The Spice Girls may have waxed lyrical about two becoming one, but in Europe's mobile market many operators would be happy if four just became three. Indeed, the buzz around consolidation refuses to die down as we move further into 2015, and operators continue to believe that consolidation is necessary for their future survival.
The issue of coverage versus signal quality was addressed this week by the CEO of Vodafone UK, Jeroen Hoencamp. Perhaps he was attempting to allay any potential concerns that Vodafone is still well behind EE in terms of LTE network coverage, but he made some valid points over the value of consistency when 4G services are actually available.
I'm not sure which new year's resolutions might apply to telecoms companies, but further meditation on how they can stop making their customers angry all the time by living up to their promises is probably no bad way to start.
With a Dutch CEO, and French and German parents, EE today has a more European than British flavour. That could all change if BT acquires the UK operator: the former UK incumbent entered into exclusive negotiations with EE shareholders Orange and Deutsche Telekom on Monday.
The evolution of mobile networks and services has continued to dominate in 2014 as operators across Europe roll out LTE, LTE Advanced, and Voice over LTE (VoLTE). At the same time, operators, vendors, regulators, standards bodies, and others have been spending an increasing amount of time investigating what 5G will be, and when it is likely to happen.
Whether BT now rues the day it sold O2 is a moot point; it now knows it needs a mobile strategy, and has confirmed it is in "highly preliminary" talks with O2 and one other operator--which Orange and Deutsche Telekom on Wednesday confirmed is EE. If BT does buy O2 or EE, there is a fair chance that its strategy to roll out a small cell network, building what some term as an "inside out" mobile network, may be put on hold.
With some 80 per cent of the population in Africa still not connected to the Internet, the thorny problem of how to get citizens online in some of the most challenging parts of the world was a key topic at the AfricaCom conference in Cape Town last week.
Latest research suggests that smartphones are making us clumsier. According to SquareTrade, our tendency to browse and walk leads to tripping incidents that often cause us to damage our phones and ourselves.
The latest round of third-quarter results has revealed some bright spots in mobile markets that were previously pretty gloomy. In France, for example, Orange performed much better than expected in the three months from July to end-September.