RCom pays $805M to ‘liberalise’ 800MHz spectrum
India’s Reliance Communications (RCom) paid the Department of Telecom (DoT) INR53.84billion ($805 million) to ‘liberalise’ its spectrum in the 800MHz band so it can trade and share the airwaves with 4G newcomer Reliance Jio.

The country’s fourth largest operator, however, could be liable to pay an additional INR15.6 billion to the DoT for a controversial spectrum usage fee, which the operator is contesting in court.

The payment allows RCom to move ahead with a spectrum sharing and trading alliance with Jio that will see RCom sell 800MHz spectrum in nine regions to Jio and both share bandwidth in the same band in 17 service areas.

Nepal Telecom seeks approval to launch 4G
Nepal Telecom has asked the telecoms regulator for approval to launch 4G services, the Katmandu Post reported.

Buddhi Prasad Acharya, the operator’s MD, said it plans to launch 4G right away in major cities, expand 3G services in all districts with access to mobile service and drop its 2G service.

Acharya complained that it hasn’t been able to improve service quality because imports of equipment are delayed at customs offices.

He told the Post: “We need to compete with private players. However, we cannot procure equipment as fast as they can. This has impacted our quest to make the service quality better.”

The state-owned operator, with a 48 per cent market share and nearly 13 million connections, needs to replace many towers that were damaged in an earthquake last April, Acharya said.

SKT, Cisco partner on IoT
South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) and US-based Cisco announced they will partner to develop Internet of Things technology for connecting machines.

The partnership will combine SKT’s ThingPlug, an IoT platform that allows different devices and mobile apps to work together, with Cisco’s infrastructure application technology Fog Computing, which offers real-time data analysis, the Korea Herald reported.

The companies also plan to develop mobile apps and sensors that will run on the platform.

Robi selects Ericsson for 2G upgrade, 3G expansion
Bangladesh’s second largest operator Robi Axiata signed a three-year contract with Ericsson to upgrade its 2G base stations and roll out new 3G sites in two regions.

The vendor will deploy network hardware and software and provide integration services to upgrade Robi’s existing 2G/GSM network and expand its 3G/W-CDMA network.

This network expansion will prepare Robi to move to LTE with a short lead time, following the issuing of licences, Ericsson said in a statement.

Telstra boosts cloud capabilities with Kloud acquisition
Australia’s largest operator Telstra said today it will acquire Kloud, an Australia-based managed services provider that helps enterprises move their applications to the cloud.

Kloud is well known in Australia and has been working in the Asia-Pacific region, predominantly in Singapore. It has 150 employees across Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Manila, and more than 80 customers.

The transaction is likely to be completed towards the end of February, Telstra said.