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UK improvements with deployment of full fibre broadband



UK improvements with deployment of full fibre broadband

The United Kingdom is making significant progress in the rollout of full fibre broadband. Despite the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the three broadband majors – BT, Virgin Media, and City Fibre have continued their full fibre deployment. However, residents’ ability to connect is still highly dependent on where they live, states Telecoms.com.

The UK telecoms regulator Ofcom said that in May 2020, only 14% of UK homes had access to full fibre broadband. The statistics show that between January and May 2020, the ultrafast broadband market, which refers to speeds of 300 Mbps and above registered additional 670,000 homes. “This is a result of increased rollout both from the expansion of existing broadband networks as well as the inclusion in our analysis of companies building entirely new fibre networks”, said the regulator.

Ofcom added, “This has been driven predominantly by increases in the availability of both Virgin Media’s cable network and full fibre deployments. In some, predominantly urban areas, new fibre networks are being deployed in areas with existing ultrafast coverage, and hence the increases in full-fibre availability do not necessarily result in a corresponding increase of ultrafast coverage”.

UK locations that already benefit from high-speed broadband are getting higher speeds, full fibre, and potentially an increased choice of provider. The improvements in ultrafast broadband coverage make UK cities more attractive and sustainable. René Obermann, former CEO of Deutsche Telekom and Ziggo, said, “Community Fibre aims to close the digital divide and promote social inclusion. Affordable high-speed internet for London’s social housing and free Gigafast connection to community centres and libraries will create limitless opportunities in education, recruitment, and training, with one click of a button”, according to Telecoms.com

On December 19, 2020, and during the Queen’s Speech, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced a new legal framework to ensure that every home can access gigabit-capable broadband in the UK by the end of 2025. To do so, the UK government’s future program is to invest a further £5bn for the deployment of broadband, according to the UK government’s 2020 Budget statement.

Following the initiatives to improve technological infrastructure across the country, the UK government has committed to amend legislation so that all newly-built homes are required to deploy required infrastructures to support gigabit-capable connections. On the other hand, the government-mandated Ofcom to make full fibre rollout a priority, according to Computer Weekly. 

Recently, the UK government started a discussion with the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive, as well as other local councils in England about the potential of the gigabit schemes. Matt Warman, UK Minister for Digital Infrastructure said, “This government is determined to connect every home and business to the fastest broadband speeds available from the Highlands to the Jurassic Coast”, states ISP Review.

On September 12, 2020, the government announced that their Rural Gigabit Voucher scheme was given a £22.2m top-up boost by a total of 17 local councils in England, according to the same source.

Ranine joined Inside Telecom as an Investigative Journalist. Her extensive fieldwork and investigations shed light on many socio-economic issues. Over the past few years, she has transformed her key findings into in-depth analytical reports. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication.


Subscription rates reshuffles power among India’s telcos, report finds



India’s telecom sector witnessed a striking fluctuation in its telcos’ subscribers, with Reliance Jio gaining 6.5 million and Airtel adding 1.9 million to its userbase during July, whereas Vodafone Idea’s consumer base went down by over 1.4 million, according to a data report by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

With the emergence of a new subscribers’ haul, India’s telecom operators witnessed a shift in power in its userbase in July. The country’s leading telco, Reliance Jio, took the market’s lead as its userbase reached a whopping 443.2 million, Bharti Airtel rose to 354 million, and Vodafone Idea’s disastrous last quarter resulted in a catastrophic slip to 271.9 million.

In a mount to raise its wireless subscribers, the TRAI data report revealed that Reliance Jio market share grew by 37.34 percent reaching a 1.49 percent monthly growth rate bestowing the telco with the highest rank, followed by Bharti Airtel at a 29.83 percent rise embracing a 0.55 percent monthly growth by the end of July, according to report.

While some of India’s telecom operators experienced an amplification in its userbase, the same thing cannot be said about Vodafone Idea, as it endured one of its most challenging quarters so far. The operator’s market share fell to 22.91 percent leading to a 0.52 percent decline in monthly growth, followed by state-owned telcos BNSL with a 9.64 percent reduction with a 0.88 percent descent in monthly market rate and MTNL at 0.28 percent with a 0.18 percent decline in the monthly rate.

“As of 31st July 2021, the private access service providers held 90.99 percent market share of the wireless subscribers whereas BNSL and MTNL, the two PSU access service providers, had a market share of only 9.91 percent,” the report revealed.

As for Vodafone Idea, the carrier’s CEO Ravinder Takkar revealed to the Press Trust of India (PTI) that currently, the company is trying to maintain its focus on improving its strategy, providing the needed support system to their user base, enhance competitiveness, and brand, and aim for higher investment rate.

“I am confident that it will take place as well but we are not driven by the fact that we have to somehow… away market share from competitors and we are not driven by the fact that we have to become the largest player and somehow we have to ear into their share to find a place for self in the market,” Takkar stated when asked about Vodafone Idea’s dropping market share.

It is worth mentioning that Vodafone Idea endured an arduous quarter as the telco’s stock dropped over 5 percent in its trading hours on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The government’s Cabinet finally approved a desperately needed relief package set to support the country’s agonized telecom sector.

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One to charge them all: EU demands single plug for phones



One to charge them all EU demands single plug for phones

The European Union announced plans Thursday to require the smartphone industry to adopt a uniform charging cord for mobile devices, a push that could eliminate the all-too-familiar experience of rummaging through a drawer full of tangled cables to find the right one.

The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, proposed legislation that would mandate USB-C cables for charging, technology that many device makers have already adopted. The main holdout is Apple, which said it was concerned the new rules would limit innovation, and that would end up hurting consumers. iPhones come with the company’s own Lightning charging port, though the newest models come with cables that can be plugged into a USB-C socket.

The push by the EU will certainly be cheered by the millions of people who have searched through a jumble of snarled cables for the one that fits their phone. But the EU also wants to cut down on the 11,000 metric tons of electronic waste thrown out every year by Europeans.

The commission said the typical EU resident owns at least three chargers, and use two regularly, but 38% of people report not being able to charge their phones at least once because they couldn’t find a compatible charger. Some 420 million mobile phones or portable electronic devices were sold in the EU last year.

The draft rules also call for standardizing fast charging technology and giving consumers the right to choose whether to buy new devices with or without a charger, which the EU estimates will save consumers 250 million euros ($293 million) a year.

After attempting for more than a decade to cajole the industry into adopting a common standard – efforts that whittled dozens of different charging plugs down to a handful – the EU’s executive Commission is pushing the issue.

“Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that,” Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, said. “With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics – an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste.”

Companies will get two years to adapt to the new rules once they take effect. The rules would apply only to electronics sold in the European single market’s 30 countries, but, like the EU’s strict privacy regulations, they could end up becoming a de facto standard for the rest of the world.

Apple said it shared the European Commission’s commitment to protecting the environment but questioned whether the proposals would help consumers.

“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” the company said in a statement.

Breton denied that the new rules would slow innovation.

“If Apple wants to continue to have their own plug, they will have the ability to do it. It’s not against innovation, it’s just to make the lives of our fellow citizens a little bit more easy,” Breton said at a press briefing in Brussels, adding that device makers could still put two different ports on their phones if they want. He added that the proposals would allow for updates to keep pace with advances in technology.

Under the proposed law, which must still be scrutinized and approved by the European Parliament, phones, tablets, digital cameras, handheld video game consoles, headsets and headphones sold in the European Union would all have to come with USB-C charging ports. Earbuds, smartwatches and fitness trackers aren’t included.


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Considerations for starting a mobile virtual network operator company



In a previous article, we discussed what a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, is and what their role is in the wider telecommunications ecosystem. We also discussed what sets them apart in the industry and their importance to the consumer.

What we did not discuss is what an enterprising telecoms entrepreneur ought to consider when start their own MVNO.

The trends

MVNOs are a fast-growing trend in today’s telecoms industry. MNOs are increasingly realizing the importance and significance of partnering with MVNOs in reaching out to niche consumer groups with interest in different data plans.

In the most basic terms, MVNOs buy bulk network access from large MNOs and resell them to consumers through their MVNO network under their own brand or in specific packages, such as student plans as an example.

There are four main business models for MVNOs, they are:

  • Branded Reseller
  • Light-MVNO
  • Full-MVNO
  • MVNE

So, what does one have to consider before starting a mobile virtual network operator business? There are numerous paths to take, and many factors to consider.

It is important to consider the size of the MVNO you wish to open when determining costs. Having a direct relationship with a host network might cost you more than working through an MVNA, or Mobile Virtual Network Aggregate.

Therefore, if you are going for imposer simplistic business model, like that of a branded reseller, according to Mehul Vora from Pareteum, expect at least $25,000 to $80,000 in initial costs. That if you have a good relationship with the host network in question, otherwise, the price may rise.

The path of branded resellers, however, is among the cheaper options and saves you the hassle of legal and technical things. The downside of that is that you will not have much control over your offerings, and that you must start selling as soon as possible. Also, advertising is a central part of your role as a branded reseller.

On the other hand, the path of the Light MVNO or Full MVNO. Costs do go up significantly, but the benefits might outweigh them. Light and Full MVNOs tend to have much more control over their offerings, applications, services billings and ratings, customer care, sales and marketing

There are companies out there that specialize in helping to launch MVNOs that an aspiring communication businessperson might want to reach out to. In any case, the ground is fertile for the establishment of a an MVNO.

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