Tag Archives: mobile broadband

Nokia and Zain KSA to transform Jeddah into a smart city by 2018

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  • Nokia leverages Internet of Things and Cloud technologies expertise to implement smart city applications and improve services for Jeddah residents

Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Zain KSA and Nokia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a major initiative that will transform Jeddah, one of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) largest cities, into a model for smart cities in the country and worldwide by 2018.

Under the MoU, Nokia and Zain KSA will apply advanced networking technologies in the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cloud to connect and manage a wide array of devices, vehicles, homes and applications. Use of these technologies will improve municipal services, enhance the business climate in Jeddah and create a better quality of life for the city’s nearly three million residents.

Zain and Nokia will also employ advanced network and customer experience management tools to ensure smooth and seamless operation across the objects and locations. To ensure privacy and fulfill public safety requirements, the companies will place a strong focus on the reliability and security of the network.

Over the course of this two-year plan, the companies will enhance the network capacity, accessibility and efficiency of Zain KSA’s mobile broadband network in Jeddah, eventually leading to 5G access, while also expanding the utilization of small cells and Wi-Fi to ensure continuous connectivity throughout the city.

Sultan AlDeghaither, Chief Technology Officer, said: “Jeddah is the second biggest city in Saudi Arabia – and thanks to our collaboration with Nokia, it will also be a smart city. Introducing IoT to all walks of life is a top priority for Zain KSA, and Nokia’s Smart City solutions will provide us with a framework for enriching the lives of the people in Jeddah.”

Ali Aljitawi, Head of Zain KSA Customer Team at Nokia, said: “The world is becoming more urbanized, with exponentially more connected devices. For every device connected to the Internet today, 10 more will join it in the near future. Through IoT and smart city concepts, we can automate our lives by connecting mobile devices to appliances, lights, roadways and just about everything – a shift that will improve efficiency and enable economic, social and environmental sustainability. We believe that the Jeddah Smart City concept can be a model for smart cities not just in the Kingdom, but across the region and the world.”

Source: Nokia

NEW GSMA STUDY CALLS FOR FUNDAMENTAL REVIEW OF DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM REGULATIONS

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London: The GSMA has published a new report calling for the modernisation of telecommunications regulations. “A New Regulatory Framework for the Digital Ecosystem”, developed by NERA Economic Consulting for the GSMA, explores how the pace of regulatory reform has failed to match the speed of change in the digital world, in particular with the emergence of a range of internet-based services and applications and a converged digital ecosystem. The study recommends a forward-looking, technology-agnostic regulatory framework, driven by clear policy objectives around consumer protection, innovation, investment and competition.

“The telecoms regulations in place today are largely the same as those used to regulate the technologies and markets of the last century. There is no place for analogue rules in today’s dynamic digital age, where consumers face an expanded array of competitive choice in a converged marketplace,” said John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. “In many cases, changes in technologies and markets have eliminated the need for certain regulations – or at least dictate the need to change the form or application of them. The GSMA urges policymakers to review existing market structures, reform out-dated regulation and ensure a level competitive playing field to protect consumers and enable innovation.”

Current Regulatory Imbalances
The collective growth in mobile broadband access, smartphones and internet technology has fostered new mobile voice and messaging communication services. While these new services compete directly with traditional communications services, including those offered by mobile operators, they are not subject to the same rules, including rules for collecting and using customer data.

“This discriminatory regulation distorts competition, stifles innovation and hurts consumer welfare,” continued Giusti. “Today’s dynamic and competitive markets require more non-discriminatory and technology-agnostic policies. Reforms are needed to ensure that consumers continue to benefit from innovation and investment, while being protected and regardless of the type of the company or technology providing the service.

Key Principles for a Modern Regulatory Framework
To accommodate the complexity of today’s converged digital ecosystem, the GSMA’s new report recommends that policymakers should incorporate three key principles as they work to modernise regulatory frameworks:

  • Regulatory objectives can best be met by focusing on the services delivered to consumers, not the type of company or technology that delivers them.
  • Measurable, performance-based approaches should be favoured over prescriptive regulations, promoting market dynamism and driving consumer welfare.
  • Policymakers should take a fresh look at legacy rules and discard those that are no longer relevant, applying a consistent set of criteria throughout the ecosystem.

“The GSMA is committed to actively pursuing an informed, constructive and evidence-based dialogue with policymakers to promote much-needed reform of out-dated regulatory frameworks,” concluded Giusti. “By applying consistent and flexible standards across the digital ecosystem that apply to all market players, policymakers can enable an environment of fair and sustainable competition that promotes the best interests of consumers and fosters economic growth.”

The full report is available at www.gsma.com/new-regulatory-framework

Source: GSMA

GSMA, eight leading operators plan network-sharing move

The GSMA along with leading operator groups from Africa and the Middle East are working on sharing infrastructure to deliver mobile broadband to off-network rural communities, as well as reduce the cost of services elsewhere.

The eight groups are a line-up of the leading players from the two regions: Bharti Airtel, Etisalat, MTN, Ooredoo, Orange, STC, Vodafone and Zain.

“We are greatly encouraged by the shared vision of mobile operators and the common urgency to find solutions that will drive down the cost of mobile and internet services and help connect the unconnected,” said Anne Bouverot the GSMA’s director general.

Unique mobile subscriber penetration is only 40 per cent in Africa and the Middle East, compared to 47 per cent globally, said Bouverot.

The initiative, which follows a meeting at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, has the support of the CEOs from the eight groups.

Manoj Kohli, who is managing director of Bharti Enterprises and also chairs the public policy committee of the GSMA board, said: “We call on governments to support and encourage the commercial infrastructure sharing arrangements that we aim to propose.”

The GSMA argues that regulation should encourage network-sharing arrangements as well as ease access to state-owned assets at preferential rates so that operators can deliver coverage to unserved communities.

Source: Richard Handford Mobile World Live

Wi-Fi offload powering a fifth of extra mobile data capacity

 

 
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Tier one mobile operators believe Wi-Fi offload will provide 22 per cent of all additional data capacity during 2013 and 2014, according to a report published by the Wireless Broadband Alliance.

The research found that by 2018, Wi-Fi offload will continue to make a similar contribution (20 per cent of additional mobile data capacity), with another 21 per cent coming from small cells integrated with Wi-Fi.

Data offload currently accounts for an average of 20 per cent of a mobile operator’s data traffic but this rises to 80 per cent in densely populated areas such as transport hubs and cafes. Offload levels in homes and businesses are between 50 and 60 per cent.

Just over half of the 197 respondents — the majority of which were operators (either mobile or fixed operators, as well as wireless ISPs and pure-play Wi-Fi providers) — said they are more confident about investing in Wi-Fi to supplement cellular networks than they were a year ago.

This confidence is attributed to an increase in hotspot deployments and more ambitious business plans from some operators. Maravedis-Rethink, the research company that compiled the research, forecast that 10.8 million hotspots will be deployed in 2018, compared to 5.2 million in 2012.

Of the respondents planning to launch a next-generation hotspot network, data offload was cited as the most pressing driver for investment.

The European Commission recommended in August that more spectrum be set aside for Wi-Fi to ease pressure on 3G and 4G networks.

Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator, has also warned there will be a growing demand for Wi-Fi capacity with it becoming “increasingly difficult” to find significant amounts of additional spectrum that can be fully cleared for Wi-Fi and mobile broadband.

In February, Cisco forecast a 13-fold growth in mobile data between 2012 and 2017, with 46 per cent of traffic offloaded to fixed or Wi-Fi networks by 2017 compared with 33 per cent in 2012.

 Source: Tim Ferguson/Mobile World Live

Rural homes to get broadband internet access via 4G mobile network

4G can become an affordable alternative to fixed broadband for web access in countryside areas, claims EE telecoms company

  • Rural homes stranded without broadband will soon be able to plug into the web via the 4G mobile network – by planting an antenna on the roof or simply switching on a router in the living room.

EE, Britain’s largest mobile operator, is planning to throw down the gauntlet to BT on 11 November by launching what it says will be the UK’s first commercially available 4G home broadband service.

Initially available in Cumbria, the offer will roll out to other hard-to-reach areas over the coming months.

“We think 4G can become an affordable alternative to fixed broadband in rural areas,” said EE’s chief executive, Olaf Swantee. “The government is fixated on fixed, but mobile can provide a solution economically.”

As with Wi-Fi, several devices, including laptops, tablets and phones, will be able to connect to the internet wirelessly via a router placed in the home. The only difference is that the router will be connected to EE’s 4G mobile network, rather than a fixed broadband line.

EE has been trialling home broadband over the airwaves in a pilot project in the Northern Fells district of Cumbria since 2012. EE will announce prices next month, but those participating in the trial were charged from £15.99 a month for a connection of 8-12 megabits a second. The speed is equivalent to a typical copper wire broadband service.

With an area of over 100 square miles and a population of 2,600, the Northern Fells is one of the most poorly connected areas of the country. Local MP Rory Stewart has been at the forefront of the debate over rural broadband, and nearly 900 out of the 1,400 premises have signed up for the service when it launches.

The government has come under fire for its management of the publicly funded project to bring broadband to the countryside. Delays mean the deadline to reach 95% of UK premises has now been extended to 2017, with no target for 100% coverage beyond then.

Mobile firms are lobbying now for a share of the £250m in public funds set aside to reach the most remote 10% of homes, saying 4G may offer a cheaper solution than digging cables over long distances.

Source: Juliette Garside The Guardian