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US Telecoms Regulator to Carry Out Review of Radio Spectrum Policy

The USA’s telecoms regulator, the FCC says that it is to take a fresh look at its mobile spectrum holding policies given the changes in technology, spectrum availability, and the mobile marketplace since the last review of these rules more than a decade ago. Click here for more.


India issues new draft telecoms policy

India issues new draft regulations for spectrum allocation

India’s telecoms regulator, the TRAI, has issued draft guidelines for the way spectrum is to be allocated in the country, ahead of the 2G spectrum (re)auction due to be held later this year.

The new policy aims to simplify licensing rules, encourage mergers and acquisition and provide greater transparency following India’s 2G spectrum scandal which resulted in the recent cancellation of 122 licences.

Currently, licences are awarded in India for each if the country’s 22 separate circles, or service areas. The TRAI now intends to instead award licences across the entire country, meaning operators will miss out from revenue from customers roaming as they travel across Indian states.

However, licences awarded to provide services will be sold separately to spectrum, potentially opening the market up for operators to trade 2G spectrum. However, the policy does not allow  for spectrum sharing among those holding 3G spectrum and the releated existing licenses.

Companies which acquire spectrum will also be charged a uniform licence fee of eight per cent based on their adjusted gross revenue over 2012-2013.

The new guidelines will also allow increase the threshold of market share resulted from mergers from 30 per cent, paving the way increased consolidation in the telecoms market.

“Mergers up to 35 per cent market share of the resultant entity will be allowed through a simple, quick procedure,” Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal is reported as telling journalists in India.

He added that the government would also consider cases of mergers that result in obtaining market share beyond 35 per cent in certain circumstances, as long as it does not breach the 25 per cent cap on GSM spectrum and 10Mhz for CDMA spectrum holding. – telecoms industry news, analysis and opinion

A Corporate \”No-Cloud\” Policy Will Be as Rare in 2020 as a \”No-Internet\” Policy Is Today

By 2020, a corporate \”no-cloud\” policy will be as rare as a \”no-internet\” policy is today, according to Gartner. Click here for more.

Cellular News

India does away with roaming with new telecoms policy

The Indian Government has announced a new telecoms policy

The Indian Government has approved a new national telecoms policy that does away with roaming between telecom circles within the country and allows citizens to retain their phone number regardless of where they travel, without having to pay extra charges.

In addition, the new policy seeks to simplify licensing rules by prescribing a single licence for the whole country and separates licences from bandwidth.

Under the previous telecoms policy, consumers had to pay roaming charges when travelling between India’s 22 circles and were not able to use the same phone number in different circles, unless they paid for the privilege. For operators, spectrum licences were bundled together with bandwidth.

The new policy will be in effect for “around the next ten years”, according to the Cabinet, and replaces older regulation which has been in palce for over 12 years. The Cabinet also said that the policy aims to promote transparency in a sector that has been riddled with corruption.

However, consumers will have to wait for some time before roaming charges as details of how the new policy will be implemented are now being finalised by the Telecoms Commission and the Department of Telecom (DoT).

“The policy seeks to provide a predictable and stable policy regime for a period of about ten years,” read an official statement released after the Cabinet meeting.

“The policy will further enable taking suitable facilitatory measures to encourage existing service providers to rapidly migrate to the new regime in a uniformly liberalised environment with a level playing field.”

At the end of 2011, the DoT ordered mobile operators Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodafone to end their roaming pact, after the three operators had entered into an agreement with one another to offer 3G mobile services in India’s circles in which they had failed to acquire spectrum in the country’s 2010 3G spectrum auction.

The Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Law Ministry and DoT had agreed that the operators’ roaming agreement was in violation of their telecom licences. – telecoms industry news, analysis and opinion

Thailand Can Increase GDP by US$23 Billion by 2020 Through Mobile Broadband Policy

Effective government policy in Thailand could increase mobile and fixed broadband penetration to 133 per cent by 2020, up from 52 per cent in 2013, according to the GSM Association. Click here for more.

Cellular News

“Strange” Apple LTE policy omits Asian and Russian networks

There are still networks out there waiting for LTE approval from Apple

Apple will next week add another 36 networks to the selection of carriers that are permitted to offer the iPhone 5 with LTE support enabled. Tim Cook, CEO of the handset vendor, made the revelation as part of the company’s earnings call earlier this week. However, the expanded list does not extend to carriers in parts of Asia and Russia.

“Today we have 24 carriers around the world that provide LTE support for iPhone 5. Those are in countries like the US, Korea, the UK, Germany, Canada Japan, Australia and a few others,” Cook said.

“Next week,” he added, “we’re adding 36 more carriers for LTE support. These carriers will be in countries that we are not currently supporting LTE. So the LTE coverage now, as of next week is in Italy, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Philippines, also several Middle Eastern countries.”

Cook observed that these networks have a total of 300 million subscribers combined, making it clear that Apple was very aware of the potential for growth in these markets.

In November last year exclusively revealed that Apple held the keys to enabling LTE support on the iPhone, by required that carriers pass the handset vendor’s own, independent tests for LTE performance. Backing this up, in December 2012, Tajikistani operator Babilon-Mobile told that despite its best efforts to get in touch with Apple the iPhone 5 would not support LTE on its network.

Regardless of Apple’s announcement this situation has not changed for Babilon-Mobile. “Unfortunately we still didn’t get any response from Apple on our requests to enable LTE support,” Babilon-Mobile’s head of the automation Jafar Asimov told

It’s not just smaller carriers such as Babilon-Mobile that are still omitted, Asimov said – the larger Russian operators have also been left of the list of those invited to the LTE party.

“As far as I know, Apple is not speeding up cooperation on LTE with the largest Russian operators, such as MTS, Megafon and Beeline”, Asimov said. “It’s a strange policy. Instead of enabling LTE support for all carriers, which would bring benefit not only to operators, but also to Apple customers as well, Apple is limiting its customers [ability] to use the functionality of the phones fully. So, customers are paying for a feature that they can’t use.” has requested comment from Apple but had not received a response at time of publication.

Industry commentators such as Bengt Nordstrom, founder and CEO at industry consultancy NorthStream told that he was “shocked” when told about the policy. It proved, he said, “who is running the industry”, adding: “Apple have put themselves in the driving seat; it’s really changing the game.”

The LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event. – telecoms industry news, analysis and opinion

Operator Survey: Policy, BSS and the Future of Mobile | Wednesday 19th November at 3pm UK time


Click here to register for this webinar

In August this year Heavy Reading carried out a survey of over 70 mobile operators to get their views on future strategic goals and the impact on their BSS stacks with a focus on policy and charging.

The survey results were published with Openet and will be presented in this webinar in conjunction with They will show how operators are planning to use policy, charging and BSS in general to become more competitive and offer a wider range of services to their customers.
Attend this webinar to learn:

  • Operators’ plans for new policy use cases that they will roll out in the next two years
  • Plans for integration of Network and IT in operators
  • Operators’ views on the main benefits of virtualization

Date: Wednesday 19th November 2014
Time variations: 3.00pm London, 4.00pm Paris, 10.00am New York

Click here to register for this webinar

Ericsson and SoftBank announce per-user Mobility-based Policy

The new software enables the exchange of mobility management information and policy decisions

The new software enables the exchange of mobility management information and policy decisions

Kit vendor Ericsson and Japanese operator SoftBank have collaborated to produce a new piece of software called Mobility-based Policy, which allows SoftBank to manage its resources more efficiently in congested areas.

Mr. Yoichi Funabiki, Director at SoftBank Mobile, said: “By enabling us to dynamically allocate the best radio resources on a per-user, per-terminal basis, Ericsson Mobility-based Policy has the potential to increase our network flexibility while reducing signaling traffic network wide – this efficiency drives additional opportunities to improve both the user experience and network performance.”

The software creates a direct, two-way connection between the SGSN-MME and the Policy Controller which enables the exchange of mobility management information and policy decisions, respectively, to flow between the two. This enables the network to make location, user and device-specific decisions, thus theoretically optimizing the allocation of resources.

Appropriately-named Jan Signell, Head of North East Asia for Ericsson, added: “Ericsson and SoftBank Mobile work together to consistently enhance the performance and user experience on their mobile network. With this demonstration of Mobility-based Policy, an innovative feature of Ericsson’s Evolved Packet Core, we continue to strengthen our strategic partnership with SoftBank Mobile.”

This technology appears to still be at the ‘demonstration’ stage right now, and neither company commented on when it will be used in the field. But if this Mobility-based Policy does successfully improve network efficiency in highly-populated areas such as central Tokyo, operators that serve other massive conurbations are likely to be interested.