In today's roundup: MTS ups the 4G ante; Ericsson strikes 5G NR partnership; Vivendi gives Mediaset's stock a boost; ECI lands Dutch optical deal; and Reynolds joins eir's board.
Russian operator Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) is claiming to be the first in the world to offer mobile broadband services over an aggregated FDD and TDD network with the launch of LTE-A Pro (4.5G) network capabilities in four cities (Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Ufa and Yakutsk). The operator says its 4.5G services will be able to deliver speeds of up to 700 Mbit/s thanks to the aggregation of LTE FDD 1800 MHz + LTE TDD 2600 MHz frequencies, the deployment of 4x4 MIMO antennas and the use of 256 QAM modulation. So the networks are ready but as is often the case the device manufacturers are playing catch-up, as MTS is not expecting smartphones that support LTE-A Pro to hit the streets until 2017. Find out more by reading the MTS launch blog and the coverage on our sister site Telecoms.com -- MTS launches 700 Mbps LTE-A Pro. With 5G still years away, the deployment of LTE-A Pro capabilities is set to be widespread: Italian operator TIM recently announced Europe's first 4.5G network launch, noting that the Sony Xperia XZ was ready to support its service. (See Nokia Boasts 4.5G Momentum With 110 Deals and 5G on Track but Fragmentation Still a Concern.)
French media giant Vivendi has increased the pressure on the board of Mediaset S.p.A. by increasing its stake in the Italian broadcaster to nearly 30%. The two companies had agreed a "strategic and industrial partnership" earlier this year but that turned sour, according to this announcement from Vivendi. As an alternative, the French company is boosting its stake in Mediaset up to the 30% mandatory bid limit. Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who founded Mediaset and whose Fininvest company owns a 40% voting stake in the broadcaster, has condemned Vivendi's move as hostile, according to this Bloomberg report. Vivendi's aim is to become one of the giants of European digital media, but that plan has been hard to implement during 2016. And Mediaset's stock is getting more expensive as Vivendi's increases its stake: The Italian broadcaster's share price is up 18% Tuesday morning to €4.25. (See Vivendi Still 'Hopeful' of Becoming Europe's Netflix.)
Ireland's national operator eir is adding new board members ahead of its plans for a possible IPO, reports The Financial Times. The operator, though, is still working on improving its financial situation and doesn't expect to be offering any shares until 2018. Among the new board members is Paul Reynolds, former CEO of Telecom New Zealand and CEO of BT Wholesale. (See Reynolds Leaving BT to Run TNZ.)
Telia Carrier has struck a deal with German IT and comms services specialist Savecall, which will provide brokering and consulting services and act as a reseller of Telia Carrier's complete suite of IP, Wavelength and Ethernet services in Germany. "Savecall's expertise in the distribution of wholesale telecommunications service makes them the perfect partner for Telia Carrier," stated Phuong Nguyen, Channel & Business Development, Telia Carrier, in an official statement.
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.
During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.
She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.