Euronews: 4G Roaming Tried & Tested
News Analysis Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe 4/22/2013
Tango, France Télécom – Orange, Vodafone Group plc, Telefónica SA and Samsung Corp. line up in today's EMEA news queue.
Tango, a mobile operator in the tiny central European country of Luxembourg, is claiming to have conducted the first 4G roaming call in Europe. The operator says calls were received via a Tango SIM card while roaming on the 4G network of Proximus in Belgium. As usual, though, operators in Asia/Pacific are some way ahead -- 4G roaming between Hong Kong and South Korea has been in place for nearly a year. Managing 4G roaming traffic is going to be a tough task, but one that the mobile hub operators say they're ready to perform. (See Talkin' the Low-Down LTE Roaming Blues and LTE Roaming Action Intensifies.)
There's trouble brewing in Spain, where France Telecom and Vodafone have asked the regulator to persuade Telefónica to play ball over infrastructure access, reports Reuters. France Telecom and Vodafone hatched a plan last month to develop a fiber access network that would bring high-speed broadband to six million Spanish homes -- but they need cooperation from Telefonica to make it happen. (See Vodafone, Orange Team on Spanish FTTH.)
Telefónica and smartphone market leader Samsung are to announce an "important agreement" this Wednesday, April 24, at the operator's flagship store in Madrid.
Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) saw its first-quarter profits slump 38.5 percent year-on-year, to 1.55 billion riyals (US$413 million), though this was largely attributable to charges associated with an Indian affiliate, reports Reuters.
Also on the Saudi Arabia front, Etihad Etisalat Co. (Mobily) managed a smartphone-fueled 11 percent year-on-year rise in profits in its first quarter, hitting 1.3 billion riyals ($346 million).
U.K.-based Virgin Media Business Ltd. is helping 2,000 schools in London save on their phone bills and improve students' access to online learning by setting up a new VoIP and Wi-Fi service in partnership with the London Grid for Learning (LGfL). Schools purchase the number of wireless access points they need to tap into the LGfL network.
4G? What's that then? A survey of U.K. online businesses by Barclays bank found, among other things, that a staggering 25 percent of them had not heard of 4G, while 37 percent had heard of it but knew nothing about it. More than half surveyed did not believe there was a risk to their business if they didn't adapt to take advantage of 4G. At Euronews Towers we're all for resisting the hype, but there are limits…
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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