The world’s mobile industry has signed up its 5 billionth unique mobile subscriber, according to real-time data from GSMA Intelligence, the research arm of the GSMA. The 5 billion milestone means that more than two-thirds of the global population is now connected to a mobile service. It has taken four years to add the latest 1 billion subscribers.

Read more: Worldwide mobile subscribers hits 5 billion, says GSMA

Singapore-based telecom operator Singtel and SingPost announced the launch of a nationwide recycling program in conjunction with World Environment Day. ReCYCLE, Singapore’s largest electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program by reach, encourages people to dispose their redundant mobile or internet-related devices at ReCYCLE bins or by mailing them through any post box.

Read more: Singtel and SingPost launch nationwide e-waste recycling program

Alibaba Cloud has formally announced it plans to open a new data center in Jakarta, Indonesia as part of its effort to increase support services to SMEs. Alibaba Cloud, which is the computing arm of Chinese e-commerce colossus Alibaba Group, disclosed its intentions to open the new data center before the end of the first quarter in 2018.

Read more: Chinese e-commerce giants announce plans to establish data center in Indonesia

ZTE Corporation, a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, today announced that it has become the first vendor to conduct the 26 GHz high-frequency field test in the second phase of China's 5G test in Huairou, Beijing.

Read more: ZTE conducts 26 GHz high-frequency field test in second phase of China’s 5G program

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp announced a subsidiary of SoftBank has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire robotics pioneer Boston Dynamics from Alphabet Inc (parent company of Google). The transaction aligns with SoftBank's investments in paradigm-shifting technologies and its vision of catalyzing the next wave of smart robotics. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Read more: SoftBank announces agreement to acquire Boston Dynamics from Alphabet Inc.

UK wireless technology company Ranplan has claimed that its innovative technology will play a ‘major role’ in the ongoing global evolution of smart cities. The radio planning specialist is building a stellar reputation on a global basis - primarily because it has developed tools that plan both indoor and combined indoor and outdoor RF wireless networks. Telecom Review managed to secure an exclusive interview with Ranplan’s charismatic CEO Alastair Williamson at CommunicAsia, Asia’s premier ICT exhibition and conference held annually in Singapore to discuss the organization’s future in the APAC region, its role within smart cities - and its objectives for the rest of 2017.

Read more: Ranplan CEO claims his company will play a ‘major role’ in the global evolution of smart cities

India’s telecommunication sector has requested government intervention in relation to the GST (Goods and Services Tax) which is set to be introduced on July 1st. India, which is home to one of the most competitive and volatile telecoms markets in the world – has called for the government to lower GST tax attributed to telcos in order to restore the financial health of the sector.

Read more: Indian telcos request government intervention on GST, claiming sector needs urgent rescue

China Telecom has announced that COO Yang Xiaowei has resigned from his position with immediate effect. The news has been met with widespread shock and surprise by those within the telecommunications sector in China.

China Telecom, is the country’s third largest operator - and whilst it did recently express that it was facing increasingly intensive market competition, its recently published financial results for Q1 were seen as extremely positive – with the results indicating a solid performance overall in Q1. However, Yang has now resigned just 14 months after taking the position within the organization.

Yang had been a member of the China Telecom board prior to his appointment as President and COO in April 2016, at the same time as Yang’s appointment – CEO and chairman Yang Jie took over at the helm. However, in the statement issued by China Telecom the operator chooses not to disclose any reasons as to why Yang departed the company with immediate effect. It stated that no disagreement had taken place with the board, and in addition to this, said no matters in relation to his resignation should be brought to the attention of shareholders. The brief statement read: “There was no disagreement with the board and there wasn’t any matters in relation to his resignation that should be brought to the attention of the shareholders.”

In April, CEO, Yang Jie said the operator was now facing increased competition in an increasingly competitive environment – but financial results showed steady enhancement in operation revenue and net profit. However, a cloud of suspicion remains over the sudden departure of Yang Xiaowei.

China’s three leading mobile operators also confirmed that it will end domestic consumer roaming fees by the end of October – which is part of government initiative to cut consumer costs in the country.

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