The WRAP: Deutsche Tel, KT launch LTE; China Telecom closer to UK MVNO

It might only be the first working week of the new calendar year, but already we’ve been served up with LTE network launches by Deutsche Telekom and Korea Telecom, China Telecom’s first European MVNO deal, and regulatory pressure on carriers in India, Singapore, Australia and the UK
Deutsche Telekom got the ball rolling on 4G announcements, revealing it launched a live LTE network in Hungarian capital Budapest on Jan 1.
The network is currently available to 40% of the city’s citizens, however the telco pledges city-wide coverage by the year end. It plans to continue rolling out HSPA+ in other parts of the country – the service is today available in 600 locations.
South Korean carrier Korea Telecom (KT) followed suit on Jan 3, a month later than scheduled due to legal action.
The service is available only in capital Seoul at present, but KT plans to take it to 84 cities by April, which will make the service available to 90% of the population. The operator surprised by declaring it won’t offer unlimited data plans on its 4G network, to prevent overloading it. Speculation was rife the firm would transfer unlimited 3G tariffs to the new network.
Saudi operator Saudi Telecom Company set out to be the first in the country to launch LTE, hiring Alcatel-Lucent to deploy a network in the north of the country. The carrier’s full network will initially cover eleven major cities.
China Telecom Europe detailed plans to launch its first MVNO service, agreeing a deal to utilize EverythingEverywhere’s UK network. The firm is targeting Chinese nationals living in the country, and wants to be up and running during 1Q12.
Meanwhile, regulators in the operator’s domestic market accelerated the process of integrating Web, broadcast TV, and telecoms networks. China’s State Council signed up 42 cities to participate in trials of convergence technology throughout 2012, as it moves towards full implementation in 2015.
Apple ended speculation over when its iPhone 4S would launch in mainland China, revealing the device will go on sale there and in over 20 other countries on Jan 13.
Chinese vendor Huawei rejected claims it breached US sanctions against Iran by supplying telecoms equipment to operators in the country. The firm was responding to calls from six US senators for a probe into its dealings in Iran.
Regulation news saw Indian carriers Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel, Tata Teleservices, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular tipped to face Department of Telecom fines of up to $300 million for underreporting revenues; an IDA probe into service outages at SingTel in Singapore; Australia’s national broadband firm NBN co warn the country’s Competition and Consumer Commission it will be forced to raise wholesale prices if an A$800 million (€641 million) deal with Optus to close its cable network is rejected; and UK advertising authorities clamp down on ISP TalkTalk’s security claims.
 And US researchers working with Intel revealed bouncing data off the ceiling can boost the speed information is transferred at between different servers in a data center.
The team claims the technique eliminates problems with other wireless data transfer approaches including line-of-sight and interference, by using the ceiling of the data center to enable point-to-point communication between antennas.

If accurate, the approach would remove a significant bottleneck within current data center set-ups.