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Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have finally completed their $23 billion merger after the National Company Law Tribunal approved their request to join forces in becoming the number one telecom service provider in India. The new entity will be listed as Vodafone Idea Ltd and will have a base of over 400 million subscribers (35% subscriber market share and 32,2% of the market revenue share), surpassing the long-time market leader Bahrati Airtel. The rival that aroused the idea for the merger with its successful entry into the market, Reliance Jio, is left in third place. “Today, we have created India’s leading telecom operator. It is truly a historic moment. And this is much more than just about creating a large business. It is about our Vision of empowering and enabling a New India and meeting the aspirations of the youth of our country,” commented the chairman of the new board…

Earlier this week, a leading IT solutions provider Tech Mahindra, announced its partnership with Microsoft to build a blockchain-based robust ecosystem meant to tackle unsolicited commercial communications in India. This blockchain solution will be developed based on Microsoft Azure, and will comply with the regulations issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). TRAI has been working with both these companies and other stakeholders to curb the profusion of spam calls and messages so widely spread across the country. While the initial step of introducing a “Do Not Disturb” registry in 2010 seems to be a success with 230 million listed subscribers, the telemarketers still manage to find fraudulent workarounds to obtain consent and continue delivering spam calls. “Blockchain as a technology is a powerful tool to combat the issue of spam calls and fraud risks, to protect user information, as well as the integrity of the telecom sector.…

The South Korean mobile carrier, KT (formerly Korea Telecom) has unveiled the world’s first blockchain-based commercial network, as reported by the Korean Herald. The telecom giant has implemented a blockchain layer on top of their ultra-speed nationwide commercial network to ensure maximum security and transparency for retail and business users. “Public blockchains have low processing speed and capacity, while private blockchains have low transparency. By applying blockchain onto our ultra-fast network, we have overcome both obstacles,” commented the head of the Blockchain Center at KT’s Institute of Convergence Technology, Seo Yeong-il. The mobile carrier expects to achieve the impressive number of 100 000 transactions per second by the end of 2019, while their current blockchain network capability is 2500 transactions per second. Furthermore, KT has already implemented this disruptive technology in their user identification process, eliminating the need for personal IDs and passwords. The company is also working closely with…

M1 will start testing 5G small cells at the end of the year. Those trials will be conducted in partnership with the Finnish company, Nokia. The main goal of those tests will be to give informations on the best way to install 5G small cells for a commercial purpose in a “dense cell grid architecture” and to validate the efficiency of low-latency for the “Internet of Things”. Denis Seek, CTO of M1 stated, “The practical learning from early 5G field trial is critical for the success of developing high-performance and demand-driven 5G services for our customers in future and enables us to play a key role in Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives.” If Nokia has been working with M1 on network trials since 2016, it won’t be the only company working with the operator. The Chinese tech giant Huawei will also run trials with M1 by testing the 28GHz mmWave spectrum…

5G will be available for trial in seven cities across the UK. Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, and London were selected to run the tests on the upcoming network. Those new infrastructures will be running the new 5G at the end of 2018 between October and December. Earlier this year, Vodafone paid £378 million, to get 50Mhz of the 3.4GHz spectrum. Nick Jeffery, Vodafone’s chief executive stated, “We want to make 5G and new fibre broadband services available to consumers and business throughout the UK, delivering a Gigabit society for all. We will also be bringing ultra-fast 4G to several hundred sites in hard to reach rural areas this year, building on our position as the network that offers the best voice coverage in the UK.” Vodafone’s goal is to launch a full 5G service in the UK by 2020, when 5G devices will be available on the market.

The auction for 100MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz bandwidth were sold to SK Telecom and KT, and on the other hand, LG Uplus received 80MHz of spectrum in that same bandwidth. The total amount that was raised by the auction was a little lower than anticipated with $3.6 billion. The Ministry of Science and Information and communication technology sold by auction 280MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz bandwidth and will later sale 2,400MHz in the 28GHz band. 5G networks will certainly reach South Korean as one of its first market to be launched on. The next few months and years will be important for SK telecom and KT. They want to make sure that South Korea will be “first for 5G” with an expected March 2019 as a deadline to start launching the news high speed network.

Chunghwa Telecom (CHT), Taiwan Mobile and Far Eas Tone (FET) Telecommunications have increased their sales thanks to new cheaper mobile plans. CHT got NT$19.51 billion (US$652.9 million) in sales for May, an increase of 12.71% from last year with a Net profit of NT$4.56 billion. Its optical broadband service reached 3.563 million subscribers, and its MOD service users reached 1.758 million on the same period. Also in May, Taiwan Mobile got NT$10.01 billion, with a net profit of NT$1.51 billion, thus having NT$49.86 billion in revenue on the last 12 months. In May, FET was able, on its side to gather a revenue of NT$7.299 billion for a net profit of NT$984 million.

The Swedish tech company expects 5G devices market to expand exponentially over the next 5 years. A report issued by Ericsson on Tuesday indicates that IoT (Internet of Things, that includes non-computer connected objects) will see its growth explode with 5G connections available, as they foresee that the connected devices’ market will be multiplied by five. As of today, this market represents 700 million units, and by 2023 their report see a size of 3.5 billion IoT devices. Last November, Ericsson’s expectations were of half this number. Patrik Carwall, head of industry marketing department at Ericsson thinks that among those 3.5 billion, 1 billion devices will use 5G. He added “We have been reporting on mobile industry development for a number of years. However, this report is probably one of the more exciting ones because we are at the start of a big change in the industry.” 5G will start…

With JPY 518.2 billion of value at the end of March 2018, the production of telecommunication material and devices wend down 24% year-on-year. The reason can be found in the constant relocation of factories, but also in the decrease of investments for this industry. The CIAJ (Communication and Information Network Association of Japan) stated that both business and infrastructure, whether it is landline or wireless, related equipments showed signs of lack of interest by investors. One figure represents this fall down: the production and trade of mobile terminal equipment dropped 39% in those 12 months with JPY 171 billion.

Two of the main key players in South African mobile operators, MTN and Vodacom, have shown interest in investing in the Ethiopian company Ethio Telecom. Both companies have invested in many countries on the continent. Ethiopia was not one of them as the government wanted to keep this sector under its control. But their policy is changing and they have decided to consider opening Ethio Telecom’s capital to investors. According to MTN, “Ethiopia presents many exciting telecommunication opportunities and we look forward to further discussions with that nation’s authorities on potential partnerships and opportunities.” and Vodacam stated that it “has said on many occasions that Ethiopia is an attractive market so it follows that there would be interest. Naturally this is dependent on what might become available and if it fits within our investment parameters.” Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopian new Prime Minister, came to power with promises of reforms. This policy…