LTE adoption is growing at a pace that is considerably faster than the move from 2G to 3G, according to recent research from the GSM Association. The GSMA predicts that there will be 1 billion LTE connections globally by 2017, when LTE networks will also be available to half of the world's population.
Orange has agreed to sell its unit in the Dominican Republic to Luxembourg-based Altice for a total value of US$1.435 billion (€1.1 billion), bringing to an end a process that has lasted for several months.
Mobistar said it is allowing subscribers to its mobile data services to use LTE services for free until the service is launched on a commercial basis in early 2014.
Merger, typically between the No. 3 and No. 4 mobile players, have resulted in incumbents winning greater mobile subscriber market share. However, an easier regulatory environment in Western Europe in the future might lead to more consolidation activity by incumbents, as a means of achieving sustainable margins, cash flow and investor return in large markets.
There was some good news for the European telecoms industry this week, with Vodafone unveiling investment plans and French operators slowing their rates of profit decline, although the latest missive from Moody's reminds us that the industry is still in a fairly fragile. Enter the bold predictions from one analyst company that foresees a wave of M&A sweeping Europe and the world in the coming three years.
Bouygues Telecom and SFR reported slight improvements in their third-quarter results while Iliad registered a slow-down in subscribers to its Free Mobile service, signalling that France's more established mobile operators may finally be regaining their momentum following a price war that has been ravaging France's mobile market since January 2012.
Fiber is king in the Netherlands when it comes to growth, a new report from the country's regulator, Authority for Consumers & Markets, says, with Dutch incumbent KPN and its brands holding 40 to 45 percent of the market.
Huawei this week said it will spend around $600 million (€449 million) over the next four years in research and innovation into "5G" networks. However, other news this weeks provides a timely reminder that operators and vendors still sometimes need to learn to walk before they can run, and get 3G networks right first.
Orange France teamed up with Visa Europe to launch a prepaid near-field communication (NFC) service for smartphone users across France in 2014.
LTE Broadcast is probably still some way ahead in Europe as operators continue to focus on their macro LTE services launches, but the interest in the technology's potential is clearly there. While operators such as EE see cost savings through the optimisation of spectrum and backhaul as an early opportunity for the technology, other use cases are expected to emerge over time, with events currently expected to be the initial launch pad for service offerings.