SingTel launches latest LTE beauty contest

While LTE vendors are still slugging it out for Vodafone (NYSE:VOD) and China Mobile’s (NYSE:CHL) 4G business, a new large-scale network competition has emerged. SingTel today became the latest multinational operator to dangle a big fat LTE contract in front of equipment vendors, announcing plans for a LTE roll outspanning Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore. more…

NSN bids on Nortel unit with private equity partner

Nokia Siemens Networks and private equity firm One Equity Partners have jointly bid for Nortel Networks’ (OTCBB:NRTLQ) Metro Ethernet business, challenging Ciena’s (NASDAQ:CIEN) bid for those assets in advance of an auction to be held on Friday, Reuters is reporting.

NSN was expected to bid on the assets, which include Nortel’s optical gear, but NSN’s own current reorganization efforts complicated the picture. A joint bid with a partner could give it enough financial backing to overcome that complication, however.

Analysts have predicted that NSN would be able to beat much-smaller Ciena in a bidding war, not just because of its greater capitalization but because it would exact more synergies from such a deal that Ciena would, allowing it to pay a higher price. Ciena offered $521 million in cash and stock, which was originally estimated as slightly less than half of the 2009 revenue from Nortel’s Metro Ethernet unit. But its revenues dropped about 26% from a year earlier in the third quarter.

NSN was outbid for Nortel’s wireless assets this year by rival Ericsson.

VZW gains edge in global LTE race

Verizon Wireless’ (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD)chances of launching the world’s first long-term evolution (LTE) network just improved. The first operatorto launch a 3G network, NTT DoCoMo (NYSE:DCM) announced today that it will launch commercial 4Gservices in the final month of 2010. Verizon hasn’t given exact dates for its owndeployment in 2010, except to say will launch the service commercially in 25 to 30 markets in the second half of the year. VZW might be planning a grand unveiling at the end of the year, turning on 100 million pops of network coverage in one fell swoop–and Verizon certainly isn’t opposed to theatrics–but it’s much more likely it will gradually roll the service out throughout the latter half of the year, beating NTT DoCoMo to punch in the process. more…

Shoving the broadband genie back in the bottle

I’ve had a lot of conversations lately with service providers — and some key vendors that serve the, such as DPI and policy server providers — about the explosion in data services, particularly mobile services, and the fickle yet demanding nature of customer expectations.

In the U.S. in particular, operators have been very aggressive in launching unlimited data plans while also competing to keep costs low. Which is great for their customers until either 1) they have to later (or clandestinely) institute caps to restrict usage or 2) start raising prices.

Once you’ve let customers taste all-you-can-eat broadband, it’s hard to get that genie back in the bottle (or that YouTube video back up their downstream pipe).

more…

Gphone would paint Google a hypocrite

According to the blogosphere,Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has flipped-flopped on its plans for building its own mobile phone. But if it’s true, the software king will have changed its tune on much more than just its device plans. A Google phone would imply that while the company is busy touting its open-source operating system and encouraging free-for-all access, it is also creating a specific device optimized for its own applications. If Google launches apps that only work on its own branded Gphone, or even just work better on it, it’s contradicting its very strategy with Android. more…

TW Telecom rides public fiber; more to come

TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC) has signed an agreement to use the public wholesale fiber network being constructed in Ontario County, New York, joining Verizon Wireless as another customer of the five-city, 180-mile, 144-strand fiberoptic network that local government officials hope to complete early next year.

Ontario County’s network is being built without the aid of federal broadband stimulus financing. Much of the funding for the $7.5-million project begun in late 2005 was made possible thanks to a natural gas company, Empire State Pipeline, whose pipeline goes through the area.

But as federal stimulus funds pour into public/private wholesale middle-mile projects across the country, service providers like TW Telecom that are used to building out their own fiber may be able to expand their reach into areas that were previously economically prohibitive.

When doors close, independent app stores remain open

This post is part of a series leading up to an upcoming Connected Planet feature story on open mobile. Road to Open: Read part 1 HERE, part 2 HERE, part 3 HERE and part 4 HERE.handango.png

Independent application store Handango has always operated in what CEO Alex Bloom considers an open world. By working independently, as well as selling to operating systems, it has the ability to deliver via the Web, a sync cradle or over-the-air, avoiding the carrier gate completely. Any developer of any size has always been able to write an app and get it distributed through Handango, Bloom said.

more…

CenturyLink challenges NC broadband stimulus bid

CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) is challenging a $3-million application for federal broadband stimulus funds filed in rural North Carolina by a local firm, Electronic Solutions.

The firm has proposed setting up 27 antennas to serve nearly all of North Carolina’s Person County. CenturyLink has responded by arguing that the areas targeted in that application are not unserved or underserved and that CenturyLink’s “affiliates” currently offer broadband there.

Randy King, who wrote the Electronic Solutions application, called CenturyLink’s challenge “a slap in the face.”

Challenges from incumbent providers of this type are sure to increase in coming weeks.

Rogue T-Mobile employees sell millions of customers’ data

Rogue employees at a major mobile operator in the UK have illegally sold millions of customer records to competitors, the Associated Press is reporting.

Authorities won’t name the carrier because an investigation is underway. (UPDATE 11/18: T-Mobile has identified itself as the carrier.)

The British government says fines for these crimes are no longer a deterrent because they’re dwarfed by the amount of money one can collect from selling customer data these days. In this case, “substantial amounts of money changed hands,” authorities say, in exchange for data including contract expiration dates, which allowed competitors to target subscribers whose contracts were about to end.

Operators missing out on personalization opportunity

Consumers want a personal mobile content discovery process that goes beyond simple search, according to a Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) survey of US and UK consumers released today. If content was, foremost, easier to find, 63% indicated they would spend more time accessing or purchasing it. If it were also more personal, respondents indicated they would increase their time spent accessing content to more than an hour, as well as their monthly spending by $8.
more…

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