Nytex

In Brief:Vodafone Spain expands 4G roaming to 100 countries 

Vodafone Spain has announced that its customers can now access 4G networks in a total of 100 countries worldwide.The operator said customers will be able to use their LTE-enabled devices to make calls,send messages and access the internet at no additional cost to their contracted roaming rate.Some of the new destinations with 4G roaming include Thailand,Ecuador,Colombia,Dominican Republic and India,with countries such as Costa Rica and Cyprus to be added shortly.
Vodafone was the first Spanish operator to add 'roam like home' offers to its postpaid plans,allowing all mobile,Vodafone One and Mobile Internet subscribers to pay the same rates as in their home country in the US as well as in all EU member states,plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

***Finland’s Elisa claims to have set a new world record, achieving a downlink speed of 1.9Gbps over its test 4G network.Elisa noted that it had partnered with Chinese vendor Huawei on the trials,utilising the latter’s ‘latest 4G technology’.Commenting on the matter,the vice president of mobile network services at Elisa,said:‘This new speed record is a step towards the 5G network and also an excellent indication of all the opportunities the 4G network still has to offer.The speeds that the 4G network offers are continuously increasing and,possibly in the next few years,we will even be able to offer mobile data connections of several gigabits per second to our customers.’At present,Elisa’s live 4G networks offer a maximum theoretical downlink speed of 450Mbps, with its fastest speed marketed to customers being 300Mbps.

***Zimbabwe’s second largest cellco by subscribers,state-owned NetOne,says it is on course to meet its target of installing 2,300 base stations by the end of this year as it completes the second phase of its network rollout programme.The operator will have capacity for 6.5 million users on its infrastructure by end-2016. The firm says phase one of the rollout saw it invest USD45 million between 2010 and 2013,while under the second stage from 2014 to end-2016 it will have spent USD218 million to expand its base station numbers from 400 to 2,300.NetOne is looking to spend USD485 million over the next few years as it launches the third phase of its mobile network expansion at the start of 2017.The latest stage of its rollout will see it install 3,000 new base stations to improve 4G LTE coverage and give it sufficient capacity to handle ten million customers.NetOne claimed around one-third of Zimbabwe’s 13 million mobile users at the end of March 2016.

***Nigerian telecoms company Intercellular has rebranded and relaunched its operations under the name InterC Network. Earlier this year the firm hired Chinese telecoms equipment vendor Huawei to transform its CDMA network to a 4G LTE platform.Under the deal, Huawei is deploying an 800MHz LTE broadband network in phases, with plans to eventually cover all of the country’s towns and cities. At launch,customers in the three cities of Abuja, Kaduna and Port Harcourt are able to choose from a wide selection of 4G tariffs, ranging in price from NGN1,400 (USD4.2) for a data allowance of 1.5GB (valid for 30 days)to NGN35,000 for 110GB (60 days).

***Over 83.8 percent of Japan's mobile phone customer base are customer using smartphones,which represents an increase of 6.9 percent year-on-year. The remaining 16.3 percent are feature phone users, according to a report from the Communications and Information network Association of Japan (CIAJ). Smartphone use among respondents in their teens,twenties and thirties was nearly or had reached 100