4G Coming to Sweden: 2 Carriers Team Up to Deploy LTE by 2010

Telenor Sweden and Tele2 Sweden said today they will share spectrum and build a joint Long Term Evolution 4G network in Sweden with an eye to having it up and running by the end of 2010. The timing means Sweden will get LTE around the same time Verizon Wireless deploys it in the U.S. and NTTDoCoMo offers it in Japan. The two Swedish carriers will be equal partners in the joint venture, which also comprises spectrum-sharing in the 900MHz and 2600MHz frequency bands.
Such network-sharing is becoming more common because the costs associated building out networks are high, and because regulations in some parts of the world are making it more difficult to locate a lot of equipment in places where people desire coverage.  Read More about 4G Coming to Sweden: 2 Carriers Team Up to Deploy LTE by 2010

Carriers Spend Billions on Networks and Millions to Dress Them Up

As consumers increasingly pick up smartphones rather than feature phones, carriers are investing more cash in startups in the hopes of making such devices more useful — and their networks more profitable. The uptick in carrier investments has been particularly pronounced over the last few months, as wireless operators try to boost data revenue and differentiate their services by getting access to new technology first.
Just this week Eventful, a location-based calendar service, announced a $10 million round that included money from Telefonica. In September, two firms announced deals with carrier participation: social calendaring service Zvents, which raised $24 million, some of it from AT&T, and femtocell systems maker Percello, which raised $12 million, including money from T-Mobile.
“In my opinion the operators are becoming a little more aggressive and the equipment folks are less aggressive, with less to spend on R&D,” said Matthew Fix, a principal at Vodafone Ventures, the investment arm of the UK network operator. “Carriers are more aggressive because there’s a lot of uncertainty around their business models.” Read More about Carriers Spend Billions on Networks and Millions to Dress Them Up

The Mobile Linux War

A recent report from ABI Research highlights the rise of mobile Linux, estimating that 23 percent of the world’s smartphones will have a Linux operating system by 2013. It appears that much of that growth will come at the expense of Nokia’s Symbian, and that LiMo and Android will be the main beneficiaries. What the report doesn’t note is that last year ABI predicted that 31 percent of smartphones will have Linux by 2012.

Either there’s something to explain the change in numbers, or we should perhaps take our analyst reports with a grain of salt. However, Linux is undoubtedly moving fast: 15 handsets were launched earlier this year with LiMo, and after several demos and prototypes, anticipation for the Android is running high. But the jury is still out on which framework will win out with carriers and application developers.

LiMo has the backing of NEC, Motorola and Samsung as well as SK Telecom and Verizon. Android, through the Open Handset Alliance, has T-Mobile, NTT DoCoMo, China Telecom, Telefonica, Google and several others. The stated goal behind both efforts is to eliminate some of the costs associated with developing mobile applications for multiple operating systems by using open source. It’s a laudable goal, but the fight between the two for market share demonstrates how hard it will be to lower costs, as developers will still have to build for multiple platforms.

photo courtesy of the LiMo Foundation and NTT DoCoMo

DoCoMo Gives Google Mobile A Boost

NTT DoCoMo, the largest mobile carrier in Japan is going to use Google search and email, calendaring and other services on its handsets that use the iMode network, according to a story that ran on the AP news wire. AP item is based on a Nikkei report.

If true, this is a big shot in the arm for Google, that has been looking for a tier one mobile partner for its services. The company has several deals including a partnership with T-Mobile Germany, but snagging NTT DoCoMo is akin to Captain Ahab capturing Moby Dick.