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SIMalliance Updates Open Mobile API and Launches Complementing Test Specification

The SIMalliance has release the latest update to its Open Mobile API Specification v2.05, together with the launch of the accompanying Open Mobile API Test Specification v1.0. Click here for more.


Ono moves to IPO but door still open for Vodafone say reports

OnoSpanish Cable operator Ono has said it will press ahead with its planned IPO while continuing to engage with Vodafone over a possible acquisition, it has been reported. Citing two people “with knowledge of the matter”, news agency Bloomberg reported that Ono will slow preparations for the IPO, agreed at a board meeting on Thursday, to give Vodafone the option to up its previous bid, which was in the region of €7bn.

Meanwhile Reuters has cited a source close to the companies who suggests that negotiations are set to conclude imminently with a successful outcome for Vodafone.

Vodafone is looking to consolidate its position in key existing markets by expanding into cable provision; a strategy revealed by its purchase of Germany’s Kabel Deutschland last year. A number of European telcos are betting on bundled communications and pay TV offerings to increase customer loyalty and grow revenues.

Earlier this week, at Cable Congress in Amsterdam, Cable CEOs debated the future of convergence between their own networks and mobile services. Leading executives said that cable operators are becoming mobile companies as consumption of content migrates to mobile.

Speaking on the opening panel session at the show on Wednesday, Manuel Cubero, chief operating officer, Kabel Deutschland, said that the combination of Vodafone and KDG was a “perfect fit”, but added that his company had already begun deploying wifi last year. “The logic for this [fixed mobile] marriage is becoming greater,” he said.

Asked whether KDG would adopt the Vodafone brand, Cubero declined to answer directly but said that in principal Vodafone has a” fantastic brand” worldwide with 22 million customers in Germany. “It’s obvious it will help us grow event faster,” he said.

NSN is to open a Mobile Broadband Security center in Germany

Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) has announced plans to establish a Mobile Broadband Security Center in Berlin, which will be fully operational in the second half of 2014. Click here for more.


GSMA’s Bouverot sends operator-backed open letter to Kroes calling for European reform

Anne Bouverot, director general, GSMA

Anne Bouverot, director general, GSMA

The director general of the GSMA, Anne Bouverot, has sent an open letter to EC Commissioner Neelie Kroes calling for policy reform that will encourage investment in Europe’s telecoms sector. Bouverot secured endorsements from the CEOs of ten European operators with a combined European mobile customer base of almost three quarters of a billion subscriptions, according to data from Informa’s World Cellular Investors service.

The GSMA said that, despite Europe having the highest regional mobile penetration in the world, it was the only area in which revenues have declined, from €162bn in 2010 to €142bn in 2013. Despite this, the organisation said, “comprehensive policy reform” could enable the European mobile sector to drive investment, improve connectivity and enable innovation.

It is increasingly popular to compare Europe unfavourably with the US and Bouverot’s letter warned that European operators are “facing decreasing revenues and reduced market values compared with oeprators in the US and Asia,” as well as other players in the sector, for which read the internet and OS powerhouses. “This is impairing our ability to invest in the communications infrastructure needed to put Europe back on the path to growth and jobs,” she added.

Bouverot stressed the need for a regulatory overhaul that would enable operators to act unencumbered by “unnecessary layers of regulation”, drive greater harmony across the region and permit operators to consolidate to restructure the market.

She also called for “a level playing field for all”, a statement that again appeared to put internet players in her sights. Even-handed regulation “across the value chain” was needed, she said, as well as “consistent applications of rules irrespective of the technology being used, who is providing the service or where individuals are located.”

Internet players like Google and Facebook (with its recent WhatsApp acquisition) have long been developing services that compete with operators’ core service offerings but attract none of the regulation that comes with a licence to operate a network. Moreover they are driving huge levels of traffic at little or no cost to themselves.

“Operators must have the commercial freedom to develop new business models, innovate at the network and service level, and offer customised services in order to restore the investment climate and drive innovation and competition in the global marketplace,” Bouverot said.

She also called for comprehensive reform of spectrum management policies and a fresh approach to privacy and security issues to improve consumer protection.

While many within the European community look to the leading US operators as evidence that revenue improvements are possible, critics of the US suggest that competition is limited, leaving consumers with too little choice. Meanwhile Kroes’ regulatory reform has focused very much on reducing the costs that must be borne by consumers of mobile telephony.

In recent conversations with, Hannes Ametstreiter, CEO of Telekom Austria (and one of those name-checked in Bouverot’s letter) and Michel Combes, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, have voiced similar opinions to those expressed by Bouverot.

The letter was endoresed by, Timotheus Höttges, CEO, Deutsche Telekom AG; Christian Salbaing, Deputy Chairman, Hutchison Whampoa Europe; Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO, Orange; Marco Patuano, CEO, Telecom Italia; César Alierta, Executive Chairman and CEO, Telefónica; Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO, Telekom Austria Group; Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO, Telenor Group and Chairman, GSMA Board; Johan Dennelind, President and CEO, TeliaSonera; Jo Lunder, CEO, VimpelCom; and Vittorio Colao, CEO, Vodafone Group.

Tech Professionals Say if a Job Vacancy is Open for 67 Days, There Must be Something Wrong With It

Employers need to fill job vacancies within 67 working days (14 working weeks) before tech professionals assume it’s a job no one wants, according to research carried out by Randstad Technologies. Click here for more.


Sprint Launches C3PO andndash; Open Source NFV/SDNandndash;Based Mobile Core Reference Solution

Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced the availability of C3PO (Clean CUPS Core for Packet Optimization – CUPS: Control andamp; User Plane Separation), an open source NFV/SDN-based mobile core reference solution designed to significantly improve performance of the network core by providing a clean, streamlined, high-performance data plane for the packet core. Click here for more.

Cellular News

Deputy managing director of strategic planning, Nepal Telecom: “IMS and Joyn will open up huge opportunities”

Anoop Bhattarai is deputy managing director of strategic planning for Nepal Telecom

Anoop Bhattarai is deputy managing director of strategic planning for Nepal Telecom and is speaking at the LTE Asia 2012 conference is taking place on the 18-19 September 2012 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Ahead of the conference we speak to him on the main challenges facing him as the company looks to move to LTE.

What are the main challenges you expect to face in the next few years?

I have been appointed co-ordinator of the LTE study and design team in Nepal Telecom and the main challenge will be preparing and deploying LTE between 2013 and 2015 by upgrading our present UMTS, CDMA and WiMAX networks. A pilot LTE project has started in 20 major cities and we have to learn how to market the service with attractive price plans, while making reasonably priced handsets available in the market.

What impact will technologies such as IMS and Joyn have for you?

As the whole communication network is migrating from being voice based to being data based, technologies such as IMS will help leverage the investment that the company has to make [in data]. These technologies will help deliver the communication requirements of the subscribers (voice, picture, videos) in more efficient ways in particular with regard to bandwidth utilisation and QOS, amongst other things. Joyn will a core communication platform for end users and these platforms are developed on top of IP data communication technologies. Thus, as they mature, the combination of technologies such as IMS and Joyn will open up huge opportunities for companies like us.

How important are small cells to your network roll-out plans?

The real high-bandwidth data demand is usually indoors but in these areas the coverage from the outdoor the base transceiver station (BTS) are often not that effective. Therefore the option of having small and dedicated cells focussed on a small group of consumers is usually the best option. Furthermore as various communication delivery and charging models (wifi, 2G, 3G, 4G) can be employed using these small cells, the adoption of small cells will definitely improve the chances of getting a grip on the market. In our deployments, we have already planned to use small cells and will be using the more in upcoming projects

Do you think that VoLTE will have an impact and if so, in what time frame?

Although the trend for voice traffic is decreasing until the day it dies out we have to support voice calls. So we must have support for voice within the framework of LTE through VoLTE and also a handover capability between LTE and WCDMA in both directions. The impact will be clear from the day we deploy the VoLTE with handover capacity.

The LTE Asia 2012 conference is taking place on the 18-19 September 2012 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Click here to register your interest. – telecoms industry news, analysis and opinion

Apple to Open Fingerprint Scanner Assembly Plant in the USA

Apple is setting up a USA based assembly plant that will act as a supplier of components for its iPhone handsets. Click here for more.


Verizon announces opportunity for entrepreneurs to open local specialty stores

USA based Verizon has launched a new program aimed at providing multicultural entrepreneurs an opportunity to collaborate with Verizon by opening specialty stores throughout the United States. Click here for more.

Cellular News

Can Open Platforms Slash Networking Costs?

Smartphones have conditioned us to expect access to digital content anytime, anywhere. Slaking our insatiable thirst for music, video and data puts strain on networks that must continually increase capacity. Because many systems are proprietary, adding that capacity can cost network operators big bucks, but it doesn’t have to be that way, according to an Intel executive. Click here for more.