GSMA-ITU forum pushes digital societies agenda
The GSMA and ITU, with support from ICANN and the Internet Society, organised a forum in Bangkok this week that brought together more than 100 policymakers, regulators and industry executives to discuss the development of national plans to build digital societies in Asia Pacific.
The Digital Societies Policy Forum also focused on the role of spectrum policy and licensing for the expansion of mobile broadband across the region.
The agenda was framed around new research reports, developed independently by each of the four organisations, that outline the potential of digital and mobile technology to advance national economies, as well as overcome challenges arising from rapid population growth and increasing rural-urban migration faced by Asian countries.
Six countries in the region – Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand – are participating in digital society initiatives, and Thailand was the first host of the forum.
Ericsson appoints head of North East Asia
Swedish telecoms vendor Ericsson has promoted its head of India, Chris Houghton, to lead its North East Asia operations.
Houghton will be responsible for Ericsson’s operations in the region, which covers Hong Kong, Macau, mainland China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. He will remain a member of Ericsson’s global leadership team to which he was appointed in 2013.
Houghton, who will replace departing exec Jan Signell on 1 August, will report to the chairman of North East Asia and SVP Mats Olsson.
Paolo Colella will assume Houghton’s India role. Colella is currently Global Head of Ericsson’s Consulting & Systems Integration business.
Thailand’s AIS to expand small cell network
Thailand’s leading mobile operator AIS announced it will expand the use of small cells to improve cellular coverage in cities and villages, with plans to roll out an additional 2,500 small cells this year.
The operator, with a 45 per cent market share, deployed 500 small cells from Alcatel-Lucent last September. It will continue to use the vendor’s 9764 metro cells and 5620 “service aware” manager.
Weerawat Kiattipongthaworn, senior executive of operations at AIS, said that the self-optimisation features simply the deployment of the small cells in its multi-vendor radio environment.
Small cells are generally used in areas where existing coverage is insufficient or challenged due to interference from buildings, geography or distance from a cell tower. They can also add capacity in areas with large concentrations of users.
SKT and Samsung team up on EPC
South Korea’s SK Telecom and Samsung announced they are partnering to develop standards for evolved packet core (EPC) networks, with the goal of capturing a larger share of the growing 4G infrastructure market.
EPC is a framework for providing converged voice and data on 4G networks and represents an opportunity for all telecoms services to run on the same network by allowing interoperability between vendors as well as technologies.
The partnership will look at expanding into markets such as China.