Ursula Burns, chairwoman of Russian telecommunications company Veon has been appointed as the CEO of the company effective immediately. 

Burns has served as Chairman of the VEON Board of Directors since July 2017 and as Executive Chairman since March 2018, during which time she has successfully introduced a simplified corporate structure including a leaner operating model along with an increased focus on emerging markets.

She was Chairman of the Board of the Xerox Corporation from 2010 to 2017 and Chief Executive Officer from 2009 to 2016. She is a director of the boards of American Express, Exxon Mobil, Nestlé and Uber.

Burns holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO, VEON
The company operates in a diverse group of markets, with growing populations and rapidly increasing smartphone ownership. This clearly presents a host of growth opportunities for VEON as we seek to build on the positive momentum that we are seeing across the business.

Julian Horn-Smith, Director, VEON's Board
The management team are clearly working well together and focused on delivering against strategic priorities. Ursula has led VEON through a major transaction in the sale of its Italy joint venture for $2.9 billion and overseen a period of solid quarterly operational performance.

Telenor Pakistan has launched the 4.5G technology in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Utilizing the advanced 4.5G feature of ‘Carrier Aggregation’, Telenor Pakistan is the first to aggregate its LTE 850 and LTE1800 networks as one to give excellent data service experience for supported handsets. This feature leverages the available frequency different bands, thus enhancing the customer experience.

Telenor Pakistan acquired license for the provision of Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) across Pakistan in 2014. This opened a whole new era of opportunities in mobile broad band services in the country which fueled exponential data growth in market. Later on in 2016, Telenor Pakistan acquired bandwidth in the 850MHz spectrum to bring 4G services. Maximizing efficiency on the existing spectrum, Telenor Pakistan has also refarmed its existing 1800 MHz band for LTE services.

All of Telenor Pakistan’s current 4G subscribers with compatible handsets will be able to receive the faster speeds automatically. The 4.5G features have already been activated across Telenor sites in Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi/Islamabad.

Sigve Brekke, President & CEO, Telenor Group
We envision a digital Pakistan where the fast evolving communication technology benefits all. With Advanced LTE we continue to introduce new technology that furthers the digital revolution in Pakistan.

Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO, Telenor Pakistan
4.5G will also give us the readiness we need to drive the development of IoT and tech-based solutions for government, administration, health, agriculture and home management. Being the most innovative company, we proudly welcome Pakistanis to the future of mobile.

Published in Technology & Solutions

Vodafone UK is lifting the lid on manhole covers old and new to install small antennae below street level to help improve 4G mobile coverage for customers in busy urban areas.

The Operator has installed two types of mobile-enabled manhole covers at its Newbury office and technology centre. One of these is a purpose-built, reinforced unit similar in size to a water butt sunk into the ground, and the other uses an existing cast iron manhole cover. They can carry calls and provide fast internet access over a 200 metre radius without consuming much power.

In addition to Newbury, Vodafone is looking to roll out 4G under both its own manhole covers, inherited as part of its acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide in 2012, and those of utility providers across the UK.

According to Vodafone, the manhole cover antennae can be installed with minimal disruption to local people – no street works or construction – and without changing the look of the area, as the kit is below ground. They are connected using Vodafone’s all fibre high speed converged network across the UK, which also supports other mobile technologies, home broadband, Internet of Things (IoT) and business services.

By connecting the manhole covers to this network, we can provide great 4G coverage now, and easily upgrade them to 5G in the future. These fibre-connected 5G-enabled small antennae are the foundation on which connected smart cities will be built. 5G connectivity will allow connected traffic lights instantly to reroute road traffic around congestion, councils automatically to schedule repairs for broken infrastructure like street lighting, and businesses to manage how much energy they use intelligently.

Building on its heritage of innovation, Vodafone is using inventive ways to expand and strengthen its network. This includes housing mobile equipment within street furniture such as manhole covers, lamp-posts and phone boxes to increase the speed and extend the coverage of a mobile signal along busy roads, town squares and in shopping and entertainment areas.

Nick Jeffery, CEO, Vodafone UK
It is great to be able to use yesterday’s infrastructure – from phone boxes to manhole covers – to deliver the services of tomorrow.  This is one of the ways we are extending our 4G services to areas other networks cannot reach, and getting ready for 5G.

Liquid Telecom, a Pan-African telecoms group owned Econet Wireless has reached an agreement with CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, to invest $180m with the company.

This investment will enable Liquid Telecom to expand its high-speed broadband connectivity to some of the most underserved communities across the African continent, including supporting Africa’s thriving tech start-up ecosystem with high-speed internet and cloud-based services.

Owned and managed by the UK Government, CDC Group supports companies that help poor countries grow. Being aligned to a common purpose, the $180m investment will enable Liquid Telecom to increase its network expansion. This builds on the Liquid Telecom’s award-winning Cape to Cairo terrestrial fibre link - often referred to as “the One Africa” broadband network that took ten years to complete and serves some of the most remote locations with the fastest network speeds in Africa - from Cape Town, through all the Southern, Central, and Eastern African countries, and has now reached Sudan and Egypt. The network passes through some of the most remote corners of the planet and continues to provide new opportunities to connect underserved communities.

Nic Rudnick, Group CEO, Liquid Telecom
Our vision is to give every individual on the African continent the right to be connected by bringing reliable, high-speed broadband connectivity and cloud services to all. This includes businesses and communities in some of the most remote parts of the continent.

Nick O'Donohoe, CEO, CDC Group
CDC’s capital will enable Liquid Telecom to reach more countries in the continent, helping to connect millions more people and businesses. Africans have benefited hugely from the local mobile phone industry that CDC backed twenty years ago and we have similar hopes for our investments in Africa’s growing digital infrastructure.

Nokia has teamed up with Finnish Operator Elisa and a leading power systems firm Efore to commercially deploy a liquid-cooled base station system in an apartment building in Helsinki.

Claiming to be world-first, the technology promises lower costs for operators and owners of base station sites, as well as reduced CO2 emissions.

In the deployment, heat emitted from the base station has been redirected to heat the building, lowering energy costs. In previously conducted customer trials with the Nokia solution, Nokia Bell Labs saw a reduction of up 80.percent in CO2 emissions and up to 30 percent in energy operating expenses - significant savings for operators and other owners of base station sites. Liquid cooling permits the removal of air conditioning and fans, promising further operator savings, potentially longer base station component life and silent sites.

The Nokia Bell Labs-developed liquid-cooled base station was made at Nokia’s Oulu facility in Finland and the liquid-cooled power system was developed by power supplier Efore, with Elisa deploying the base station in Helsinki. The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland evaluated the environmental impact of the liquid-cooled base station and energy usage compared to those generated by air cooling in the field.

Minna Kroger, Director, Corporate Responsibility, Elisa
We have set science-based targets to reduce our emissions in our effort to become an environmental leader, and we are committed to providing customers the services that enable them to act in a sustainable way. 

Pekka Sundstrom, Head of the Elisa Customer Team, Nokia
Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs have conducted extensive research and testing to explore the possibilities of using a liquid-cooled base station in an operator’s network. 

Telstra has connected a customer with a commercial 5G device on its 5G network for the first time.  

The first customer using a 5G device is Toowoomba-based FKG Group, a commercial construction and civil engineering company with divisions focused on technology innovation, including data centres, with 800 employees across Australia.

FKG will use the first iteration of the HTC 5G Hub mobile broadband device to test the device’s connectivity to the network, which as the device evolves, will allow exploration of transport, logistics and agribusiness use cases.

While Telstra’s network is 5G ready in parts of Toowoomba, the user experience benefits of 5G are not expected to become available until the first half of 2019.

The initial focus of understanding the customer experience will be on familiarisation and testing of the device’s features and connectivity, as well as an analysis of the improvements to Telstra’s 4G service as sites are upgraded to 5G.

In August, Telstra announced it had started switching on 5G technology, making Australia’s largest and fastest* mobile network the first in the country to be 5G ready. Toowoomba was the first regional centre to be upgraded and there are now 22 5G-enabled sites in the area, where FKG is located.

Across the country, 130 sites have now been 5G-enabled, with another 70 to be upgraded before the end of this calendar year. This series of network upgrades will not only make the Telstra Mobile Network 5G ready but is expected to deliver world leading 4G (LTE) speeds.

Andrew Penn, CEO, Telstra
We expect a range of devices to become commercially available in the first half of 2019 and as soon as they are launched at scale, we will begin to offer them to customers.

Comviva announced a new version of its Digital Services Delivery Platform (DSDP 2.0), empowering mobile operators to move beyond mere connectivity and embrace new growth opportunities in digital services.

With increasing digitization, many service providers are in the driver's seat in terms of value creation, as it has allowed them to become true enablers of digital experience by facilitating digital services of their partners, said Comviva. And, as this transformation gathers speed, a centralized strategy will ensure that the transition from physical to digital services results in increased efficiency and more revenue opportunities for the operator. DSDP 2.0 has been designed and developed keeping this in mind as it provides a robust and agile framework for continuous innovation and digital service delivery, while lowering OPEX and CAPEX, and reducing time to market.  

In addition to Content, service, device, fraud and API management, the platform brings new capabilities powered by Artificial intelligence including Image & Video recognition, Image & Video moderation, Media transcoding, Object detection, Auto meta-data generation, NLP for conversational interfaces, Transliteration & Translation, Text to Speech conversion and Image Database Management.

Atul Madan, COO, Mobile Lifestyle Solutions, Comviva
This is really a futuristic platform for digital services keeping in mind the evolving needs of the consumers as it comes with the latest technologies and a rich set of capabilities that will help operators to explore and realize new opportunities arising out of digital without exposing them to risks or escalating costs.

Published in Technology & Solutions

SK Telecom is partnering with MobiledgeX, an edge computing company founded by Deutsche Telekom to enable a new generation of connected devices, content and experiences, creating new business models and revenue opportunities leading into 5G.

This follows a recent announcement of investment plan by SK Telecom in MobileedgeX.

The relationship between SK Telecom and MobiledgeX reflects an aligned vision for the future of mobile operators as key players in future mobile application development, performance, security, and reliability. This vision is shared by leading cloud providers and device makers working with MobiledgeX to seamlessly pair the power and distribution of mobile operator infrastructure with the convenience and depth of developer tooling of hyperscale public cloud and the scale, mobility and distribution of billions of end user devices.

MobiledgeX is focused on delivering developer-facing edge cloud services and bringing mobility to those services, dynamically placing application back-end as close to mobile devices as possible and removing them when not needed.

Jong-kwan Park, SVP and Head of Network Technology R&D Center, SK Telecom
In the 5G era, Mobile Edge Computing will be a key technology for next-generation industries including realistic media and autonomous driving. Based on this partnership, SK Telecom will continue to drive technology innovations to provide customers with differentiated 5G services.

Eric Braun, Chief Commercial Officer, Mobileedge
Deutsche Telekom created MobiledgeX as an independent company to drive strategic collaboration across the world’s leading telecoms, public cloud providers, device makers and the surrounding ecosystem - enabling a new era of business models, operating efficiencies and mobile experiences. 

Published in Technology & Solutions

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