Telefónica UK and Vodafone UK have been given approval by the Office of Fair Trading and Ofcom to strengthen their existing network collaboration.
The two companies, which already work together on a UK mast-sharing project known as Cornerstone, now plan to combine the basic parts of their network infrastructure in a new company called CTI Ltd. This will own and manage the basic UK network infrastructure for both operators, although Vodafone and Telefónica (O2) will each continue to run their own independent networks.
Samsung Electronics has been chosen by Three UK to provide 3G and 4G LTE infrastructure equipment. It’s the first commercial mobile network roll-out for Samsung in Europe.
There’ll be a trial of LTE base stations across the UK from this year, with a commercial launch planned for 2013.
UK regulator Ofcom has published its plans for the launch of 4G mobile phone and mobile broadband service. It’s aiming to start the 4G spectrum auction by the end of this year.
The proposed sale will offer 80% more radio spectrum than the 2000 UK 3G auction and is equivalent to three-quarters of the mobile spectrum in use today.
Ericsson has published a new Traffic and Market Report that predicts 85% of the world’s population will have 3G coverage by 2017. In addition, 50% of the world’s population will be covered by 4G LTE networks.
Smartphone ownership will have reached around three billion in 2017, compared to 700 million in 2011, and there’ll be approaching nine billion mobile subscriptions worldwide. Ericsson has calculated there are currently 6.2 billion mobile phones worldwide.
Everything Everywhere has completed the final stage of the ‘big switch-on’ integration project it started in October 2010.
Orange and T-Mobile customers will now be able to use the other network automatically if they start to lose their 3G signal; a service the company is calling ‘Smart Signal Sharing’.