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Alcatel-Lucent's LTE Technology Drives European Aviation Network

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13.Oct 2015 - Alcatel Lucent has signed a contract with DeutscheTelekom to deliver the world's first LTE ground network which communicates with airplanes and complements satellite services from Inmarsat, in order to meet rapidly evolving demand for broadband data connectivity on European flights. The European Aviation Network (EAN) will consist of an LTE ground network component, provided by Alcatel-Lucent - using its specially adapted radios and IP Mobile Core - combined with a satellite network component. Passengers will be able to use their Wi-Fi enabled personal mobile devices to access mobile data access using the seamless transition between the LTE ground network and the satellite network. The network will also open up opportunities for airlines to offer innovative consumer-led data services to passengers. Deutsche Telekom and Alcatel-Lucent have previously conducted test flights of the LTE-based network and are working with Inmarsat, a leading global satellite communications provider, which will operate LTE in the S-band. Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat have recently announced a strategic partnership for the European Aviation Network to develop and commercially roll-out the network in Europe with a test flight program planned for the hybrid LTE and satellite network in 2017. Alcatel-Lucent will also provide network operations and field services for the LTE ground network to Deutsche Telekom. The agreement with Deutsche Telekom highlights how Alcatel-Lucent is working with service providers to deliver breakthrough communications innovations to new markets to satisfy the growing demand for always-on connectivity.

Brazil achieves 47.1% population covered with 4G

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12.Oct 2015 
Brazil ended September with 191 municipalities and 47.1 percent of the population served with 4G, according to Teleco. Vivo served another nine cities with 4G in September and maintained its leadership in a number of covered municipalities (161). Claro added another seven municipalities in the month, taking the total to 147 municipalities, followed by TIM (80) and Oi (45). Claro leads in population served by 4G (44.9%), followed by Vivo (43.7%), TIM (34.8%) and Oi (30.5%).

Mobile Telecom Adds $100bn To Sub-Saharan Africa Economy

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09.Oct 2015 - The mobile telecommunications industry in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has contributed $102 billion to the region's economy in 2014 equivalent to 5.7 per cent of the region's gross domestic product (GDP) according to a new study by Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA).

The report unveiled at the 'Mobile 360 Series – Africa' conference being held in Cape Town this week entitled 'The Mobile Economy – Sub-Saharan Africa 2015', said mobile operators directly contributed $31 billion, representing 1.7 per cent of GDP with total mobile connections in Sub-Saharan Africa on track to reach 722 million by year-end.

This economic contribution is set to increase over the coming years as mobile operators continue to extend connectivity to unconnected populations across the region and roll out new mobile broadband networks and services. The industry is forecast to contribute $166 billion in value to the region by 2020, equivalent to eight per cent of expected GDP by this point.

Alex Sinclair, acting director general and chief technology officer at the GSMA, "The mobile industry remains a key driver of economic growth and employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, making a vital contribution given the population growth and high unemployment levels seen in many countries in the region."

He said "Despite revenue and margin pressures, local mobile operators continue to invest heavily to extend network coverage to serve unconnected communities and accelerate the migration to high-speed 3G/4G mobile broadband networks. Mobile technology is also playing a central role in Sub-Saharan Africa by addressing a range of socio-economic challenges, particularly digital and financial inclusion, and enabling access to vital services such as education and healthcare."

GSMA report reveals mobile commerce is on the rise in Africa

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09.Oct 2015 - According to a report revealed at the latest GSMA: Mobile 360 Series – Africa conference, digital commerce is on the rise in Africa, and is being supported by growing internet penetration. The report revealed that consumer research carried out by Ipsos in March 2015 showed that 20% of South African internet users have made purchases online and another 48% expect to do so in the future. The report also states that mobile commerce will be central to the evolution of the digital commerce market in Sub-Saharan Africa, as the majority of internet users in the region will access the Web through mobile devices. Another survey by In Mobi in 2014 (which includes data from 14,000 users across 14 countries, including Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa) predicted that 83% of consumers plan to conduct mobile commerce in the next 12 months, an increase of 15 percentage points on the 2013 figure.

A number of established digital commerce sites are present in the region, some of them offering crossborder transactions. One particular success story is Jumia, which was founded in 2012 with funding from Rocket Internet. The firm has expanded across the region from its original base in Nigeria, with local sites in several countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Senegal, Uganda and Ghana. Mobile is a key part of Jumia's strategy. It has partnered with MTN and Millicom to drive future growth by increasing traffic from its mobile users through promotions, joint marketing campaigns, cross-selling, and payment facilitation.

The latter is particularly important considering the limitations of online payment methods in the region, and the potential for mobile operators to provide fast and secure payment services for buyers and sellers.