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A quick roundup of the news in Telecoms | Week #38

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Deutsche Telekom will move 18 million users to the cloud

Deutsche Telekom has announced that 18 million of its fixed voice customers will soon have their services moved to a new cloud-based telephony platform. The company currently has a next-generation IP multimedia subsystem (NIMS) deployed in telco’s data centers throughout Germany. The platform promises to deliver services faster and more efficiently by automatically allocating voice capacity on the network as needed. The deployment of cloud telephony is a logical next step in Deutsche Telekom’s all-IP strategy, which the company has been pursuing for years.

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ClearlyIP releases a new mobile softphone

Telecommunications company ClearlyIP has released “Clearly Anywhere”, a mobile softphone that provides easy mobile integration into FreePBX-based systems. This application is designed for Android and iOS devices, allowing system administrators to quickly set up, configure, and deploy cross functional software that clients closely incorporate with an add-on module for the Open-Source FreePBX platform. The “Clearly Anywhere” application provides voice, video calling, BLF speed dialing, business line SMS and picture messaging services to FreePBX users. The mobile softphone is available via the Google Play and Apple App Store and requires a license from ClearlyIP.

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Verizon to acquire Tracfone for $6 billion

The largest US mobile operator Verizon has announced that it has agreed to buy the country’s largest mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Tracfone. The deal will allow Verizon to take over approximately 21 million of Tracfone’s subscribers and more than 90,000 retail locations, although services are already available for about 13 million customers on the Verizon network as part of a wholesale contract. The purchase of Tracfone is worth about $ 6 billion. This deal is currently subject to regulatory approval but is expected to be completed in the second half of next year.

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Telefónica settles an open RAN deal with Rakuten

Telefónica and Japan-based Rakuten Mobile have announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together on the development of open RAN, 5G Core and Operations Support Systems (OSS). The companies plan to create a joint open RAN software and hardware procurement scheme that will increase volume and achieve economies of scale. Enrique Blanco, Telefónica’s CTIO, said: “This is a massive opportunity for all of us. This is an inclusive approach and how we can guarantee we are building the network for the future.”

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AT&T to place ads on smartphones in exchange for a $5 discount

John Stankey, CEO of AT&T, said the company considers offering promotional mobile phone plans by giving customers monthly discounts of $5 or $10 in exchange for ads on their phones. AT&T is trying to reduce its debt and is considering this advertising income as an opportunity to help generate more revenue in the future. According to Stankey’s interview with Reuters, these ad-supported phone plans could set-off as early as next year, but he did not provide any information on what the form of the ads would be.

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