Retail

Tracking the 4G Decade

December 2019 marked the tenth anniversary of the world’s first commercial LTE network launch. Scandinavian telco Telia paved the way in Stockholm and Oslo way back in 2009.

As for the decade that followed? Let’s take a closer look.

The French Billionaire Who Quietly Amassed an International Telecom Empire

French billionaire Xavier Niel rose to prominence in the telecom world for his ownership of domestic telco Iliad. You might know Iliad for sparking a price war in the mobile sector when Iliad’s Free Mobile launched in January 2012. (Niel employed a similar price-war tactic when Iliad Italia launched in May 2018.)

But these companies only represent the tip of the iceberg.

Indeed, the size and scale of Niel’s empire are often overlooked due to convoluted shareholder structures and the lack of a unified brand name across markets.

Today we piece it all together to appreciate the bigger picture.

The Biggest Telecom Headlines From 2019: Part 2

We've been celebrating the launch of our beautiful new CommsUpdate site by taking a closer look at the year’s major global developments—the highs, the lows, the mergers, the auctions. All of it.

One thing is certain: there was more than enough telecom news to go around in 2019. If you haven't had a chance to peruse our wrap-up of January-June 2019, click here and have a read. Keep scrolling to take in the biggest news from the back half of the year.

The Biggest Telecom Headlines From 2019: Part 1

A year is a long time in telecommunications–something that our CommsUpdate correspondents know all too well.

To celebrate the launch of our beautiful new CommsUpdate site, we’re taking a closer look at the year’s major global developments, including a few things that you might have missed along the way.

Keep scrolling to catch up on the biggest headlines from early 2019.

To Hull and Back: KCOM Creates U.K.’s First Fiber City

Fixed-line telephone markets in many European countries were originally served by a single national operator—but not the U.K. Most of the United Kingdom became a monopoly for BT, whose origins go back to 1846 and the world’s first commercial communications operator: the Electric Telegraph Company.

How a Slough Company Quietly Secured 5G Spectrum in Major Markets Around the World

While all eyes are on the 5G plans of the world’s largest mobile network operators, a little-known UK-based player has built up a significant stockpile of valuable 5G-suitable spectrum in a number of key markets globally.

Hong Kong Cellcos Hail 5G Spectrum Prices

The government of Hong Kong has completed a round of 5G spectrum auctions, having sold frequencies in the 3.3GHz, 3.5GHz, 4.9GHz, and 26GHz ranges this year. The sales raised a total of HK$1.91 billion ($244 million) in spectrum utilization fees (SUFs).

The territory is looking to be among the front-runners in the race to launch 5G networks in the Asia-Pacific region.

Termination Rates Continue Downward Trend

Mobile termination rates (MTRs) have been falling steadily over the past decade. That trajectory is set to continue through the next few years.

Under the Calling Party Pays (CPP) system, which applies to the bulk of mobile markets worldwide, incoming calls are free and the cost of the call is covered by the originating user. Termination rates are designed to allow cellcos at the receiving end of a call to recoup their costs in these markets.

The Changing Face of the U.S. MVNO Market

The United States boasts one of the largest MVNO markets in the world and has hosted hundreds of disparate virtual operators and sub-brands over the last two decades. As the broader retail telecom market evolves, so does the MVNO sector.

Today we look at the competitive environment and the players shaping the U.S. MVNO industry.

Jio Prepares for Round Two

The stage is set for India’s second telecom battle in the space of three years.