the traditional channels.”

“The simple outcome for using an ecommerce platform is a 30% saving compared to the physical channel. But more importantly, through ecommerce the telecom operator begins to own the customer. [This is because] unless you buy an ad hoc file, there’s also an opportunity for recommendations to buy other things along with the initial product. So I think this is very interesting. We see this as just the beginning and telcos shouldn’t underestimate themselves.”

According to Tian there’s also an opportunity for further revenue streams on the enterprise sector, where operators could in his opinion begin to offer similar services as Skype and WhatsApp but targeted for the corporate market.

The question does spring to mind, though whether this would really be a hugely successful proposition as it seems there already are plenty of communications solutions widely used by consumers and businesses alike.

However, Tian certainly thinks this something telcos should be considering. “Instant messaging is mostly provided by OTT companies to the consumer. There’s a huge opportunity to offer enterprises these types of services. I think telcos should get into that market.”

Mobile device use leads to few interactions between mother and child during mealtime

Moms who use mobile devices while eating with their young children are less likely to have verbal, nonverbal and encouraging interactions with them. Click here for more.