Press Clippings: May 2007

Major Industry items you might have missed

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Motorola announces 4,000 job cuts.

Source: TeleGeography.

US mobile phone maker Motorola is cutting 4,000 jobs as part of a cost-cutting move designed to return the company to profit. The announcement, which will be implemented before the end of this year, comes on top of the earlier 3,500 lay-offs announced in a bid to generate savings of US$400m. per annum.

Posted by Judith — 5:25 AM

SLT Hong Kong inaugurated.

Source: TeleGeography.

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has announced the launch of commercial services by its first overseas subsidiary, SLT Hong Kong. In a statement, the telco said SLT Hong Kong aims to become a major IP-based telecoms carrier in the Asian region and globally, initially through existing partnerships with Asian carriers PCCW, China Telecom, CNC and NTT Com Asia, among others.

Posted by Judith — 5:22 AM

Ericsson to launch global service delivery centre in Romania

Source: Digital Media Europe.

Communications solutions provider Ericsson is to open a global service delivery centre (GSDC) in Bucharest, Romania, in July 2007.
The centre will initially employ about 200 people and will serve regional and global customers.
The new GSDC will operate in conjunction with existing global and local delivery centres. Ericsson provides fixed and mobile networks as well as telecom services to more than 40 customers in 11 countries in Southeastern Europe.

Posted by Judith — 3:50 AM

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Windstream expands in North Carolina.

Source: TeleGeography.

The US wireline carrier Windstream Corp has agreed to pay US$585m. to acquire CT Communications of North Carolina. Windstream was established last year when the fixed line business of Alltel was spun off and merged with Valor Communications. It currently operates in 16 states and targets predominantly rural areas.

Posted by Judith — 5:14 AM

Cisco completes acquisition of WebEx.

Source: Converge.

Cisco Systems has completed its acquisition of WebEx Communications, a leading provider of on-demand collaboration applications and services. Cisco said the deal extends its vision for Unified Communications, particularly within the small to medium business segment.

Posted by Judith — 5:03 AM

UK spectrum auction delayed.


UK communications regulator Ofcom has delayed the upcoming auction of additional spectrum in the 3G expansion band after intense lobbying from mobile operators.
Speculation is rife that the that the so called UMTS Extension band might be opened up to other technologies, following the publication of a consultation paper on a possible major spectrum auction in December. It is known that Ofcom and the UK Government are in favour of technology neutrality.

Posted by Judith — 4:10 AM

Vodafone to sell Bharti stake.

Source: TeleGeography.

It is reported that Vodafone Group will transfer its 5.6% stake in Bharti Airtel back to a Bharti Group company for US$1.6bn. by November 2008. Vodafone is reported to be investing US$1bn. in India in 2007, nearly 20% of its global expenditure.

Posted by Judith — 4:07 AM

Deutsche Telekom moves ahead despite strike.


Despite walkouts by thousands of workers over the past couple of weeks, German carrier Deutsche Telekom is to go ahead with its plan to transfer staff members to three legally independent service companies.
The changes will take place by July 1 at the latest.

Posted by Judith — 4:04 AM

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Deutsche Telekom backing Web-calling rival Jajah.

Source: Reuters.

Deutsche Telekom has announced that the company is backing Web telephone-calling start-up Jajah, embracing a technology that undercuts rates for the German telecommunication giant’s established long-distance and mobile phone businesses.
The deal marks the first time a major phone company has thrown its support behind the new generation of Internet calling services.

Posted by Judith — 3:55 AM

Google deal said to bring U.S. scrutiny.

Source: NYT.

The Federal Trade Commission has opened a preliminary antitrust investigation into Google’s planned US$3.1bn. purchase of the online advertising company DoubleClick.
The inquiry began at the end of last week, after it was decided that the Federal Trade Commission instead of the Justice Department would conduct the review

Posted by Judith — 3:19 AM

Japan’s FamilyMart convenience stores accept DoCoMo mobile credit.

Source: Converge.

FamilyMart, which operates approximately 7,000 convenience stores across Japan, and NTT DoCoMo have formed a strategic alliance through a capital tie-up.
FamilyMart convenience stores nationwide will soon begin accepting mobile credit via DoCoMo’s iD platform, thereby enabling users to make payments simply by waving their phones over a reader/writer.

Posted by Judith — 3:00 AM

Orcon (NZ) heads for mobile resale.

Source: TeleGeography.

New Zealand ISP Orcon has signed a wholesale deal with the country’s largest cellular operator which will allow it to launch as a MVNO. Orcon says its network sharing deal with GSM provider Vodafone New Zealand will enable it to launch mobile services under its own name in October this year.

Posted by Judith — 2:58 AM

Monday, May 28, 2007

Altimo looks east and west for quarry.

Source: NYT.

Though far from a household name in telecommunications, Altimo likes to compare its aspirations to Vodafone which owns pieces of phone companies from the East Coast to England to India.
Altimo, essentially a telecommunications investment firm, already owns stakes in several phone companies in and around its home base, Moscow. Now it wants to expand both east and west, by buying phone assets in Asia and Western Europe.

Posted by Judith — 4:31 AM

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Philadelphia wireless Internet project advances.

Source: Reuters.

Philadelphia has finished testing its wireless Internet project, setting the stage for America’s biggest citywide Wi-Fi network that will also offer access to low-income households.

Posted by Judith — 3:59 AM

Nissan warns U.S. cellphones can disable car keys.

Source: Reuters.

Nissan North America has a warning for customers: placing your electronic key too close to your cellphone could leave you stranded.
Cellphones kept near Nissan’s I-Keys can erase the electronic code on the keys, rendering them unable to unlock or start the cars.

Posted by Judith — 3:22 AM

Friday, May 25, 2007

Ericsson and Telstra claim world first.

Source: TeleGeography.

Ericsson and Telstra are claiming a world first by boosting the speed of live fibre-optic links between two cities from 10Gbps to 40Gbps. The trial showed that the existing 1200km optical fibre connections between Sydney and Melbourne can operate at 40Gbps without major changes.

Posted by Judith — 6:01 AM

Boingo to roam onto FON, more than doubling its hot spot network.

Source: Converge.

Boingo Wireless signed a roaming agreement with FON, a Madrid-based start-up building a global community of Wi-Fi access point owners (or “foneros”) willing to share their broadband connections. The roaming deal will provide Boingo users with access to an additional 130,000 hot spot locations - more than doubling the company’s network size.

Posted by Judith — 3:52 AM

PacNet Hong Kong awarded fixed line licence.

Source: TeleGeography.

Pacific Internet Hong Kong, a wholly owned subsidiary of pan-Asian internet communications service provider Pacific Internet (PacNet), has acquired a Services-Based Operator (SBO) licence to operate IP fixed line telephony from Hong Kong’s telecoms regulator, OFTA.

Posted by Judith — 3:25 AM

New Argentinian VoIP association is born.

Source: TeleGeography.

A group of Argentine telecoms companies have launched an IP telephony and converged communications association, Catip, to promote the adoption of the technology. Catip includes local firms Aldea Global, BroadBandTech, Comsat, Cotel, Cooperativa de Mar de Ajó, Cotelcam, CrossFone, Datco, Ertach, Gigared, IFX Networks, Impsat, Infracom, Ip Tel, Iplan, Servicio Satelital, Sky Online, SES Sistemas Electronicos, Telephone 2, TelViso and Wiltel.

Posted by Judith — 3:04 AM

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Nokia, Qualcomm patent dispute hots up.

Source: BWCS.

The legal dispute between the world’s largest mobile handset manufacturer, Nokia, and chip-maker Qualcomm intensified last night as the Finnish giant filed its first patent counter-suit against the US manufacturer. The Helsinki-based company says it is seeking damages and an injunction against the US company for using certain chipsets. Nokia said it also responded to the lawsuit filed by Qualcomm in Wisconsin in the US at the beginning of last month.

Posted by Judith — 5:18 AM

Cerberus enters battle for BCE.

Source: TeleGeography.

Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) has confirmed that it has entered talks with a third consortium, led by US private equity group Cerberus, which aims to launch a takeover bid for the company, the parent of Bell Canada and Bell Aliant. BCE has already entered negotiations with a team formed by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and US buyout specialist Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), and a rival consortium including the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and US equity firm Providence Equity Partners.

Posted by Judith — 4:54 AM

PSP to become a phone.


Electronics giant Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has announced that it has struck a deal with UK carrier BT, to turn the PlayStation Portable (PSP) gaming device into phone.
The two companies have signed a four year contract to develop a raft of extra features for the handheld gadget, adding wireless broadband communications functions, including video calls, voice calls and messaging.

Posted by Judith — 4:06 AM

Prepay iPhone on the cards.


It looks like any US consumer will be able to get their hands on the Apple iPhone when it launches next month, not just those on AT&T contracts.
Leaked screen shots that purport to be of AT&T’s internal accounts system have appeared on the internet, apparently showing the price plans on which the US carrier will offer the device.
The screen grabs show three subscription options, hybrid, postpaid and prepaid.

Posted by Judith — 3:49 AM

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Qwest goes mobile.

Source: TeleGeography.

US wireline operator Qwest has launched a new mobile broadband service in partnership with Sprint Nextel.
Qwest operates in a local service area that consists of 14 states: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Posted by Judith — 6:20 AM

Sprint plans US$7bn. spend.

Source: TeleGeography.

Sprint Nextel says it expects to invest more than US$7bn. in 2007 as it continues to enhance its cellular networks while also rolling out a new nationwide mobile WiMAX system. The firm says the bulk of its national CDMA2000 cellular infrastructure will be upgraded with EV-DO Revision A technology by the end of the year.

Posted by Judith — 6:18 AM

EU caps roaming mobile phone fees.

Source: BBC.

The cost of making mobile phone calls in Europe is set to fall substantially after lawmakers backed plans to cap “roaming” charges.
The amount mobile customers are charged by local phone operators for using their handsets while abroad should now fall by as much as 75%.

Posted by Judith — 6:02 AM

Nortel avoids financial penalty.

Source: The Globe and Mail.

It was home to one of Canada’s biggest accounting scandals in recent years, but Nortel Networks Corp. will end up paying just CAN$1m. in costs in a settlement approved with the Ontario Securities Commission.
The regulator didn’t impose a financial penalty, though the settlement reached between the company and the OSC’s enforcement staff does require Nortel to fix its lingering accounting problems.

Posted by Judith — 4:11 AM

GSMA sponsors mobile advertising.


Mobile industry body the GSMA has launched its Mobile Advertising Programme, designed to drive the development and adoption of advertising on mobile phones.
The programme is being led by the GSMA’s Mobile Media and Entertainment Group, and will work with players from across the marketing, advertising and mobile industry sectors to promote a consistent approach to the delivery and measurement of mobile advertising.
The founding members of the GSMA’s Media & Entertainment Group include AT&T, 3, KTF, Orange, T-Mobile, Smart Communications and Telefonica O2 Europe.

Posted by Judith — 3:49 AM

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chunghwa and Microsoft form alliance.

Source: TeleGeography.

Taiwan’s largest telco Chunghwa has formed a strategic alliance with Microsoft Corp which will see the pair expand their services for business users. As part of the agreement Chunghwa will be providing more value added services such as IPTV, VoIP and other multimedia services. The firms are also keen to use Taiwan as a springboard to expand their presence in mainland China.

Posted by Judith — 6:13 AM

Phone company deal irks would-be bidders.

Source: NYT.

The Alltel Corporation’s agreement to go private in a US$27.5bn. deal, the largest leveraged buyout ever in the telecommunications industry, is not sitting well with some other private equity firms that were lined up to bid for the company.
The agreement for Alltel to be acquired by a consortium including the Texas Pacific Group and a unit of Goldman Sachs effectively short-circuits the auction process, in which other groups had hoped to participate. Among them were the Blackstone Group, with Providence Equity Partners, and the Carlyle Group, with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company.

Posted by Judith — 3:38 AM

Success for Everest mobile effort.

Source: BBC.

A British climber has set a world record by making a mobile phone call from the top of Mount Everest.
In the early hours of 21 May, Rod Baber made two calls from the mountain’s north ridge.
The calls were made possible when China set up a mobile base station with a line of sight to the north ridge.

Posted by Judith — 3:23 AM

MTS begins 3G rollout.

Source: TeleGeography.

Russia’s largest cellular operator, MTS, has awarded the country’s first 3G equipment contract to Nokia Siemens Networks.
MTS was awarded one of three available 3G concessions last month; the others went to Russia’s second and third-placed operators by subscribers, Vimpelcom and MegaFon.

Posted by Judith — 3:09 AM

Huawei and Symantec to form JV targeting security, storage.

Source: Converge.

Symantec and Huawei Technologies are forming a joint venture company to develop and distribute security and storage appliances to global telecommunications carriers and enterprises. The new company will be headquartered in Chengdu, China, with Huawei owning 51% of the joint venture and Symantec owning 49%.

Posted by Judith — 2:59 AM

Monday, May 21, 2007

Scientists Reject WiFi Investigation Findings

Source: The Guardian

An investigation into the possible dangers of Wi-Fi technology - wireless computer networks - by the BBC documentary programme Panorama has been rejected as “grossly unscientific” and a “scare story” by leading scientists.

Posted by Trevor Hayes — 8:36 AM

WiFi Health Risk Scare

Source: BBC News

A BBC current affairs programme, Panorama, claims that radio frequency radiation levels in some schools are up to three times the level found in the main beam of intensity from mobile phone masts.

Posted by Trevor Hayes — 5:29 AM

Alltel to be acquired by TPG Capital and GS for US$27bn.

Source: Converge.

Alltel, which is the fifth largest wireless carrier in the US serving 12m. customers, agreed to be acquired by TPG Capital and GS Capital Partners (Goldman Sachs), in a transaction valued at approximately US$27.5bn.
The deal represents the largest privatization of a publicly-traded telecommunications firm to date.

Posted by Judith — 5:23 AM

Nortel, Toshiba to jointly develop WiMAX base stations.

Source: Converge.

Nortel and Toshiba announced an agreement for the joint development of mobile WiMAX base stations for Japanese and global markets. The base stations will be based on Nortel’s next-generation broadband wireless technology and Toshiba’s high-efficiency amplifier and miniaturization technology.

Posted by Judith — 5:21 AM

AT&T steps up Cingular rebranding ahead of iPhone.

Source: Reuters.

U.S. phone company AT&T Inc. has said it will step up its rebranding campaign at Cingular wireless stores, seeking to raise AT&T’s profile ahead of the launch of Apple Inc.’s iPhone.
The company will replace the Cingular name with AT&T in the interiors of its 1,800 shops on Monday, ahead of the iPhone launch in late June.

Posted by Judith — 3:20 AM

Ads-to-cell phone screens set for rapid growth.

Source: Reuters.

The more than US$500m. mobile advertising market looks set to multiply in just a few years, helped by new technologies and the spread of more advanced phones.
Executives attending Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit said the demand for mobile advertising was finally rising after years of high hopes in the industry.

Posted by Judith — 3:07 AM

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Microsoft buys ad. firm for US$6bn.

Source: BBC.

Microsoft is paying $6bn. (GBP3bn.) to buy digital marketing firm Aquantive in its biggest ever acquisition.
The all-cash takeover will allow Microsoft to expand into the highly lucrative internet advertising market, that Google and Yahoo have targeted.

Posted by Judith — 5:03 AM

Deutsche Telekom to rebrand.

Source: TeleGeography.

DT is to begin a new branding campaign tomorrow under the ‘One company. One Service’ banner, in a bid to boost its competitive position in its domestic markets. The existing T-Com brand used for DT’s fixed line business will be absorbed into the T-Home brand, and there will be a visual difference between T-Home, T-Mobile, T-Systems which is the brand for business customers, to differentiate clearly between them. Deutsche Telekom will remain the overall corporate identity.

Posted by Judith — 4:37 AM

Friday, May 18, 2007

C&W wins Virgin Media deal.

Source: TeleGeography.

Cable & Wireless has announced that it has won a four-year deal to supply wholesale broadband access to cable group Virgin Media.
The Virgin Media cable network currently covers around 50% of the country. C&W said the deal would give access to around four million additional homes, allowing Virgin to offer triple-play services to parts of the country not currently served by its cable network.

Posted by Judith — 4:00 AM

Apple says FCC approves iPhone for sale.

Source: Reuters.

Regulators have approved Apple Inc.’s iPhone for sale in the United States paving the way for the much anticipated device to be sold by the wireless unit of AT&T.

Posted by Judith — 3:59 AM

O2 delays own brand broadband.


O2 UK has let the date slip on the launch of its own-branded fixed line broadband service, following reported teething problems.
At parent Telefonica’s financial results announcement on Wednesday, it emerged that the operator has pushed back the launch of its O2 branded broadband offering back a few months to late summer.

Posted by Judith — 3:51 AM

Virgin Mobile plans JV with Tata Teleservices.

Source: TeleGeography.

Virgin Mobile is reportedlyset to form a 50/50 joint venture with India’s second-largest wireless operator, Tata Teleservices. According to the report, Virgin would licence its Virgin Mobile brand and technology expertise Tata Teleservices.
Tata Teleservices and its subsidiary Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) provide services in 20 of India’s 23 telecoms zones, and had 11.4m. mobile subscribers at the end of March.

Posted by Judith — 3:04 AM

Tiscali declares interest in Pipex broadband.

Source: Independent.

Tiscali has emerged as a potential bidder for the broadband rival Pipex after the Italian company revealed that it is in early-stage talks with its UK competitor.
Pipex has attracted interest from larger companies since Peter Dubens, the entrepreneur who has built up Pipex through a series of acquisitions, launched a review in January.

Posted by Judith — 3:00 AM

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Alcatel-Lucent signs US$460m. with China Mobile and China Unicom.

Source: Converge.

China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator, has awarded a master contract valued at US$340m. to Alcatel-Lucent for mobile communications solutions and services.
Separately, China Unicom awarded a contract valued at US$120m. to Alcatel-Lucent for a range of network projects in 2007.

Posted by Judith — 4:59 AM

OFT to investigate Macquarie’s Airwave deal.

Source: Independent.

The OFT has opened an investigation into whether Macquarie Bank’s GBP1.9bn acquisition of Airwave, the UK’s emergency services communications network, would damage competition in the telecoms sector.
As well as purchasing Airwave, the bank recently funded the GBP2.5bn merger of Arqiva and National Grid Wireless, the UK’s two broadcast and mobile phone masts businesses.
Macquarie plans to integrate the two transmissions businesses with Arqiva’s masts, giving the bank a monopoly in transmission masts used by broadcasters and radio stations, and a significant position in masts used to connect mobile telecoms calls.

Posted by Judith — 4:40 AM

Vista sells 40m. units in Microsoft’s fastest launch.

Source: Independent.

Microsoft has sold 40m. copies of its new operating system, Windows Vista, which was released to consumers in January, making it the company’s fastest product launch ever and confounding sceptics.

Posted by Judith — 3:44 AM

AOL to expand in 14 global markets.

Source: Reuters.

AOL plans an aggressive global expansion this year and will introduce a new version of its popular e-mail service this summer to include its AIM instant messaging platform.
AOL, which sold off its European dial-up Internet businesses in 2006 in an overhaul aimed at boosting online ad sales, plans to target new markets with its free portal.

Posted by Judith — 3:37 AM

Swisscom success with FastWeb offer.

Source: TeleGeography.

Swisscom has announced that it has acquired 80.7% of the shares of Italian broadband operator FastWeb for EUR3.1bn. (US$4.2bn.)
Together with its previously acquired stake, Swisscom now owns 82.4% of FastWeb shares. FastWeb is one of Italy’s largest alternative broadband internet operators.

Posted by Judith — 2:13 AM

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Verizon Wireless to offer ESPN mobile application.

Source: Reuters.

Verizon Wireless has announced that it has an exclusive deal with sports network ESPN to bring everything from video highlights to score updates to cell phones.
The wireless venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc has a multiyear exclusive agreement to offer the service. It is the first company to sell the service since the Walt Disney Co said it was shuttering its ESPN-branded mobile phone service in September.

Posted by Judith — 4:10 AM

China Mobile acquires outstanding Paktel shares.

Source: TeleGeography.

China Mobile Ltd, the Peoples Republic’s largest wireless operator by subscribers, has announced that its parent, state-owned China Mobile Communications Corp, had upped its stake in Pakistani cellco Paktel to 100%. Paktel will be renamed CMPak. In February 2007 Millicom International Cellular (MIC) sold its 88.86% stake in Paktel to China Mobile Communications Corp for US$284m. in cash.

Posted by Judith — 4:07 AM

Orange segments usage statistics.


Orange is set to launch its consumer digital media usage index, an ongoing report showing exactly how UK customers use Orange services and media.
The initial index is primarily focused on mobile services including messaging, games, music, TV and the mobile internet but going forward it will include the whole range of Orange’s entertainment and communications services, including broadband.

Posted by Judith — 4:06 AM

EU reaches preliminary decision on roaming charges.

Source: TeleGeography.

Representatives from current EU presidency country, Germany, the European Commission and lawmakers from the European Parliament have agreed a preliminary deal on mobile roaming price caps. The sunset clause will see the agreement come to an end after three years. A compromise was reached which will see roaming fees cut to a maximum EUR.49 a minute for outgoing and EUR.24 a minute for incoming calls.

Posted by Judith — 3:57 AM

Oracle buys Agile Software.

Source: NYT.

The business software maker Oracle has made yet another acquisition with a US$495m. deal to buy Agile Software.
After the deal, an all-cash purchase, Oracle will have spent more than US$25bn. since 2004 snapping up smaller software makers in a challenge to SAP of Germany, the leading provider of business applications used to automate a wide range of administrative tasks.

Posted by Judith — 3:54 AM

Telefonica sells stake in Endemol.

Source: Scotsman.

Telefonica, the Spanish telecoms group that owns mobile firm O2, has sold its 75% stake in Big Brother maker Endemol for GBP1.8bn. to a group which includes Endemol founder John de Mol and Italian firm Mediaset.

Posted by Judith — 3:47 AM

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Goldman Sachs to raise eMobile stake to 35.7%.

Source: TeleGeography.

Investment group Goldman Sachs is reported to be ready to pay JPY12bn. (US$100m.) to raise its stake in eMobile, the wireless arm of Japan’s eAccess group, from 29.8% to 35.7%. The move, which will see eAccess’ holding drop from 43.5% to 37.6%, will enable the parent company to strengthen its balance sheet and increase its dividend, while Goldman Sachs will yield a bigger return when the unit is floated - expected in 2011-12.

Posted by Judith — 5:10 AM

Rogers’ family comes together.

Source: TeleGeography.

Rogers Communications is implementing the initial financial steps to amalgamate its operating subsidiaries. The group intends to complete a reintegration of holding company Rogers Communications Inc with triple-play unit Rogers Cable (including its wireline PSTN operations) and GSM operator Rogers Wireless on or around 1 July 2007.

Posted by Judith — 5:08 AM

German DVB-H cartel under the microscope.

Source: TeleGeography.

The consortium of cellcos including Vodafone Germany, T-Mobile Deutschland and O2 Germany that intends to launch a mobile TV service based on DVB-H technology has attracted the attention of the federal cartel office. The office is to investigate the trio, and will take three months to look into possible competition breaches of the new service.

Posted by Judith — 5:05 AM

Telenor acquires VimpelCom stock.

Source: Digital Media Europe.

Norwegian telco Telenor has agreed to acquire 29% of the voting stock and 33.6% of common stock in Russian mobile operator VimpelCom.

Posted by Judith — 4:01 AM

Irish regulator handed tougher powers as Amendment Act kicks in.

Source: TeleGeography.

The Irish telecoms regulator, ComReg, has finally been given new powers to regulate the market under the Communications Regulation (Amendment) Act 2007. The new Bill gives ComReg authority to fine operators up to 10% of their turnover in a move to foster much needed competition in the market through tougher regulation.

Posted by Judith — 3:05 AM

Monday, May 14, 2007

Microsoft unveils hardware for Web phone push.

Source: Reuters.

Microsoft Corp. has introduced phones, headsets and other devices to work with its software that aim to replace the traditional office phone with e-mails, instant messages and phone calls over the Internet.
Microsoft said it worked with nine technology manufacturers including Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and NEC Corp. to develop hardware to work with its unified communications strategy.

Posted by Judith — 4:29 AM

Vodafone wins battle for Deutsche’s

Source: TeleGeography.

British mobile telecoms firm Vodafone has reportedly won a bid battle with France Telecom’s Orange to buy Deutsche Telekom’s Spanish internet provider for between EUR400-EUR500m. (US$541-USD676m.)
With about 400,000 subscribers, is Spain’s fourth-largest broadband provider behind Telefonica, Orange and ONO.

Posted by Judith — 4:11 AM

China launches Nigerian satellite.

Source: BBC.

China has successfully launched a communications satellite for Nigeria.
The Nigerian Communication Satellite NIGCOMSAT-1 is expected to offer broadcasting, telecommunications and broadband internet services for Africa.

Posted by Judith — 4:03 AM

Mobile web use climbing.

Source: BWCS.

US telecoms consumer research group Telephia and online behaviour investigators comScore have claimed that as many as 19% mobile users in the UK regularly access the internet via a mobile device.
The figures put the UK slightly ahead of the US where 17%. mobile users had accessed the Web via a mobile connection.

Posted by Judith — 3:55 AM

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Nokia unveils record phone order worth US$2.5bn.

Source: The Globe and Mail.

Nokia, the world’s biggest mobile phone maker, unveiled the largest phone order in its history on Friday to supply handsets in China in a deal worth US$2.5bn.
The order from China Postel, China’s largest mobile phone wholesaler, to supply phones this year represents a milestone for Nokia in its No. 1 market.

Posted by Judith — 4:33 AM

Potential BCE bidder drops out.

Source: TeleGeography.

One of the four members of a consortium considering a bid for Canada’s largest telecoms group BCE has dropped out. The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSPIB) told consortium partners Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec and US buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts that it could no longer participate in the process.

Posted by Judith — 4:30 AM

EU lawmakers set date for roaming cuts vote.


EU member states and the European Parliament will make a last ditch attempt to cut roaming charges for mobile phones before the summer holiday season starts.
After a key vote in the European Parliament was delayed earlier this month, lawmakers are now set to hammer out the last details on May 15 and vote on proposals to reduce roaming charges in Europe on May 21 and 24.

Posted by Judith — 4:26 AM

Friday, May 11, 2007

Eyeing Web phone on a chip, Intel invests in Jajah.

Source: Reuters.

Web-based phone-calling company Jajah Inc. has won Intel Corp.’s backing for its bid to blur the distinction between phones and computers, the two companieshave announced.
Jajah, which has more than 2m. users of its free or low-cost global calling service, said Intel Corp. has agreed to marketing, patent and distribution deals with it and Intel’s venture capital arm is leading a US$20m. financing round.

Posted by Judith — 4:25 AM

Joost reveals five new investors.

Source: BBC.

Joost, the on-demand video service from the founders of Skype, has raised US$45m. (GBP22.8m.) from five investors including the broadcasters CBS and Viacom.
The other investors are Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Li Ka-shing, the chairman of Hutchison Whampoa.

Posted by Judith — 4:18 AM

Agcom (Italy)details WiMAX tender.

Source: TeleGeography.

Italy’s communications authority Agcom has set forth the terms by which new 15-year licences for WiMAX frequencies will be awarded. The regulator will issue three 2x21MHz concessions for each geographical area, of which one which will be reserved for a market newcomer that does not already hold frequencies for wireless or mobile data services.

Posted by Judith — 4:13 AM

Deutsche Telekom workers to strike.


German carrier Deutsche Telekom faces a walk out after workers voted in favour of a strike.
The carrier has drawn fire over plans to outsource 50,000 staff to three new companies, with new contracts expected to include lower wages and longer working hours.

Posted by Judith — 4:03 AM

Thursday, May 10, 2007

BT on the way to WiMAX.


Incumbent telco BT issued an RFI (Request for Information) to potential WiMAX suppliers on Tuesday, threatening to shake up the UK telecoms industry dramatically.
The British regulator Ofcom is planning to re-open the UMTS Extension 2.5-2.69GHz band some time around the end of 2007 and BT is almost a dead cert to bid for some of the 215MHz of spectrum on offer.

Posted by Judith — 4:15 AM

Mobile TV predicted to be a hit.

Source: BBC.

TV could overtake gaming and music as the consumer’s favoured application for mobile phones, according to research.
Services in Japan, South Korea and Italy are attracting millions, confounding critics who said people would not watch TV on a small device.
For the UK, a shortage of spectrum needed for mobile TV means adoption of services might have to wait until 2012.

Posted by Judith — 4:12 AM

Portugal plans to launch telecoms regulator during its EU presidency.

Source: Independent.

Portugal yesterday put itself on a collision course with national regulators by announcing it will use its forthcoming European Union presidency to launch a single super-regulator to police the telecoms industry across all 27 member states.

Posted by Judith — 4:03 AM

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Vodafone seals Indian deal.

Source: BWCS.

As expected UK-based global mobile operator Vodafone has today announced the finalisation of its buy-out of a controlling stake in the fourth largest Indian mobile company, Hutchisson-Essar. In the end, the British company paid US$10.9bn., some US$900m. less than originally forecast.
The reasons for the lower price are said to include provisions for the previously announced settlement agreement with the Essar Group, the receipt of interest from Vodafone and various transaction cost and expenses.

Posted by Judith — 4:28 AM

Amazon and I.B.M. resolve patent dispute.

Source: NYT.

The online retailer and IBM have announced that they have settled all their patent-infringement lawsuits and signed a long-term patent cross-license agreement.
Under the deal, will pay IBM an undisclosed amount of money, and each company will share some of its technology.

Posted by Judith — 4:17 AM

Customers slow to tune into AT&T’s and Verizon’s TV over fibre.

Source: InformationWeek.

AT&T is getting some bad news on its U-verse TV system: Not only is it costing US$1.4bn. more than anticipated to install, but the company’s decision to use copper for the final leg into customers’ homes is being called into question.
Both AT&T and Verizon Communications have been utilizing fibrer optic cabling to bring TV to customers’ home and to compete with cable companies, which have been taking away telephone service from the former Baby Bell companies.

Posted by Judith — 4:08 AM

Tele2 to sell Danish operation to Telenor.

Source: Telegeography.

Swedish telco Tele2 has said it intends to sell its Danish subsidiary to Norwegian group Telenor for SKK1.03bn.(US$152m.) as part of its efforts to concentrate on markets with higher returns.

Posted by Judith — 4:02 AM

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Linux evolves for mobile phones.

Source: BBC.

A version of the increasingly popular Linux operating system Ubuntu will be developed for use on net-enabled phones and devices.
The Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded project aims to create the open source platform for initial release in October 2007.

Posted by Judith — 7:05 AM

DoCoMo abandons Indian i-mode scheme.

Source: TeleGeography.

Japanese mobile giant NTT DoCoMo yesterday announced it was turning its back on a proposed launch of i-mode in India. The Japanese cellco said it would not proceed with plans to license the proprietary service to Indian mobile operator Hutchison Essar, due to ‘changes in the business environment’.

Posted by Judith — 6:46 AM

Sympac expands footprint into Switzerland.

Source: Digital Media Europe.

European telecoms service provider Sympac has concluded an agreement with Swiss operator Sunrise. Under the agreement, Sympac will be able to deliver its services to multinational companies with offices in Switzerland.

Posted by Judith — 5:47 AM

Monday, May 7, 2007

Comcast to integrate e-mail and voicemail online.

Source: Reuters.

Comcast Corp., the leading U.S. cable operator, has announced that it will integrate its e-mail and voice messaging services in a new Web-based communications center called SmartZone.
Comcast believes services like SmartZone will strengthen its relationship with subscribers who may be tempted by offers from satellite television operators, or from telephone companies that are also selling video and Internet services.

Posted by Judith — 4:30 AM

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Microsoft and Yahoo in talks over deal.


Google’s runaway success in the search-engine business threatened to spark an upheaval in the online media world, as it emerged that Microsoft has made a tentative takeover approach to internet giant Yahoo.
Analysts report that the talks have been prompted by an acceleration in the shift of audience and advertisers online, and Microsoft’s failure to build effective search engine and online advertising arms of its own.

Posted by Judith — 5:20 AM

European roaming cuts facing delays.


It is looking increasingly unlikely that Europeans will be able to benefit from reduced roaming charges over the summer holiday period, after a key vote in the European Parliament was delayed.
Ironing out the finer details has proved problematic and the vote has been postponed from May 10 until the week beginning May 21, meaning new rules may not come into force until July.

Posted by Judith — 5:10 AM

Friday, May 4, 2007

Court denies Vonage bid for patent case retrial.

Source: Reuters.

A U.S. appeals court has denied a request by Internet phone company Vonage Holdings Corp. that it order a retrial in the patent infringement case brought against it by Verizon Communications Inc.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has turned down a motion by Vonage to have an infringement verdict by a lower court vacated because of a landmark patent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Posted by Judith — 6:17 AM

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Clearwire receives WiMAX card approval from FCC.

Source: TeleGeography.

Clearwire Corporation has received final approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the first WiMAX laptop card. The card will connect to the Clearwire network and is on target to be available during the second half of 2007.

Posted by Judith — 4:54 AM

Apple on target for slice of the mobile pie.


Apple is set to make its much anticipated entry into the mobile phone market in June, with the launch of the iPhone in the US, followed by a move into Europe at the start of next year.

Posted by Judith — 4:31 AM

Virgin tops UK user satisfaction poll.

Source: BWCS.

UK MVNO Virgin Mobile has been ranked highest for customer satisfaction in a recent poll. The survey, carried out by JD Power and Associates, put the company founded by entrepreneur Richard Branson ahead of its mobile competitors for overall satisfaction with both its pre-pay and contract services.

Posted by Judith — 4:09 AM

T-Mobile USA reported to be launching VoIP via Wi-Fi.

Source: TeleGeography.

T-Mobile USA is planning a nationwide launch of mobile handsets that can roam on Wi-Fi hotspots.The service, known as Hotspot at Home, has been in trial in Seattle for a few months and the cellco will reportedly be ready for a full commercial launch in mid-June.

Posted by Judith — 4:02 AM

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Virgin Mobile USA files for IPO.

Source: TeleGeography.

Virgin Mobile USA, a 50:50 joint venture between Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Sprint Nextel, plans to raise US$100m. in an IPO according to a filing submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The MVNO says it intends to use all the net proceeds from the IPO and some borrowings under new credit facilities to repay existing debt and pay an undisclosed amount to Sprint Nextel.

Posted by Judith — 5:13 AM

UK National WiMAX coverage plans.

Source: TeleGeography.

Macropolitan, the UK’s largest owner of urban site rights, has teamed up with Alcatel-Lucent to move a step closer to achieving national WiMAX coverage. Antennas on the roofs of hotels, offices and even gyms could hold the key to creating a nationwide WiMAX network for the UK. The company has signed a deal with Alcatel-Lucent to provide access to its 8,900 antenna sites across the UK.

Posted by Judith — 5:11 AM

Sweden begins TeliaSonera sell-off with 8% offer.

Source: TeleGeography.

Sweden’s government launched a sale this morning of an 8% stake in the country’s largest telecoms operator TeliaSonera via an accelerated book-building share offer. The telco, which has group operations across the Nordic region and the world, is currently 45.3% state-owned.

Posted by Judith — 5:10 AM

Next target of cellphone industry: navigation.

Source: Reuters.

After hitting alarm clock makers and camera manufacturers, the cellphone industry has a new target — personal navigation device makers. Handset makers see navigation as one of the next major value-adding offerings.

Posted by Judith — 4:55 AM

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Canadian regulator relaxes rural price caps.

Source: TeleGeography.

Canada’s telecoms regulator the CRTC has relaxed some of the existing tariff controls for the country’s largest incumbent local telephony operators, BCE and Telus Communications. From 1 June, the CRTC has allowed the former regional monopolies to increase the price of local telephony services in rural areas by 5% or the inflation rate, whichever is lowest, but has left the price cap intact for cities.
Cable operators and other new entrants to regional local telephony markets are not subject to price regulation.

Posted by Judith — 5:53 AM

Yahoo! pays $680m. for web advertising firm to counter Google threat.

Source: Independent.

Yahoo! has rushed to counter the growing threat from Google in the market for online advertising, agreeing to pay $680m. to take control of Real Media, a company that runs an “exchange” where advertisers can buy space on thousands of niche websites.
The deal comes less than a month after Google paid $3.1bn. to buy DoubleClick, the web’s largest advertising network.

Posted by Judith — 5:32 AM

NZ Government gives green light to industry-led termination rates plan.

Source: TeleGeography.

The government has rejected a Commerce Commission recommendation dating back to April 2006 to regulate mobile phone charges and has instead accepted proposals from the operators to gradually lower prices. Telecom NZ and Vodafone will be legally obliged to cut fixed to mobile call costs over the next five years.
New Zealand is said to have among the highest termination rates in the world.

Posted by Judith — 5:27 AM

Motorola invests in Vocera for wearable VoIP badges.

Source: Converge.

Motorola has made an equity investment in Vocera Communications, which develops hands-free, wearable badges and related systems that allow mobile workers to communicate over facility’s wireless network.
By merging Wi-Fi, VoIP, and speech recognition technologies, Vocera has become a voice communication solution in hospitals, hotels, libraries and retail establishments.

Posted by Judith — 4:21 AM

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