Latest Commentary

Despite the cut in fees, Europe is still far from done with mobile roaming

The end of retail roaming fees in the EU will not end the debate over mobile roaming in general, with consumers and mobile service providers continuing to face their own challenges.

Operators focus on getting the balance right with mobile sub-brands

Orange continued to face pressure in the mid-market segment in the first quarter of 2016, but the company managed to retain many users through its Sosh sub- or secondary brand. Analysts noted that of of the 84,000 net additions at Sosh, 79,000 came from Orange.

UK operators show a half-hearted approach to 4G

Last week I commented on the problems that business users out in the field often face in the UK because of poor or non-existent 4G and even 3G coverage. This is far more than just a perception: a new report from Which? and OpenSignal said UK mobile users are only able to connect to 4G half of the time.

Outdoor 3G/4G coverage in Europe: still much to do

Vodafone has introduced a 30-day network guarantee that is says "gives you the freedom to experience the strength and quality of our network before you commit." While this signals the company's growing confidence that it is starting to resolve issues around mobile broadband connectivity, geographical outdoor mobile broadband coverage still remains a huge concern.

LPWANs: can proprietary and cellular technologies co-exist in this crowded battlefield?

Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies dubbed low power wide area (LPWA) networks are deemed a critical element in the platforms that will in future support the burgeoning range of connected objects with long battery lives and low data rate requirements. How many of these various standards will exist in future? Will proprietary options eventually be pushed out by the cellular standards, or can a number of different standards continue to co-exist?

Patuano and Alierta: A tale of two CEOs

It seemed somehow fitting that the CEOs of two major European operators with what have been very strong ties quit their respective roles within days of each other. First, Marco Patuano of Telecom Italia resigned, with the operator this week confirming he is to be replaced by Flavio Cattaneo. Then Telefónica said long-standing CEO César Alierta is to step down after 16 years in this position. He is to be succeeded by José María Álvarez-Pallete.

Consumers apparently are asking for IoT, even though they may not know it

The average consumer in the developed world is undoubtedly far more tech-savvy these days, in part owing to the consumerisation and democratisation of technology. I must confess, however, that I find it hard to imagine today's average person calling up their car or home insurer and demanding the low-down on their IoT service range.

To bundle or not to bundle mobile, that is the question

Ampere Analysis said there is evidence of devaluation in triple-play as well as the burgeoning quad-play market and urges providers to be cautious when adding mobile to a fixed bundle.

Tesco's MVNO plan reflects growing MVNO confidence

Life as an MVNO can be tough, as frequently highlighted by the numerous failures over the years. A new report indicates that confidence may be growing among these virtual players, which are in bullish mood about the future.

Google and RCS: the last gasp for the interoperability standard?

We reported this week that Vodafone Italy and TIM have initiated IP interconnection interoperability tests on their respective networks, with a view to enabling customers of both operators to call each other using voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology and swap messages and bits of contents using RCS-based apps.