Apr 29, 2021

Vodafone and O2: spectrum swapping will speed 5G rollout

Harry Menear
2 min
Two of the UK’s leading carriers, O2 and Vodafone, will swap spectrum bands purchased in the latest 5G auction to accelerate their 5G rollouts
Two of the UK’s leading carriers, O2 and Vodafone, will swap spectrum bands purchased in the latest 5G auction to accelerate their 5G rollouts...

Following Ofcom’s announcements of the final results of the UK’s latest 5G spectrum auction, mobile carriers O2 and Vodafone revealed this week that they have reached an agreement to swap some of the spectrum bands purchased, in order to improve performance on their networks.

The move feels oddly reminiscent of games of Monopoly my family played when I was young (before we collectively agreed that it’s a terrible board game and discovered better things to play, like Azul and Betrayal at House on the Hill). Around the middle of the game, when all the properties have been bought up, there almost always came a strategic trading phase. “I’ll give you Mayfare if you can turn over all your light blues.” Swapping around already owned properties on the board let you have a slightly better strategy and get on with the important business of building hotels to squeeze more money out of unwilling tenants. 

O2 and Vodafone’s announcement is ostensibly not about squeezing more money out of their respective customers, but rather generating revenue thanks to better, faster, more reliable 5G networks, as well as speeding up the build-out phase of their 5G infrastructure. 

O2 in particular has benefitted from the trade, which has seen it amass a sizable 80 MHz block of contiguous spectrum. Vodafone’s blocks of spectrum - which total about 90 MHz - aren’t completely contiguous, but the carrier says that the new deal should ensure “good proximity.” 

“It means we have the best possible spectrum to continue giving our customers a fast and reliable 5G service,” said Vodafone CEO, Ahmed Essam in a statement to the press. 

He added: “It will also enable us to open up amazing new possibilities for our enterprise customers, putting Britain at the forefront of innovation in vital areas like assisted surgery, remote training, and factory automation.”

The two telecom already have a partnership in place that allows them to share mast infrastructure. 

The 5G spectrum reshuffle, both operators say, “will enable improved coverage for customers – both indoor and outdoor – across urban, suburban and rural areas,” due to the fact that contiguous blocks of spectrum support faster download speeds, lower latency and more energy efficient operations. 

O2 CEO, Mark Evans, said on Wednesday that, “Securing contiguous blocks of spectrum is crucial to harnessing the true power of 5G – we will have the strongest indoor and outdoor connectivity and an ultra-reliable frequency.” 

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Jun 11, 2021

ZTE Corporation drives Cellcard’s 5G ambitions for Cambodia

Scott Birch
2 min
Cambodian telco Cellcard turns to ZTE Corporation as the trusted partner to deliver 5G ambitions and boost national economy

When Cambodia’s only locally-owned telco, Cellcard, recognised the opportunity to develop 5G for the nation, it turned to global connectivity leader ZTE Corporation.

Serving a quarter of the world’s population, ZTE Corporation has been dedicated to enabling connectivity and trust since 1985, offering end-to-end product lines and integrated solutions for the telecommunications industry.

With more than 10% of annual revenue invested into research and development centres in the United States, Sweden and China, ZTE Corporation prides itself on owning more than 38,000 patents.

Now, the company has its sights set on the future, specifically the global commercial deployment of 5G and the opportunities that it brings.

Cellcard’s CEO Ian Watson is determined the telco will be the first to achieve full 5G coverage in Cambodia – in part to take advantage of the esports opportunity.

“Sixty per cent of the Cambodian population is under 30,” Watson told Mobile Magazine. “So you have this segment that can drive a lot of revenue for telcos. We realised from the research and industry trends that esports was becoming a huge phenomenon in Cambodia. So we said, what can we do to bring this to the youth? And the answer is in the network: consistency, low latency. It’s not just about the price: it’s about the consistency, quality and everything else.”

Cellcard, part of the Royal Group of Companies, signed a deal with ZTE Corporation for the introduction of 5G and increase of 4G coverage and capacity across Cambodia at the end of 2020.

The agreement cemented plans for the rolling out of 5G as well as evolving its 4G LTE coverage and quality – a significant financial investment that will position Cambodia as one of the leading nations in the region for 5G adoption.

This transformation of the ICT sector will directly impact citizens’ lives through technologies such as IoT, Big Data, AI, and AR to help drive a strong Cambodian economy.


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