Airtel moves to per second billing
India’s largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel has moved all its prepaid mobile customers to per second billing.

The move comes after most operators worldwide have made the shift and as operators in India have faced criticism over the past few months for frequent dropped calls. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is looking at whether operators have benefited from the rise in dropped calls (based on per-minute charges).

Airtel said in a statement that the new charging method “will help ensure that customers pay only for the time they use”. Almost 95 per cent of its customers are prepaid.

Docomo trials translation app at airport
Japan’s NTT Docomo launched a trial of an app that translates the words written on the screen of a smartphone or tablet between Japanese and four other languages.

The operator installed the app on the tablets used by guides and concierges at the Haneda Airport international passenger terminal.

The Tegaki Hon’yaku app uses the operator’s translation servers and MyScript’s handwriting recognition technology to convert handwritten English, French, Korean and simplified Chinese to Japanese and vice versa.

Docomo previously launched an app that translates spoken language called Hanashite Hon’yaku.

LG Uplus, Ericsson partner on 5G and IoT
South Korean operator LG Uplus and Swedish vendor Ericsson have agreed to partner to develop 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

Under the terms of the agreement, which will initially run until 2020, the two firms aim to prepare a roadmap for long-term network development and will focus on narrow-band LTE, software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualisation (NFV) and global content delivery networks (CDNs).

South Korea to cooperate with China Mobile, ZTE on roaming
Chinese equipment vendor ZTE signed an agreement with the China Mobile Research Institute and South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) to cooperation on TDD/FDD data roaming and VoLTE.

The three will work to solve interconnection and interoperability issues between TD and FD technologies.

Compared with FDD-LTE, TD-LTE has higher spectrum efficiency and offers operators a clearer roadmap in the transition to 5G technology, ZTE said in a statement. According to the Global TD-LTE Initiative, there are 63 commercial TD-LTE networks globally as of Q2, of which 23 are TDD/FDD dual-mode networks.

M1 streamlines customer care
Singapore’s M1 recently upgraded its billing and customer care systems, which it said improved the operational efficiency at its retail outlets by up to 35 per cent.

The upgrade, implemented by Accenture with support from Oracle, Comverse and Microsoft, integrated its charging, billing and customer relationship management functions into a single system to give the operator a unified view of customers across all business lines.

China Mobile, Ericsson demo 426Mb/s tri-band LTE
China Mobile and Ericsson have demoed tri-band carrier aggregation (CA) LTE and achieved a theoretical downlink throughput of 426Mb/s using commercially available software and base stations.

The trial in Beijing used three 20MHz TDD carriers and included the 256 QAM modulation scheme to boost the speed, Ericsson said in a statement.