Nokia's integration of Alcatel-Lucent following the proposed acquisition of its rival will be difficult and messy. Some significant rewards will take many years to achieve, if ever. However, very large research and development demands with economies of scale and scope in 4G, 5G and with fixed-mobile network convergence make this kind of transaction inevitable and indispensable.
Ericsson reported continued weakness in the North American market in the first quarter as carriers continue to hold back on investing heavily in networks as they pay for spectrum licenses and other expenses. The Swedish vendor reported drops in net income and operating profit despite a jump in top-line sales that benefited from currency moves. Meanwhile, Ericsson's licensing revenue took a hit due to an ongoing patent dispute with Apple.
The addition of 1,356 products since March 2014 has increased the total number of announced LTE user devices to 2,919.
Although Verizon Wireless reported improving margins, the carrier added fewer postpaid customers in the period than many financial analysts had expected. The company also lost 3G smartphone and prepaid customers in the quarter. In the past, Verizon executives have said they are willing to part with such customers and not get bogged down in a price war to retain them.
Sprint has made a lot of news recently about plans to expand its distribution and even bring phones directly to customers. It's all part of an effort to retain the company's customer base and drum up more sales in the hopes of growing net subscriber additions. However, unless Sprint clarifies its brand message and improves its 2.5 GHz LTE network, I fear it will not amount to much.
Mobile subscribers in Turkey should be able to subscribe to LTE or 4G services from the first day of 2016, according to the country's Communications Minister Feridun Bilgin.
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and LTE Advanced (LTE-A) are among the hottest mobile network trends right now for operators, and deployments are rising across the globe.
Ericsson said it proved the ability of LTE as an alternative to existing powerline or fixed network connections for smart meters in trials conducted with Telefónica Deutschland and utility company E.ON.
As the first-quarter earnings season draws near, one of the big questions is whether T-Mobile US will officially surpass Sprint in terms of total subscribers to become the No. 3 U.S. carrier. It's one of several interesting questions that will be worth watching for as the carriers hold their quarterly earnings conference calls.
AT&T Mobility said it will need to wait until it deploys Voice over LTE nationwide to support CDMA voice roaming on its 700 MHz spectrum.