Press Clippings: March 2008

Major Industry items you might have missed

Monday, March 31, 2008

Sony films headed to mobile phones.

Source: Reuters.

Sony Pictures Television is looking to launch the first movie network on mobile phones in the United States.
The studio has signed a deal with AT&T and MediaFLO USA to launch the linear channel as one of two exclusive channels coming to the newly announced AT&T Mobile TV with FLO service in May.

Posted by Judith — 4:06 AM

Leap pushing AWS spectrum to market.

Source: RCR.

Leap Wireless International Inc. is kicking off the second quarter with the launch of its first markets using the advance wireless services spectrum it won during Auction 66 in 2006.

Posted by Judith — 4:06 AM

Alltel, Verizon Wireless Top J.D. Power Survey.

Source: TelecomWeb.

Alltel and Verizon Wireless, with T-Mobile USA and U.S. Cellular not far behind, have come out tops in customer satisfaction and call quality, according to the latest semi- annual survey by J.D. Power and Associates.
The rating house attributed the results generally to the superiority of CDMA over GSM, adding network implementation also plays a crucial factor in quality.

Posted by Judith — 3:27 AM

BT and KPMG announce GBP62m. outsourcing agreement.

Source: BTplc.

BThas announced a GBP62m., five-year outsourcing agreement with KPMG practices in the UK and Germany..
BT will assume delivery responsibility for services that include WAN, LAN refresh and management, deployment of Cisco IP Telephony, integration with an existing Microsoft OCS platform, provision of managed video and audio conferencing, provision of fixed voice and management of existing TDM telephony in the pre-transformed state.

Posted by Judith — 3:18 AM

Strategy of the new kid on the block - Tata Communications.

Source: Telecom Trackers.

Tata Group subsidiary Tata Communications is looking for a managed-services company, possibly one located in the United States. It is also putting a minority interest in its tower operation up for sale, with an asking price rumored to be as high as US$6bn. And, as frosting on the cake, it has expanded its global virtual private network (VPN) service to China.

Posted by Judith — 3:04 AM

Orcon delays MVNO launch again.

Source: TeleGeography.

New Zealand ISP Orcon has postponed its planned launch as a MVNO, saying it has been unable to reach an agreement over number porting with its network partner, Vodafone. Orcon, which is part of the state-owned telecoms group Kordia, had originally planned to launch its mobile resale services last October, but then put the date back to February.

Posted by Judith — 2:53 AM

Saturday, March 29, 2008

E.U. to probe Nokia-Navteq deal.

Source: NYT.

The EC has announced that it has opened an in-depth investigation of plans by Nokia to buy U.S.-based digital map supplier Navteq for US$8.1bn.
The deal, which would be the largest takeover ever by the world’s top cell phone maker, won approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in December.
The in-depth investigation will focus on assessing whether the transaction would increase the costs of navigable digital maps for other companies providing navigation services on mobile handsets or limit their access to these maps, and as a consequence harm consumers.

Posted by Judith — 6:41 AM

Kenya in mobile phone share sale.

Source: BBC.

The Kenyan government has launched a share flotation of Safaricom, the country’s largest mobile phone network.
President Mwai Kibaki’s administration is selling off a 15% stake in the company, a move which is expected to raise about US$750m. (GBP376m.).
While the government insists it currently owns 60% of Safaricom with the other 40% in the hands of UK giant Vodafone, opposition groups say another firm called Mobitelea also has an interest.

Posted by Judith — 6:38 AM

Ordinary Cubans gain access to cell service.


President Raul Castro’s government has announced that it is allowing cell phones for ordinary Cubans, a luxury previously reserved for those who worked for foreign firms or held key posts with the communist-run state.
It was the first official announcement of the lifting of a major restriction under the 76-year-old Castro, and marked the kind of small freedom many on the island have been hoping he would embrace since succeeding his older brother Fidel as president last month.

Posted by Judith — 5:05 AM

Friday, March 28, 2008

CRTC gives go ahead to BCE buyout - with conditions.

Source: TeleGeography.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is reported to have given the green light to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for its proposed CA$35bn. takeover of BCE. The regulatory watchdog has, however, stipulated that Teachers makes several corporate governance changes to ensure control remains firmly in Canadian hands.

Posted by Judith — 4:58 AM

Comcast agrees not to interfere with file-sharing.


Comcast Corp., an Internet service provider under investigation for hampering online file-sharing by its subscribers, has announced an about-face in its stance and said it will treat all types of Internet traffic equally.

Posted by Judith — 4:12 AM

Telefonica expresses interest in TI acquisition.

Source: Digital Media Europe.

Spanish incumbent Telefonica is interested in acquiring 100% of the stock in Italian telco Telecom Italia.
The acquisition, if attempted, is likely to face fierce opposition from Italian politicians, who want to keep the telco in Italian hands.
Telefonica currently holds a majority 23.59% stake in the company through the consortium Telco, in which it holds a 42% share.

Posted by Judith — 4:11 AM

Orange testing ad-funded content.


Orange UK is dipping its toe into the water of ad-funded content this week with a trial that will allow subscribers to get discounted tunes in exchange for eyeballing adverts.
The trial, which will be operated via the operator’s mobile portal, Orange World, will see 800,000 of Orange’s 15.6m. customers given the option to download a variety of music to their mobile handsets for free, or at a discounted rate.

Posted by Judith — 4:10 AM

AT&T plans MediaFlo mobile TV service for May.

Source: Reuters.

AT&Thas announced that it would launch mobile television services in May from MediaFlo USA, a unit of Qualcomm Inc., in an effort to bolster revenue from services other than phone calls.

Posted by Judith — 4:09 AM

HGC extends its international Ethernet footprint in Asia by agreement with StarHub.

Source: TeleGeography.

Hutchison Global Communications has forged a cooperation agreement with Singaporean telco StarHub to introduce another international Ethernet service for customers looking for high-speed networking technologies into Singapore. The new service allows business of all sizes to enjoy secure and stable connectivity between Hong Kong and Singapore. Providing high quality data, IP and voice/VoIP solutions in Asia, the UK and the US, the link, which further strengthens HGC’s IE services in Singapore, is ready for commercial service starting from today.

Posted by Judith — 3:56 AM

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pressured, Motorola splits in two.

Source: NYT.

After a two-month strategic review of its businesses, Motorola has announced that it will split itself into two separate publicly traded companies, spinning off its unprofitable mobile phone unit to investors.

Posted by Judith — 5:07 AM

Verizon asks FCC to help ease switches from cable.

Source: Washington Post.

Verizon Communications has asked the FCC to take steps that would make it easier for cable subscribers to switch to Verizon’s competing subscription-television service.
Verizon’s petition follows reports that Comcast and Time Warner might invest US$1.5bn. in a high-speed wireless company that would be operated by Sprint Nextel and Clearwire. This would give the cable giants inroads into the cellphone business, putting them in position to better compete with Verizon and AT&T, the industry leaders.

Posted by Judith — 5:00 AM

Regulatory approval granted for acquisition of Covad.

Source: TeleGeography.

The FCC and a number of state public utility commissions have given their seal of approval to the proposed purchase of Covad by an affiliate of Platinum Equity for US$1.02 per share in cash valuing the company at about US$304m.

Posted by Judith — 3:53 AM

UK approval for mobiles on aircraft.

Source: BBC.

The use of mobiles on planes flying in European airspace has been given approval by UK regulator Ofcom.
It has issued plans that will allow airlines to offer mobile services on UK-registered aircraft.
The decision means that mobiles could be used once a plane has reached an altitude of 3,000m or more.

Posted by Judith — 3:12 AM

KPN to buy German MVNO Blau.

Source: TeleGeography.

It is reported that Dutch telco KPN has agreed to acquire German MVNO Blau Mobilfunk. The price is said to be between EUR80m. (US$125.5m.) and EUR100m. The transaction will be subject to approval from the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO). Blau Mobilfunk is a wholesale partner of KPN’s German subsidiary E-Plus, focusing on the discount and ethnic market segments.

Posted by Judith — 2:55 AM

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cable companies discuss funding wireless venture.

Source: Reuters.

The two largest U.S. cable operators, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, are reported to be discussing a plan to fund a new wireless venture to be operated by Sprint Nextel Corp and Clearwire Corp.
Such a partnership would create a nationwide wireless network using the emerging high-speed technology WiMax.

Posted by Judith — 5:43 AM

AT&T & Nippon Telegraph join race for China .


In a forward-looking move, AT&T and Nippon Telegraph & Telephone have announced that they will join a consortium of Asian telecommunications companies in the construction of an underwater cable network linking parts of Asia, including China, directly to the United States.
AT&T will work with Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, China Netcom, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chungwha Telecom, KT Corp. and Verizon Business to build the submarine network named Trans-Pacific Express. The network will link China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.

Posted by Judith — 4:54 AM

Yahoo! snubs Microsoft with Google tie-up.

Source: TimesOnline.

Yahoo! has delivered another snub to Microsoft as it bids to take over the company by announcing that it is joining a Google-led social networking initiative.
Yahoo! has so far turned down Microsoft’s US$45bn. cash and shares offer, saying it undervalues the company, and today it further frustrated the software giant’s ambitions by signing up to Open Social, the Google-led consortium which aims to make it easier for software developers to write applications for networking sites such as MySpace.

Posted by Judith — 4:50 AM

Motorola joins LTE club.

Source: Light Reading.

Motorola has announced that it has officially joined the LTE/SAE Trial Initiative, the key group of operators and vendors working to accelerate the development of the 4G mobile broadband standard Long-Term Evolution.

Posted by Judith — 4:37 AM

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sprint accuses AT&T of violating BellSouth acquisition condition.

Source: TeleGeography.

It is reported that Sprint Nextel has accused rival telco AT&T of violating one of the conditions imposed on it following the purchase of BellSouth in 2006. The case represents the first time that AT&T has been accused of breaking one of the FCC-imposed conditions that it was forced to agree to in order to receive a green light for its takeover of BellSouth.

Posted by Judith — 10:29 AM

Comcast to offer voice services to businesses.

Source: TeleGeograaphy.

The largest cableco in the US, Comcast, has announced that it is launching voice services to businesses. Comcast will now market a triple-play service to businesses similar to the bundled phone, high speed internet and television offering currently aimed at residential users.

Posted by Judith — 6:10 AM

Google backs ‘white space’ wi-fi.

Source: BBC.

Google is pressing the US government to allow the unlicensed frequencies of TV “white space” to be used for wi-fi.
The firm has written an open letter to regulators saying the US spectrum was a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.

Posted by Judith — 5:55 AM

Nortel wins big Indian order.

Source: BWCS.

Canadian wireless equipment vendor Nortel has won a lucrative new contract in India. The latest deal comes from service provider BSNL for GSM network kit and is reported to be worth over US$100m. The company has stated that BSNL has selected Nortel to support its southern GSM network expansion with a very aggressive roll-out schedule.
The Indian operator, which has over 20m. mobile customers, is expanding its network coverage and capacity to keep up with the growing demand for mobile services across India.

Posted by Judith — 5:51 AM

Justice Dept. approves XM merger with Sirius.

Source: NYT.

The Justice Department has given approval to the merger of two rival radio networks, XM and Sirius, a marriage that would create a de facto monopoly in satellite services now used by more than 17m. subscribers.
The proposed US$5bn. merger must still be approved by the FCC. The merger is opposed by consumer groups and broadcasters who say it will force up prices and reduce the programming now available from the two competing systems.

Posted by Judith — 5:05 AM

Monday, March 24, 2008

NTIA pushes technology, spectrum management tools.

Source: RCR.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has released a comprehensive report on federal government frequency usage, setting in motion initiatives to help agencies better exploit the airwaves — federal and private sector alike — through greater reliance on advanced technologies and adherence to various spectrum management tools.

Posted by Judith — 4:59 AM

Scandinavia tops broadband league table.


The Scandinavian region is the world leader in broadband deployment, with Denmark, Finland and Sweden counting broadband penetration rates of over 30% at the end of 2007. Broadband penetration rates in the US stand at 22.1%.

Posted by Judith — 4:55 AM

Alibaba seeks buyers for Yahoo-owned stake.


Alibaba, the Chinese internet company part-owned by Yahoo, is in late-stage talks with investors about buying back the US company’s multibillion-dollar stake, should Yahoo be acquired by Microsoft.

Posted by Judith — 2:53 AM

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hopes for wireless cities fade as Internet Providers pull out.

Source: NYT.

The momentum started by cities such as Philadelphia and Chicago to supply municipal wi-fi grids, has come to a standstill, tripped up by unrealistic ambitions and technological glitches. The conclusion that such ventures would not be profitable has led to sudden withdrawals by service providers like EarthLink, the Internet company that had effectively cornered the market on the efforts by the larger cities.

Posted by Judith — 5:29 AM

Friday, March 21, 2008

Verizon and AT&T dominate airwaves auction.

Source: Reuters.

Verizon and AT&T, the two largest U.S. mobile phone companies, grabbed the lion’s share of a US$19.12bn. auction of airwaves being vacated by television broadcasters.
The companies won more than US$16bn. of licenses, airwaves they plan to use to enhance existing voice and data services, as well as underpin a new wave of wireless technologies.

Posted by Judith — 5:00 AM

Mobile calls on Emirates flights.

Source: BBC.

Dubai-based airline Emirates has become the first commercial airline to allow passengers to make mobile phone calls during flights.
The aircraft, an Airbus A340, is fitted with a system which stops mobiles from interfering with a plane’s electronics.
Emirates plans to extend the system to more aircraft and later this year add BlackBerry and other data services.

Posted by Judith — 4:26 AM

Bain Capital’s 3Com deal falls apart.

Source: Globe and Mail.

Bain Capital Partners has announced that it is ending its agreement with China’s biggest network equipment maker to buy U.S. company 3Com Corp, citing plans by a U.S. security panel to block the deal.

Posted by Judith — 4:02 AM

Thursday, March 20, 2008

FCC bans exclusive triple-play deals in MDUs.

Source: Light Reading.

The FCC has announced that it has “banned carriers from entering into exclusive contracts to provide telecommunications services in residential apartment buildings, and prohibited enforcement of existing contracts that contain exclusivity provisions.”
However, there is some debate as to whether the FCC can just up and declare contracts between two entities invalid, especially when a bandwidth connection these days allows for a healthy choice of voice and video options from all manners of third-party providers.

Posted by Judith — 5:09 AM

Carphone Warehouse sells Swiss stores.

Source: TimesOnline.

Carphone Warehouse has announced it is selling its Swiss network of retail stores to telecoms group Swisscom as it seeks to invest in more profitable markets.
Its 62 Swiss branches operate under the name The Phone Warehouse Switzerland and employ around 250 staff, the majority of whom will be taken on by Swisscom.

Posted by Judith — 5:00 AM

BCE sale could be pushed to June by bondholder appeal.

Source: TeleGeography.

BCE, the parent of Bell Canada and Bell Aliant, is reported to have rescheduled the expected closing date of its agreed CA$52bn. (US$52.2bn.) leveraged buyout to before the end of the second quarter. Canada’s largest telecoms group said yesterday that an appeal against a 7 March court ruling lodged by Bell bondholders unhappy with the deal means that its original forecasted completion date of early-to-mid second quarter could not be guaranteed. The news pushes it perilously close to the self-imposed 30 June deadline for completing the transaction.

Posted by Judith — 4:56 AM

FT signs deal to supply 800,000 homes with fibre.

Source: TeleGeography.

France Telecom has signed a frame agreement under which it has agreed to supply up to 800,000 French homes with fibre-optic connections. Under the draft deal, FT will install FTTx lines in properties belonging to members of the ARC association of co-ownership building management groups.

Posted by Judith — 4:20 AM

U.S. court leaves ban on Qualcomm selling some chips.

Source: Reuters.

Broadcom has announced that a U.S. appeals court let stand a lower court order barring wireless chip maker Qualcomm from selling chips that infringe on three of its patents.

Posted by Judith — 4:19 AM

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ofcom looks to stamp out mobile mis-selling in UK.


UK communications regulator Ofcom has issued proposals for a new set of regulations designed to stop what it identifies as the misleading sales and marketing tactics sometimes employed by the market’s mobile operators and service providers.

Posted by Judith — 5:13 AM

Big wireless auction ends, winners unclear.

Source: Reuters.

The U.S. government auction of wireless airwaves ended on Tuesday raising a record US$19.59bn., but winners of the valuable spectrum were not immediately identified.
The winners of the hundreds of licenses were expected to be announced within days. The announcement should come after the FCC’s four other commissioners approved an order needed to formally end the auction.

Posted by Judith — 5:07 AM

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

EU backs Nokia standard for mobile TV.

Source: Reuters.

The European Commission moved to simplify the nascent mobile phone TV sector by adopting a standard backed by Finland’s Nokia.
The Commission said setting the Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld (DVB-H) as the preferred European Union standard would give the industry a boost.

Posted by Judith — 8:52 AM

BSNL to open bids for eight million modems.

Source: TeleGeography.

It is reported that state owned BSNL has invited bids for eight million DSL’s in a deal expected to be worth several million dollars. BSNL has informed prospective bidders that the DSLs should support content services such as IPTV, internet telephony and VoD, as well as enterprise services such as Virtual Private Network over broadband. Several prospective bidders have already expressed interest including Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia, Ericsson, ZTE and Huawei.

Posted by Judith — 8:28 AM

Government welcomes DT, but OTE workers strike.

Source: TeleGeography.

Greece’s Finance Ministry has said that it welcomes DT’s agreement to buy 19.9% of Greek incumbent telco OTE from domestic investment firm MIG.
However, whilst the government rolled out the red carpet for the German investor, telecoms workers’ union OME-OTE announced that its members will strike tomorrow in protest against the sale.

Posted by Judith — 7:31 AM

Monday, March 17, 2008

30 hopefuls for wireless auction, headed by ‘mystery company’.

Source: TeleGeography.

Industry Canada has published a list of 30 companies that have applied to bid in the government’s upcoming AWS spectrum auction scheduled for 27 May, in which 105MHz of frequencies in the 2GHz band are up for grabs. Nationwide cellular operators Rogers, Bell and Telus are amongst those planning to bid in order to expand and improve existing services, but the new allocations will include 40MHz bandwidth specifically reserved for newcomers on the national stage.

Posted by Judith — 7:36 AM

Ofcom prepares for auction of ‘L-Band’ Spectrum.

Source: TeleGeography.

British telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced it has confirmed plans to auction radio spectrum in the 1452MHz to 1492MHz band, also known as the ‘L-band’. The spectrum is suitable for mobile multimedia services, such as mobile TV and wireless broadband access. The provisional deadline for applications has been set for 10 April 2008 with the auction itself likely to start at the end of April.

Posted by Judith — 7:03 AM

Germans to buy stake in Greek operator.

Source: BWCS.

Deutsche Telekom, is set to acquire just under 20% of Greek fixed line and mobile powerhouse OTE. The former national operator of Germany will buy out the entire stake currently owned by Marfin Investment Group. It is estimated that the deal will cost DT around EUR2.5bn. (US$3.84bn.). However, the transaction will require governmental approval in Greece.

Posted by Judith — 5:36 AM

Rivals line up in race to bring Olympic Games to mobile phones.

Source: TimesOnline.

It is predicted that he 2012 Olympic Games will do for mobile TV what the Coronation did for early television, as mobile operators face the decision over which technology to use.
Preparation for that future will gather pace next month with the auction of the L-Band spectrum, which is well-suited to the demands of mobile TV. It could prove to be the catalyst that forces the industry’s big guns to make an early commitment to the technology that will take London 2012 to the mobile generation.

Posted by Judith — 4:09 AM

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Yahoo makes semantic search shift.

Source: BBC.

Yahoo has announced its adoption of some of the key standards of the “semantic web”.
The technology is widely seen as the next step for the world wide web and it involves a much richer understanding of the masses of data placed online.
The company said it would start to include some semantic web identifiers when indexing the web for Yahoo search.

Posted by Judith — 6:02 AM

Friday, March 14, 2008

AT&T lets developers in.

Source: TeleGeography.

AT&T has posted documents on its web site showing developers how to create applications for its wireless network. The move follows rival Verizon Wireless’ decision in late November to allow any device or software to run over its network.

Posted by Judith — 8:13 AM

Mobily in deal with Ericsson.

Source: TeleGeography.

Mobile operator Mobily has granted telecoms equipment manufacturer Ericsson a three-year managed services deal as part of a wider multi-vendor agreement. This is Ericsson’s largest managed services agreement in the Middle East.

Posted by Judith — 6:16 AM

Gates urges U.S. to free up more spectrum for Wi-Fi.

Source: Reuters.

Bill Gates has urged U.S. communications regulators to free up more vacant television airwaves to be used for wireless services such as broadband Internet access.
Microsoft is part of a coalition of technology companies that has been lobbying the FCC to allow unlicensed use of white space spectrum.
The group also includes Google Inc, Dell, Intel Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co and the north American unit of Philips Electronics.
However, the idea is opposed by U.S. broadcasters and makers of wireless microphones, who fear the devices would cause interference.

Posted by Judith — 5:55 AM

Ofcom maps out next spectrum auction.

Source: The Register.

UK regulator Ofcom has mapped out the details of the upcoming “L Band” auctions, deciding against holding onto any spectrum for Brussels despite the commission’s continuing enthusiasm for Europe-wide allocations.
L Band runs from 1452 to 1492MHz, putting it between the two most popular GSM frequencies - 900 and 1800MHz - with much of the benefits of both.

Posted by Judith — 5:26 AM

O2 brings Napster to UK.


Telefonica-owned mobile operator O2 has extended its relationship with digital music service Napster, bringing the full track downloads platform to the UK.
O2 already has deals with Napster in Ireland and Germany.

Posted by Judith — 4:52 AM

Thursday, March 13, 2008

AOL to buy Bebo social network for US$850m.

Source: Reuters.

Time Warner Inc’s AOL Internet division has announced that it will buy social network Bebo for US$850m. in cash, bolstering its consumer Internet offerings even as the media conglomerate mulls splitting off the business.

Posted by Judith — 7:21 AM

BT calls for action on net speeds.

Source: BBC.

The UK’s largest broadband supplier has called for the industry to be clearer about how it advertises net speeds.
BT Wholesale, which supplies eight million people, said many customers were disappointed by the mismatch between advertised and actual speeds.
An independent survey found that only 15% of people who bought eight megabit per second packages actually got the speed.

Posted by Judith — 5:05 AM

China Mobile opens London office.

Source: BWCS.

China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator by subscriber numbers, has thrown down a gauntlet to the European mobile industry by opening a brand new international office in London. The new HQ, which forms part of the operator’s planned global expansion, will oversee its moves into European, Middle Eastern and African markets.

Posted by Judith — 4:15 AM

Nokia faces EUR60m for plant closure.


Finnish handset vendor Nokia is understood to be facing a EUR60m. (US$92.1m.) bill, following its controversial decision to close its German manufacturing plant.
Authorities of the regional state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which includes Bochum, are understood to have told Nokia to return almost Eur60m, handed out in subsidies and investment payments. Germany is arguing that part of the requirements were for Nokia to create 2,900 ‘permanent’ jobs at the plant.

Posted by Judith — 4:14 AM

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Qualcomm acquires Xiam.


US vendor Qualcomm has announced that it has acquired wireless content targeting specialist Xiam Technologies for around US$32m.
The Ireland based company enables mobile operators and brands to make personalised recommendations to consumers, with offerings that are tailored to their unique tastes by profiling techniques.

Posted by Judith — 5:50 AM

Orbcomm, Wavecom enter into joint marketing agreement.

Source: Digital Media Europe.

Orbcomm has signed a joint marketing agreement with Wavecom whereby the two companies will work together to address the demand for devices that combine both satellite and terrestrial wireless communications.

Posted by Judith — 4:40 AM

Telefonica and Yoigo announce network sharing agreement.

Source: TeleGeography.

Spanish cellco Yoigo has announced that it has signed a five year network sharing agreement with Telefonica Espana to take effect from 1 June 2008. The agreement will allow Yoigo to extend its 2G and 3G coverage to areas it cannot currently reach. As it stands, Yoigo has coverage of 42% of the Spanish population via 1,800 base stations across 19 provinces.

Posted by Judith — 4:23 AM

Google gets DoubleClick.

Source: Reuters.

Google has won approval from the European Commission for its planned acquisition of DoubleClick and promptly closed the deal.
The move will allow the Web search and advertising leader to accelerate its move into the market for corporate banner and display ads, where it has little business, and fulfill an expansion plan that has been on hold for a year.

Posted by Judith — 4:11 AM

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bharti Airtel opens network to foreign carriers.

Source: TeleGeography.

India’s GSM provider, Bharti Airtel, is offering global long-distance carriers the option of using the Airtel network rather than having to acquire a licence to roll out their own network infrastructure in India. Airtel is also opening its network to prospective partners which already have a licence and are looking to expand into India with minimum capital expenditure.

Posted by Judith — 7:19 AM

FT unit buys Orca.

Source: Light Reading.

After more than a year of searching for a new home, IPTV middleware firm Orca Interactive has found itself a buyer in the shape of France Telecom content security subsidiary Viaccess, which is acquiring the Israeli firm in a cash deal worth US$21.4m.

Posted by Judith — 5:56 AM

BNSL adopts franchise model for WiMAX rollout.

Source: TeleGeography

State owned telco BSNL is inviting bids from prospective partners wishing to provide distribution of pre-paid services, including WiMAX-based services, on a franchisee basis. The telco is offering a two-year deal, with access to various telecom regions. The agreement is offered on a shared revenue basis and is open to any company meeting the eligibility criteria.

Posted by Judith — 5:23 AM

NextWave unveils mobile TV for WiMAX.


Wireless broadband player turned kit maker NextWave Wireless has taken the wraps off a mobile TV platform for WiMAX technology.
The company has put last year’s acquisition of UMTS-TDD kit supplier IPWireless to good use, basing the MXtv offering on IPWireless’ own TDtv platform.
MXtv is a mobile multicast and broadcast technology that enables WiMAX operators to deliver multimedia services.

Posted by Judith — 5:15 AM

Telecom’s acquisition of radio spectrum rights unlikely to hamper competition.

Source: TeleGeography.

The Commerce Commission has cleared Telecom New Zealand’s purchase of radio spectrum management rights that can be used for WiMAX or 3G cellular services as it does not feel it will inhibit competition in the sector.

Posted by Judith — 4:41 AM

Sony Ericsson reviewing DoCoMo relationship.

Source: TeleGeography.

Sony Ericsson, the joint venture of Japan’s Sony Corp and Ericsson of Sweden, has said it is conducting a review of its business relationship with struggling Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo but refutes media speculation that it is planning to stop making handsets for the cellco.

Posted by Judith — 4:38 AM

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bell takeover clears penultimate hurdle.

Source: TeleGeography.

A senior judge has cleared the proposed takeover of BCE, the parent of Bell Canada and Bell Aliant, after rejecting all legal challenges by two groups of the company’s bondholders. The Quebec Superior Court Justice approved the CA$51.7bn. (US$51.3bn.) cash and debt leveraged buy-out proposed by a consortium of funds led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in June 2007 and gave his blessing to a ‘plan of arrangement’ under which the deal is structured.

Posted by Judith — 12:33 PM

FCC chairman comments on Comcast’s data services.

Source: TeleGeography.

The head of the FCC has expressed concern at the alleged blocking of file-sharing traffic by cable operator Comcast. Kevin Martin was commenting on complaints from consumer groups which claim that Comcast has throttled internet traffic on file-sharing services such as BitTorrent.

Posted by Judith — 10:24 AM

Private equity consortium considering Virgin Media bid.

Source: TeleGeography.

A consortium led by investment firm Blackstone Group is considering a takeover bid for Virgin Media. The consortium, which includes private equity firms Cinven, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and Providence Equity, is reportedly prepared to offer between US$6bn. to US$7.5bn. for the UK’s largest cableco, in which Richard Branson’s Virgin Group holds a 10.5% stake.

Posted by Judith — 10:16 AM

Nokia signs US$2bn. Chinese deal.

Source: BWCS.

Nokia has reportedly signed an agreement to supply US$2bn. worth of mobile phones to China Postel, a subsidiary of China P&T Appliances. In addition to the contract, both companies say they have agreed to strengthen strategic ties, in particular with regard to channel development, resource investment, and marketing management.

Posted by Judith — 5:40 AM

Cable firms join forces to attract focused ads.

Source: NYT.

In an effort to slow Google’s siphoning of advertising dollars away from television, the nation’s six largest cable companies, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications and Bright House Networks, are making plans for a jointly owned company that would allow national advertisers to buy customized ads and interactive ads across the companies’ systems.

Posted by Judith — 4:52 AM

Saturday, March 8, 2008

CBS and AOL combine online radio networks.

Source: Reuters.

Radio broadcaster CBS Radio has announced that it will combine its more than 150 online radio stations with AOL’s more than 200 online stations.
CBS Radio, a division of CBS Corp, will take over advertising sales.

Posted by Judith — 12:18 PM

Avaya and BT Germany collaborate on complete solution for telephony, internet and on site support.

Source: BTplc.

Avaya, a leading supplier of business communications systems, is to collaborate with BT in offering bundled solutions for voice and data communications aimed at business customers in Germany.
With the joint offering, German enterprises will be able to obtain all voice telephony and Internet connection services from under one roof.

Posted by Judith — 3:10 AM

Friday, March 7, 2008

SK Telecom, Citi announce mobile banking with joint venture.

Source: RCR.

SK Telecom and Citi hope to push the mobile-banking envelope with a new, San Francisco-based joint venture.
The companies have unveiled Mobile Money Ventures, a joint venture that aims to develop a platform that “encompasses all key mobile banking value propositions” as it bridges the gap between traditional online services and mobile phones.

Posted by Judith — 5:20 AM

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Telstra bitter over High Court ruling.

Source: TeleGeography.

The Australian High Court has dismissed Telstra’s case against the Australian Competition Consumer Commission’s decision to allow rival ISP’s to utilise its copper networks. The judgement came to the conclusion that such action does not amount to a compulsory acquisition of Telstra’s assets and denied Telstra’s claims that the network space was being claimed without fair compensation.

Posted by Judith — 4:22 AM

Rivals seek to block Sir Richard Branson’s new Indian mobile venture with Tata.

Source: TimesOnline.

Sir Richard’s Virgin Group recently announced a partnership with Tata Indicom, under which the Indian company would market a mobile service under the Virgin brand to young consumers.
However, a powerful industry group, which includes Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile operator, has demanded that the Indian Government declare the deal void. The Cellular Operators’ Association of India argues that Virgin is entering the market via the back door as an illegal “MVNO”, whereby it effectively buys mobile capacity wholesale from Tata and sells it under its own brand, a business model that is not permitted in India.

Posted by Judith — 4:01 AM

Yahoo seeks time to stall buy-out.

Source: BBC.

Yahoo has extended a deadline for naming board directors, to allow it to find an alternative to Microsoft’s unwanted US$44.6bn. (GBP22.3bn.) buy-out bid.

Posted by Judith — 3:54 AM

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

AT&T plans US$1bn. spend.

Source: TeleGeography.

AT&T has announced plans to invest US$1bn. in 2008 on a global expansion of its networks and services. The amount does not include investments in its domestic market, with the bulk of the funds going towards the construction of a new undersea fibre-optic link in Asia and an Ethernet network in Europe and Asia.

Posted by Judith — 5:38 AM

Tata rolling out large WiMax network in India.

Source: NYT.

Tata Communications has announced that it plans to connect 200,000 retail customers using WiMax by March 2009.
The company, which is targeting both retail and enterprise customers, said that it plans to roll out WiMax in 110 cities for its enterprise customers and 15 cities for retail customers this year.
The company expects to invest US$500m. in this venture over the next three years.

Posted by Judith — 5:32 AM

T-Systems and Cognizant enter partnership.

Source: Reuters.

Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems business client unit has announced that it has entered a partnership with IT services provider Cognizant mainly focused on system integration services.
Deutsche Telekom has been sounding out options for the business client unit, with around 56,000 staff, for almost a year in an effort to help it expand internationally and catch up with rivals such as Cap Gemini and Atos Origin.

Posted by Judith — 5:04 AM

Yahoo sets up new lab in India.

Source: NYT.

Yahoo is establishing a lab in Bangalore, India, where the company already has R&D operations. While the current R&D done by Yahoo in India is focused on new products and engineering, the focus of the new lab will be on long-term research.

Posted by Judith — 4:42 AM

KPN snaps up majority stake in Ortel Mobile.

Source: TeleGeography.

KPN has announced it has agreed to take a majority stake in Ortel Mobile, an MVNO selling pre-paid mobile telephone services in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

Posted by Judith — 3:45 AM

C&W and Orange UK announce roaming deal.

Source: TeleGeography.

Orange UK has announced a five year roaming deal between itself and with British telco C&W which will allow C&W to launch a fixed mobile convergence wireless service. Under the arrangement, C&W’s FMC customers will be able to connect to Orange UK’s wireless network when out of range of C&W’s in-building IP virtual private network.

Posted by Judith — 3:41 AM

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Covad buyout approved.

Source: TeleGeography.

Shareholders of US wireline operator Covad Communuications have approved the company’s US$417m. takeover by Platinum Equity. The deal, which values California-based Covad stock at US$1.02 per share, is expected to close by the end of June.

Posted by Judith — 10:13 AM

Telstra delays network sharing over ‘terrorist’ fears.

Source: TeleGeography.

Telstra has refused requests from both the Australian government and its rivals to open its network infrastructure, over fears that network secrets might fall into the wrong hands. The Australian regulator had asked the telco to hand over detailed plans of its network infrastructure following complaints from its rivals over access to its ADSL2+ network.

Posted by Judith — 8:16 AM

Nokia wins another round on GSM patents.

Source: RCR.

A UK court has ruled in Nokia’s favour and rejected Qualcomm’s claims that the handset maker infringed on its GSM patents, in a case filed two years ago. The court said that Qualcomm’s patent claims are invalid.

Posted by Judith — 4:08 AM

T-Mobile invests in femto maker.


Deutsche Telekom’s mobile investment fund has taken an interest in femto technology, joining Google with a strategic investment in Ubiquisys.
The T-Mobile Venture Fund has announced that it has made an investment in 3G femtocell shop Ubiquisys, joining Google and original investors Accel Partners, Atlas Venture and Advent Venture Partners.

Posted by Judith — 4:04 AM

NSN outsources German R&D unit to TCS.

Source: Digital Media Europe.

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is outsourcing its telecoms R&D to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), affecting NSN’s development centre in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Under the multi-million Euro agreement, NSN is to transfer product engineering and R&D services as well as parts of the operations and business software business unit activities from NSN to TCS.

Posted by Judith — 3:55 AM

Monday, March 3, 2008

Bush moves to shield telecommunications firms.

Source: Washington Post.

President Bush said last week that telecommunications companies that helped government wiretapping efforts need protection from “class-action plaintiff attorneys” who see a “financial gravy train” ahead. Democrats and privacy groups responded by accusing the Bush administration of trying to shut down the lawsuits to hide evidence of illegal acts.

Posted by Judith — 5:11 AM

Tata to launch Virgin in India.

Source: BWCS.

Virgin Mobile has announced a deal to start offering services in India. The company has an agreement with Tata Teleservices to launch mobile phone services aimed at the youth market in India using the Virgin Mobile brand name.
The UK-based mobile group said it has no plans to construct its own network or purchase an Indian infrastructure. Interestingly the deal is not being described as an MVNO agreement; instead, Virgin will merely take a share of the revenue in return for Tata using its brand name.

Posted by Judith — 4:53 AM

Canadian cellphone entrants must build own networks.

Source: The Globe and Mail.

The Federal Industry Minister has disputed reports suggesting that clarified rules for the coming wireless auction will make life tougher for new cellphone entrants, saying the intention was always that they would have to build their own networks rather than just use those of rivals.
Analyst reports suggest that the rules would make it harder or even delay the entry of new wireless competitors into the market since they can’t just resell another company’s wireless service and instead have to build out a network in order to launch their service.

Posted by Judith — 3:07 AM

Mitsubishi Electric to exit mobile phone ops.

Source: Reuters.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp has announced that it plans to exit its loss-making mobile phone business, becoming the latest Japanese electronics maker to withdraw from a market dominated by overseas giants such as Nokia.

Posted by Judith — 3:07 AM

FCC publishes studies on spectrum management issues.

Source: Converge.

The FCC’s Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis has released three working papers on two important spectrum management issues:
Working Paper #41, “Enhancing Spectrum’s Value Via Market-informed Congestion Etiquettes” and Working Paper #42, “Modeling the Efficiency of Spectrum Designated to License Use and Unlicensed Operations,” examine ways in which spectrum designated to licensed and unlicensed use can be more efficiently used.
Working Paper #43, “A Market-based Approach to Establishing Licensing Rules: Licensed Versus Unlicensed Use of Spectrum,” examines the feasibility of employing a market mechanism to determine whether spectrum should be designated to either licensed or unlicensed use.

Posted by Judith — 3:05 AM

Hollywood, Silicon Valley and AT&T?

Source: NYT.

The William Morris Agency, the Hollywood talent shop, is to announce that it is teaming up with the Silicon Valley venture capital firms Accel Partners and Venrock to invest in digital media start-up companies based in Southern California. What makes the combination unusual, though, is the addition of AT&T as a limited partner.
This deal is an indication of how quickly online and mobile entertainment are transforming the wireless carriers and perhaps a recognition — on all sides — that a failure to act now could leave the partners vulnerable to interlopers who seek to upend their traditional businesses.

Posted by Judith — 2:15 AM

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Cisco fakes: a US$76m. business.

Source: Light Reading.

Law enforcement officials said yesterday they’ve seized more than US$76m. in counterfeit Cisco Systems Inc. components and labels, the result of more than 400 raids across multiple agencies.
That announcement, made yesterday by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is the first indication of how much counterfeiting of Cisco optical modules might be going on.

Posted by Judith — 4:47 AM

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