Four-year-old Nokia Siemens Networks (see final item) has played its part in the building of Germany's first off-grid solar-powered base station, for mobile operator E-Plus Service GmbH & Co. KG . NSN provided, among other things, a solar tracking system, which follows the sun and turns the maximum surface of the solar panels toward it, to optimize solar energy production for use at the site. (See E-Plus Goes Off-Grid With NSN.)
As the citizens of the U.K. reach work themselves up into a monarchist frenzy over the imminent nuptials of Prince William and his commoner of choice, Kate Middleton, news reaches Light Reading that the Royal Wedding will be the first to obviously deploy modern telecom technology. Taking advantage of the U.K.'s recently relaxed rules on product placement, the forward-thinking couple have decided that they will exchange vows on April 29 by smartphone, using the instant messaging-based iDo app created by French software developer Avril Bête. William and Kate are currently in talks with several mobile operators and handset manufacturers to decide which companies' hardware will be used during the ceremony. It's thought that picocells may be deployed within Westminter Abbey as part of any deal, to guarantee decent mobile coverage at the crucial moment. Dropped rings would be bad enough, but a dropped connection on April 29 would be a nightmare for the royal couple.
Germany's telecom regulator has told incumbent Deutsche Telekom that it must cut the rate it charges its rivals for last-mile access from €10.20 (US$14.43) a month to €10.08 ($14.26) a month, with immediate effect. The carrier had wanted to raise the price to €12.90 a month, reports Reuters.
Good news for tax exiles, possibly, as Manx Telecom Ltd. , the largest operator on the Isle of Man (it's between the U.K. and Ireland, dontcha know), deploys Alcatel-Lucent's IMS to help deliver VoIP services and more across the draughty Dependency. (See Manx Deploys IMS With AlcaLu.)
It doesn't look like mobile phone coverage will reach London's underground/subway train network in time for the city's Olympics in 2012. The BBC reports that talks between Transport for London (which runs the 'Tube') and mobile operators hit a red light when the operators were told that they would have to fund the proposed scheme. (See Euronews: Feb. 21.)