Press Clippings: July 2008

Major Industry items you might have missed

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Despite buyout, Bell Canada cuts 2,500 managers.

Source: Light Reading.

The $51bn. buyout of Bell Canada may have been saved earlier this month when a consortium of banks, pension funds, and private equity funds crafted a successful financing, but the deal won’t save the jobs of 2,500 Bell Canada managers.
The company said the loss of positions will result in annual savings of about $300m. when combined with other reductions carried out earlier in the year.

Posted by Judith — 5:36 AM

Nokia prepares more investment funds.

Source: BWCS.

Finnish handset maker Nokia has announced plans to increase its investments in emerging markets. In particular, the mobile phone giant says it will target expansion in China and India. The company said today that it will more than double the size its direct venture investment fund by pouring a further US$150m. into it.
Nokia Growth Partners, headquartered in California, was set up four years ago to directly invest US$100m. of Nokia’s money.

Posted by Judith — 3:48 AM

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

HP, Intel, Yahoo in cloud tie-up.

Source: BBC.

Intel is teaming up with web firm Yahoo and hardware company HP to create virtual research centres for cloud computing.
Cloud computing offers online storage and promises a range of new services for data and devices that are plugged into the cloud.
Initially six data centres will be available for pre-selected researchers to test new applications.

Posted by Judith — 4:12 AM

Court tells Sprint to refund fees for early termination.

Source: WashingtonPost.

Sprint Nextel was wrong to charge customers penalty fees of US$73m. for early termination of cellphone contracts, a California court ruled yesterday, offering encouragement to customers of other companies who have filed similar suits around the nation.
Sprint must pay US$18.3m. in cash to users who paid early-termination fees; another US$54.8m. must be credited to users who were charged but didn’t pay the fees. The decision is open to comment until Aug. 5, when the final ruling will be made.

Posted by Judith — 3:40 AM

No mobile TV progress for BBC.

Source: BWCS.

Despite trialling mobile TV services for over a year, the BBC in the UK has yet to make its mind up over whether it will offer a fully-blown service. The BBC Trust is said to be looking into plans to expand its trial offering. The corporation’s mobile service has been available through the 3G services of Orange, T Mobile, Vodafone, and 3.

Posted by Judith — 2:46 AM

Telenor interested in bidding for HTCC stake.

Source: TeleGeography.

Norwegian operator Telenor has thrown its hat in the ring to bid for a 68% stake in US-listed alternative operator Hungarian Telephone and Cable Corporation (HTCC), the second largest local fixed line telecoms operator in Hungary. HTCC, which markets itself under the Invitel banner, has around 700,000 customers; it acquired Invitel for EUR470m. (US$640m.) in early 2007.

Posted by Judith — 2:05 AM

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

BT acquires Ribbit.

Source: BTplc.

BT has announced that it has acquired Ribbit Corporation, a Silicon Valley-based “Telco 2.0” platform company, for US$105m. in cash, on a cash-free, debt-free basis. The acquisition will accelerate BT’s strategy to transform itself into a next- generation, platform-based, software-driven services company.

Posted by Judith — 3:02 AM

Operators ‘put brake on growth of mobile internet’.

Source: TimesOnline.

It was meant to be a key part of a new age of mobile telecommunications, giving consumers the same benefits that they could get from their computers at home, but yesterday mobile phone operators were told that Britain’s failure to embrace the internet via mobile phones was their fault.
The industry’s lack of transparency over the cost of accessing the web on handsets was, the Mobile Data Association said, restricting the growth of mobile internet.
Research from the not-for-profit data collection body, which is funded by the mobile industry, has found that, while 25% more people are using the internet on their mobiles than they were two years ago, growth would have been a lot greater if operators had been more open with consumers.

Posted by Judith — 2:59 AM

Vodacom goes ahead with BEE plan.

Source: TeleGeography.

The South African cellular group Vodacom has confirmed the sale of a 6.25% stake worth ZAR7.5bn. (US$996m.) which is being carried out under Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) regulations. Investors include Royal Bafokeng Holdings, Thebe Investment Corp and Vodacom employees. Private investors from the black community will also be invited to buy shares. Once the deal is completed Royal Bafokeng will hold a 1.97% interest in Vodacom, while Thebe will hold 0.84% and employees and the public will own 3.44%.

Posted by Judith — 2:47 AM

Class-action sought over messaging fees.

Source: Globe and Mail.

For the second time in two weeks, one of Canada’s largest cellphone providers is facing the prospect of a class-action lawsuit over its plans to start charging customers for incoming text messages.
The Montreal law firm Saint-Pierre Grenier Avocats Inc. has announced that it is seeking class-action status for a suit against Bell Mobility saying that the company illegally changed the terms of its contracts by announcing the new fees.
The same law firm filed a similar but separate suit against Telus Corp. in Quebec Superior Court on July 14.

Posted by Judith — 2:45 AM

Monday, July 28, 2008

Motorola to reorganize home and networks unit.

Source: Reuters.

Motorola will create three businesses within its home and networks mobility business to focus on the sectors’ growth potential.
The home and networks mobility business will now comprise three businesses: broadband home solutions, broadband access solutions and cellular networks.
The unit, which had revenue of US$2.4bn. in the first quarter, supplies equipment to telephone companies and cable television companies for voice, data and video services.

Posted by Judith — 4:23 AM

China Telecom spending on new CDMA prize.

Source: BWCS.

State-owned China Telecom is to pour Yuan 80bn.n (US$12bn.) into CDMA technology over the next three years. The new money is to be spent on expanding and upgrading the CDMA network that it purchased recently.
Last month China Telecom agreed to pay Yuan 66.2bn. for the Unicom group’s CDMA network which has long been seen as the cheaper, less attractive alternative to China Mobile’s GSM service. As part of the deal, the Hong Kong-listed company said it would also pay Yuan 43.8bn. to take control of Unicom’s CDMA customers and business.

Posted by Judith — 2:55 AM

Verizon begins competing for cable TV customers.

Source: NYT.

Cable television subscribers in New York City have another company to choose from. Verizon is now selling programming, taking on companies like Cablevision and Time Warner Cable.
Verizon, the city’s largest phone company, will start hooking up cable customers for television in parts of 108 neighborhoods across the five boroughs.
As part of the agreement, Verizon must make its service available to all of the city’s 3.1m. households by 2014, unlike Cablevision and Time Warner Cable, which sell video, Internet and phone services in distinct sections. Cablevision and Time Warner are not expected to apply for citywide franchises when their current agreements expire.

Posted by Judith — 2:14 AM

US firm is Harbinger for Inmarsat buyout proposal.


US-based hedge fund Harbinger Capital has confirmed its designs on UK satellite operator Inmarsat, using its holding in US satellite firm SkyTerra Communications as a platform for the bid.
Harbinger said it will provide $500m in funding for SkyTerra’s business plan as part of an agreement that could see the possible combination of SkyTerra and Inmarsat.
The US equity firm currently owns approximately 28.8% of Inmarsat and around 48.43% of SkyTerra.
Upon completion of the proposed deal, it is expected that Harbinger will own over 85 per cent of the combined Inmarsat/SkyTerra entity.

Posted by Judith — 2:12 AM

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Europe approves H.P.’s deal for E.D.S.

Source: NYT.

Antitrust regulators for the European Union have approved Hewlett-Packard’s proposed US$13.2bn. purchase of the technology services provider Electronic Data Systems.

Posted by Judith — 5:41 AM

AT&T looks to block Sprint/Clearwire merger.

Source: Light Reading.

AT&T is accusing the FCC of playing favorites. The telco has filed a complaint to the agency saying that Sprint Nextel and Clearwire’s proposed merger of assets should be subject to the same scrutiny it was given when it acquired Dobson Communications last year.

Posted by Judith — 4:31 AM

Friday, July 25, 2008

NextWave Wireless sells US$150.1m. of AWS spectrum.

Source: TeleGeography.

NextWave Wireless has agreed to sell part of its advanced wireless services (AWS) radio spectrum for US$150.1m. to four parties. Subject to approval by the FCC, NextWave will sell 599m. MHz-pops of AWS spectrum at an average price of US$0.25 per MHz-pop.
The largest chunk of spectrum was sold to T-Mobile USA, for roughly US$98m. Atlantic Wireless, ACS Wireless and MetroPCS were the other purchasers.

Posted by Judith — 5:23 AM

Microsoft to spend US$2.5bn. a year to keep pace in race with Google.

Source: WashingtonPost.

Microsoft has announced plans to spend at least US$2.5bn. a year for the foreseeable future to compete with Google because the opportunity in online advertising is too big to ignore.
Microsoft, owner of the No. 3 U.S. search engine, is struggling to take market share from leader Google and is working to justify continued investments to its shareholders.

Posted by Judith — 4:55 AM

XM, Sirius deal nears finality as companies agree to fines.

Source: WashingtonPost.

XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio yesterday agreed to pay nearly US$20m. in fines for past technical violations, paving the way for federal approval of a merger between the nation’s only satellite radio providers.

Posted by Judith — 4:10 AM

Thursday, July 24, 2008

In settlement, Nokia will pay royalties to Qualcomm.

Source: NYT.

Qualcomm and Nokia have announced that they have settled a patent lawsuit with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake — the resolution coming just hours after the trial in the case was scheduled to start.
The companies did not disclose the terms of the settlement. But they did say they have entered into a 15-year agreement in which Nokia has agreed to pay royalties to license technology developed by Qualcomm that improves phone performance and battery life, and reduces product size.

Posted by Judith — 3:32 AM

Verizon offers to sell operations to buy Alltel.

Source: TeleGeography.

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of New York-based Verizon Communications and Britain’s Vodafone Group has offered to sell its wireless operations in 85 US markets in a bid to gain regulatory approval of its planned acquisition of Alltel. Verizon has said it is committed to divesting overlapping spectrum, operations and other assets in North Dakota, South Dakota and parts of 16 other states.

Posted by Judith — 2:47 AM

Net firms in music pirates deal.

Source: BBC.

Six of the UK’s biggest net providers have agreed a plan with the music industry to tackle piracy online.
The deal, negotiated by the government, will see hundreds of thousands of letters sent to net users suspected of illegally sharing music.
Hard core file-sharers could see their broadband connections slowed, under measures proposed by the UK government.
BT, Virgin, Orange, Tiscali, BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse have all signed up.

Posted by Judith — 2:44 AM

Cisco to acquire Pure Networks for home network mgt software

Source: Converge.

Cisco has agreed to acquire Pure Networks, a Seattle-based start-up specializing in home networking-management software, for approximately US$120 million.
Pure Networks’ home networking-management solution allows users to easily set up and manage a home network and connect a range of devices, applications and services.

Posted by Judith — 2:05 AM

Sprint to sell 3,300 towers to TowerCo for US$670m.

Source: Converge.

Sprint Nextel has agreed to sell approximately 3,300 towers to TowerCo for approximately US$670m. in cash. The specific number of towers and final purchase price will be determined at closing. The companies said the towers are located in prime metropolitan locations.
The two companies also signed a long term leasing agreement where TowerCo will provide Sprint Nextel with wireless communications towers to support the company’s CDMA, iDEN and WiMAX networks.

Posted by Judith — 2:03 AM

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Time Warner gears up for competition in New York.

Source: TeleGeography.

Time Warner Cable is preparing for increasing competition in the market for triple-play services in New York following the news that Verizon Communications is to start installing its FiOS fibre links to customers on 1 August.

Posted by Judith — 6:16 AM

Nokia: German court rules Qualcomm patent invalid.

Source: Reuters.

Nokia has stated that the German Federal Patent Court has ruled that a Qualcomm GSM patent asserted in a case against Nokia is invalid.
Qualcomm has filed 11 lawsuits on three continents against Nokia claiming the Finnish firm has infringed its patents in mobile phones based on the widely used GSM technology.
So far the U.S. International Trade Commission and Britain’s High Court have decided the patents have been either invalid or not infringed.

Posted by Judith — 5:25 AM

Tiscali accuses BT of defamation.

Source: BBC.

Tiscali has begun legal proceedings against BT after the telco sent letters to its customers hoping to persuade them to swap to BT’s broadband service.
The letter drew attention to rumours about the future of Tiscali’s broadband service.
In a statement the firm said it had issued proceedings against BT “for defamation and malicious falsehood”.

Posted by Judith — 3:46 AM

Phone giants fight to keep subscribers.

Source: NYT.

With millions of people snapping up the iPhone, AT&T, the exclusive carrier for the phone, should be quite pleased with the stream of revenue it can expect from customers.
But AT&T has a problem: analysts say consumers are dropping traditional landlines faster than expected.
All of the major telecommunications companies — AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Nextel — are figuring out how to make more money from customers as they spend more time sending text messages or browsing the Web on their wireless phones, rather than talking.
At the same time, as the American cellphone market gets saturated — nearly 85% of American consumers already own a mobile phone — phone companies are finding that growth is slowing.

Posted by Judith — 3:41 AM

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yahoo comes to agreement with Icahn.

Source: BBC.

Yahoo has reached an agreement with the activist investor Carl Icahn that will stop him trying to replace its board.
Mr Icahn was annoyed that Yahoo had resisted Microsoft’s attempts to take it over and planned to replace the board at next month’s annual meeting and then sell the company to Microsoft.
Yahoo’s board will now be expanded from nine members to 11, comprising Mr Icahn and two of his nominees along with eight of the original members.

Posted by Judith — 3:52 AM

Wireless license sale sets stage for cheaper services.

Source: Globe and Mail.

Canadians can expect to see lower prices and more services for their cellphones beginning next year, as the result of the sale by Ottawa of new wireless spectrum licences that will add billions of dollars more to the government coffers than anticipated.
The auction, which concluded Monday after nearly eight weeks of frantic bidding worth $4.25bn., means Rogers Communications Inc., Bell Mobility and Telus will be combatting new entrants vying for the profits of one of the most lucrative wireless markets in the world. And consumers will see fresh choices from regional cable operators, new players setting up in major cities and possibly one new national phone company.

Posted by Judith — 3:10 AM

Brocade to acquire Foundry.

Source: Light Reading.

Brocade Communications Systems is buying up Foundry Networks for US$3bn.
The deal moves Brocade beyond storage area networking and into Ethernet equipment and IP routers — including routers for the telecom core network as well as the data center.
The deal could create an interesting competitor to Cisco Systems in the so-called next-generation data center.

Posted by Judith — 2:57 AM

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vodafone’s African expansion blocked.


The Ghanaian government has blocked Vodafone’s GBP450m. purchase of a controlling stake in the state-owned Ghana Telecom.
However, according to reports, the local government has intervened. The UK-based carrier will probably have to wait until October before moving forward on the deal as the Ghanaian parliament is just about to go into its summer recess.
The controversial deal had been criticised by members of Ghana’s main opposition party.
The block might signal an opportunity for France Telecom to once again enter the fray potentially pushing up the sale price.

Posted by Judith — 5:17 AM

T-Mobile wants more debate on free wireless service.

Source: TeleGeography.

T-Mobile USA has called on the FCC to rethink its plans to offer spectrum for a free nationwide wireless internet service. The regulator is planning on selling frequencies which would require the winning bidder to roll out a free access network which covers at least 95% of the population. T-Mobile says the free service could cause interference on its own wireless networks, which utilise an adjacent spectrum band. The cellco and other operators which include AT&T also claim that the free offering would damage their businesses, which provide paid-for wireless internet access. The free national wireless network is being backed by a start-up company called M2Z Networks.

Posted by Judith — 4:53 AM

Canadians prove to be laggards in buying cellphones.

Source: Globe and Mail.

Canada lags other developed nations in mobile phone ownership, falling behind a global average of 30 countries, says an international survey.
Only 69% of Canadians between the ages of 16 and 60 use a cellphone at this time, compared with 90% in the United States and 97% in Britain.

Posted by Judith — 3:04 AM

Cofetel supports removal of foreign ownership cap.

Source: TeleGeography.

Cofetel, the Mexican telecoms regulator, has announced that it will support a bill that proposes the removal of a foreign ownership cap in Mexican telecoms operators. Currently foreign investors are only allowed to hold 49% of any operator. Cofetel has stated that whilst it will offer its support it does not expect the change to guarantee an expansion of infrastructure in the country.

Posted by Judith — 2:34 AM

Saturday, July 19, 2008

China Telecom in US$4bn. CDMA expansion.


Chinese carrier China Telecom, which as part of recent restructuring moves in the nation’s communications sector is assuming control of China Unicom’s CDMA network, has announced an expansion tender worth US$4bn.
The firm has indicated that the money will be spent expanding the mobile network - China’s smallest - to rural areas, rather than being used to improve capacity and quality of service in areas of existing coverage.

Posted by Judith — 5:18 AM

MTN and Reliance fail to strike telecom deal.

Source: NYT.

South African mobile phone group MTN and India’s Reliance Communications called off talks aimed at creating a top-10 global telecoms group, saying they could not reach a deal.

Posted by Judith — 5:15 AM

Nokia Siemens confirms PON plans.

Source: Light Reading.

Nokia Siemens Networks has confirmed its retreat from the current GPON market, stating in a press release that “the mass market roll out of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) is unlikely in the short term.”
NSN says it wil focus on DSL developments and develop NGOA technologies.

Posted by Judith — 3:44 AM

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sprint leaves NGMN.

Source: TeleGeography.

Sprint has confirmed that the US cellco has dropped out of the NGMN Alliance because the group endorsed LTE technology for 4G networks saying, ‘Sprint was disappointed that NGMN shifted from its original technology neutral stance’. Sprint is currently developing a WiMAX network, a rival technology to LTE, and hopes to launch in Baltimore this September. Sprint was one of the founding members of the NGMN in 2006.

Posted by Judith — 5:41 AM

ITU forms new group to focus on telecom impact on climate change.

Source: Converge.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has set up a new group to work on standards related to the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on climate change.
The new group will focus in particular on the reduction of ICT emissions and how ICTs can assist in cutting emissions in other industry sectors such as energy, transportation and buildings.

Posted by Judith — 4:41 AM

Optimum Lightpath buys N.J. network.

Source: TelecomWeb.

Cablevision’s Optimum Lightpath business broadband subsidiary is buying N.J.-based last-mile fiber provider 4Connections LLC to expand its New York metropolitan area network.

Posted by Judith — 4:37 AM

Intel hit by fresh EU allegations.


European regulators have beefed up their long-running antitrust complaint against Intel, alleging that the world’s largest manufacturer of computer chips used rebates to persuade a retailer to sell only Intel-based personal computers.
The move is the latest twist in a long-running probe into Intel, which began nearly seven years ago, after a complaint from Advanced Micro Devices, the US company’s smaller rival.

Posted by Judith — 2:52 AM

Thursday, July 17, 2008

AOL and Microsoft chiefs discuss a Yahoo! break-up.

Source: TimesOnline.

Executives of AOL, the internet arm of Time Warner, have met for formal talks with Microsoft to discuss a US$40bn. break-up of Yahoo!, the internet search engine.
It is understood that the AOL team flew to Microsoft’s headquarters in Seattle to negotiate possible terms of a break-up that could see the software giant seize control of Yahoo!’s online search business.

Posted by Judith — 5:26 AM

Vodafone acquires 70% stake in Ghana Telecom.

Source: Digital Media Europe.

Vodafone has agreed to acquire a 70% stake in Ghana Telecommunications Company from the Government of Ghana for a total consideration of US$900m. This is on a debt-free, cash-free basis, implying a total enterprise value for Ghana Telecom of approximately US$1.3bn.

Posted by Judith — 4:26 AM

Convergys goes ‘one-stop-shop’ with Intervoice buy.

Source: TelecomWeb.

Both boards have blessed the merger of relationship-management specialist Convergys Corporation and Intervoice Inc. Convergys will write a US$335m. check translating into US$8.25 per share, a 24% premium over yesterday’s closing price.

Posted by Judith — 3:35 AM

EU launches crackdown on rogue mobile services.

Source: Reuters.

The European Union’s consumer chief has launched a crackdown on websites offering mobile phone services such as ringtones after a probe found most were ripping people off, notably teenagers.
An initial investigation into 500 websites providing ringtones, wallpapers, news feeds or videogames worth hundreds of millions of euros found that 80% were “misleading” consumers.

Posted by Judith — 3:01 AM

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sprint and Clearwire aiming for 4Q-08 WiMAX launches.

Source: TeleGeography.

US cellular operator Sprint Nextel is looking to launch its first commercial mobile WiMAX services this September. Sprint is forming a partnership with the other major WiMAX spectrum holder in the US, Clearwire, as well as other investors including Intel, Google and several cable operators. Until this partnership is fully up and running and has been approved by regulators - expected early next year - Sprint and Clearwire will continue to roll out their own 802.16e networks.

Posted by Judith — 6:00 AM

US wireless auctions not expected this year.

Source: TeleGeography.

The chairman of the FCC has said that neither the re-auction of D-Block 700MHz spectrum nor the sale of Advanced Wireless Services-3 licences is likely to occur before next year. The D-Block frequencies, which have been set aside to create a national emergency communications network, were part of a sale of 700MHz wireless spectrum earlier this year but failed to attract the minimum bid of USD1.3bn. The auction of AWS-3 spectrum, suitable for high speed mobile services, is currently up for public consultation.

Posted by Judith — 5:57 AM

Sprint said to talk about partnership.

Source: NYT.

Sprint Nextel, the wireless carrier, is reported to be in early talks to form a partnership with SK Telecom of South Korea to share information about mobile phones and other technology.

Posted by Judith — 2:30 AM

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

EU challenges roaming ‘rip-off’.

Source: BBC.

Regulators have announced a crackdown on the cost of sending text messages on mobile phones within the EU.
The EU Telecoms Commissioner outlined plans to cap the price of texting from abroad - making it more comparable to doing so at home.
The mobile phone operators argue that customers are not being ripped off.

Posted by Judith — 6:20 AM

Telstra to open ADSL2+ network to rivals.

Source: TeleGeography.

Telstra has announced that it will allow rival operators access to its ADSL2+ broadband network, on the proviso that they meet certain ‘commercial criteria’. Both Internode and iiNet, two of Telstra’s major competitors, have expressed an interest in using the service.

Posted by Judith — 5:59 AM

DoCoMo opens Chinese joint venture.

Source: BWCS.

Japanese mobile giant NTT DoCoMo, has finally decided to move into China. The company has announced that it has set up DoCoMo China Ltd as a wholly owned subsidiary. The new company will be based in Shanghai.

Posted by Judith — 3:49 AM

BT drops investor payout for ‘super’ broadband plan.

Source: TimesOnline.

BT Group today suspended its GBP2.5bn. share buyback programme to spend GBP1.5bn. rolling out a super-fast broadband network providing 10 million homes access to fibre within four years

Posted by Judith — 3:25 AM

Monday, July 14, 2008

Verizon Wireless claims widest 3G coverage.

Source: TeleGeography.

Verizon Wireless, the second largest cellular operator in the US in terms of subscriber numbers, says its 3G mobile network now covers 80% of the US population, giving it the widest high speed network coverage of any domestic carrier.

Posted by Judith — 5:43 AM

Yahoo rejects new break-up offer.

Source: BBC.

Yahoo has angrily rejected a joint takeover offer from Microsoft and the investor Carl Icahn.
The statement from Yahoo repeated the offer to sell the entire company to Microsoft for at least US$33 a share and suggested that a takeover of the entire company would be much simpler than the proposed restructuring.
Microsoft offered US$31 a share for Yahoo in February. On Friday the shares closed at US$23.16.

Posted by Judith — 4:10 AM

Private equity groups bid for PCCW subsidiary HKT Group.

Source: TeleGeography.

US private equity house TPG Capital has submitted a bid for a 45% stake in HKT Group Holdings, a newly formed company incorporating the core assets of Hong Kong-based multi-service telco PCCW.
Macquarie was reportedly also considering an offer. Macquarie and TPG have previously failed in attempts to gain a direct stake in PCCW, following blocking moves by the Chinese government. Other equity groups believed to be in the frame for HKT Group include Providence Equity Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Blackstone.

Posted by Judith — 3:50 AM

Telus guarantees free spam.

Source: TeleGeography.

Telus has issued a guarantee that it will not charge customers for receiving spam text messages, following criticism of Telus and Bell Mobility’s plans to charge users for incoming mobile-to-mobile SMS unless they subscribe to a texting package. Telus clients can forward any unsolicited marketing to the network operator with the word SPAM in the body of the message and their account will be adjusted automatically

Posted by Judith — 3:48 AM

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Teliasonera closes acquisition of Comhouse.

Source: Digital Media Europe.

Teliasonera has received the approval of the Norwegian competition authority to close the acquisition of the remaining 66.6% of the shares in Comhouse, a holding company for the retail chains KlartSvar and Telebutikken in Norway.

Posted by Judith — 3:11 AM

Friday, July 11, 2008

FCC extends deadline for comments on auction leading to free broadband.

Source: TeleGeography.

Following T-Mobile USA’s calls for the FCC to extend the comment period for the regulator’s contentious proposal to auction nationwide spectrum in the AWS band, the FCC has extended the comment and reply comment deadlines from yesterday to 25 July and 11 August respectively.

Posted by Judith — 5:35 AM

Movearoo makes sure customers jump in the right direction.

Source: TeleGeography.

AT&T, Verizon Communications and Qwest Communications have jointly launched a free website for customers wanting to switch their service after moving house. The competitors are working together to create the site with the aim of getting customers to stay with a traditional phone company rather than jump ship to cable providers or rival internet phone companies.

Posted by Judith — 5:22 AM

Further 3G auction details revealed.

Source: TeleGeography.

Plans for the auction of 3G services in India have been further detailed. The most recent decisions by the Department of Telecommunications include the allocation of one block of 3G spectrum in each region bar Delhi and Mumbai to BSNL. The cost to the state-owned company will be the same price as the highest bid for those respective areas. MTNL, the other state-owned telco, will also have blocks reserved for it, one in each of Delhi and Mumbai, and again will be required to match the highest bid for the blocks.

Posted by Judith — 5:04 AM

FCC Chief finds Comcast guilty of network neutrality violations.

Source: eWeek.

The Chairman has stated that Comcast arbitrarily blocks customers’ open access to the Internet. Comcast faces sanctions for failing to disclose network management practices for handling P2P applications like BitTorrent.
If Martin’s fellow commissioners agree with his verdict, Comcast would become the first major broadband provider adjudged to be violating the FCC’s network neutrality principles.

Posted by Judith — 4:00 AM

Thursday, July 10, 2008

BT expands online directories business with the GBP20m. acquisition of Ufindus.

Source: The Independent.

BT is beefing up its online directories business with the GBP20m. purchase of Ufindus, an online classified advertising company with more than 1.9m. listings in its portfolio.
The acquisition is part of BT Directories’ plans to expand its community-based services. The division recently launched BT Exchanges, a service that enables consumers to find, share, review and communicate with local businesses of all kinds, rather than just look up the contact details of a specific company.

Posted by Judith — 5:32 AM

Yahoo to offer its search services to outside firms.

Source: Reuters.

Yahoo will let customers, academics and even rivals build customized Web search services on top of its own technology, introducing a resale model into a major Internet market where it ranks a distant No. 2 to Google Inc.
In the embattled Internet company’s biggest step yet to carve out a more distinctive strategy in the Web search market, Yahoo has said that it is introducing a new strategy it calls “Build your Own Search Service” (BOSS).

Posted by Judith — 5:29 AM

Nokia says 9 more firms sign up for Symbian pact.

Source: Reuters.

Nine more firms, including telecom operators “3” and TIM, have lined up to support the new open mobile software alliance Symbian Foundation.
Nokia said on June 24 it would buy out other shareholders of UK-based smartphone software maker Symbian for US$410m. and make its software royalty-free to other phone makers, in response to new rivals such as Google Inc.

Posted by Judith — 5:15 AM

Verizon to pay US$21m. to settle suit over fees

Source: NYT.

Verizon Wireless has agreed to pay US$21m. to settle a lawsuit filed by customers in California upset with the company’s early termination fees.
Telecommunications companies charge early termination fees that can range from US$150 to US$225 when customers cancel their service contracts before they expire.

Posted by Judith — 4:00 AM

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Broadcom, Qualcomm face off in chip hearing.

Source: InformationWeek.

Wireless chipmakers Broadcom and Qualcomm have gone before a U.S. appeals court to argue a patent case that could result in BlackBerries and other advanced cell phones being banned for sale in the United States.
At issue is a patent on technology that helps cell phone chips use less power.

Posted by Judith — 5:45 AM

Vodafone wins huge tax windfall.

Source: BWCS.

Vodafone UK has won a landmark tax case against Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise worth around GBP2bn. (US$4.4bn.). The move comes after a relocation of the part of global operator’s operations to a new country - the Duchy of Luxembourg. Officials in the tiny state have issued Vodafone with a certificate of tax residency that confirms Vodafone Investments Luxembourg Sarl is resident for tax purposes there.

Posted by Judith — 3:09 AM

MTN, Reliance extend merger talks.


Pan African operator MTN has announced that it has agreed to extend merger discussions with Indian carrier Reliance Communications until later this month.
In a joint announcement to the Johannesburg and Bombay stock exchanges, the companies confirmed an extension on the talks until July 21, as they look for a way to create an emerging markets powerhouse.

Posted by Judith — 3:03 AM

ChinaTel completes Beijing WiMAX network for CECT-Chinacomm.

Source: TeleGeography.

ChinaTel, via its newly acquired subsidiary Trussnet USA, has announced that it has completed the installation of the first phase of a wireless broadband network in Beijing for Chinese telco CECT-Chinacomm, providing coverage of approximately 100sq. kilometres of the capital.

Posted by Judith — 2:55 AM

AR Telecom looks overseas for expansion.

Source: TeleGeography.

The Portuguese telco AR Telecom is cutting back its plans for domestic expansion and is instead focusing on its international operations. AR Telecom intends to spend EUR340m. (US$533m.) outside Portugal in 2008 while just EUR20m. will be invested in its domestic operations. A plan to achieve nationwide coverage in Portugal has been scrapped, with Brazil and Greece now the focus of its efforts.

Posted by Judith — 2:30 AM

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

T-Mobile planning more 3G launches in October.

Source: TeleGeography.

T-Mobile USA is reported to be planning a near nationwide launch of 3G services in the fourth quarter of this year. The cellco’s high speed networks have so far only been switched on in New York, but it is now looking at launching in 27 new markets at the start of October. The other cities expected to get 3G coverage by the end of the year are: Atlanta, Austin, Birmingham, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis, New England, NJ and Long Island, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa and Washington DC.

Posted by Judith — 5:52 AM

MEPs back contested telecoms plan.

Source: BBC.

European politicians have voted in favour of amendments to telecoms law which campaigners say could be used to curb privacy online and file-sharing.
But campaigners say one of the amendments - which could allow governments to decide which software can be used on the web - makes it easier to enforce the controversial “three strikes” law which the music industry is keen to use in order to clamp down on file-sharers.
This would see users receive two warnings if they download copyright material without permission, followed by a complete web ban.

Posted by Judith — 5:39 AM

Microsoft says willing to restart Yahoo talks.

Source: Reuters.

Microsoft has announced that it would be willing to reopen talks to buy all or part of Yahoo Inc, but only if a new Yahoo board is elected.

Posted by Judith — 4:12 AM

Canadian spectrum auction nearing conclusion.

Source: Globe and Mail.

Six weeks of aggressive bidding have pushed prices far above all initial expectations. But a small, private Canadian firm called Globalive Communications has managed to win licences across the country, with the critical exception of Quebec. Another new player, Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc., a venture of Canadian satellite-radio king John Bitove and Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen, has obtained spectrum in B.C., Alberta and Ontario.
Regionally, Calgary’s Shaw Communications, Quebecor and Atlantic Canada’s Bragg Communications Inc. have each obtained enough spectrum to build wireless networks in their home regions.
The results of the auction mean there will be two to three new players in most markets, rather than just one, as originally expected.

Posted by Judith — 3:50 AM

Monday, July 7, 2008

Freenet swallows Debitel in switch to mobile.

Source: BWCS.

German ISP and telecoms operator Freenet has bought the remaining shares in mobile service company Debitel for a reported EUR1.63bn., a figure that include EUR1.14bn. of debt. Debitel’s former owner, the private equity company Permira, now holds a quarter of the shares in Freenet. Between them, Freenet and Debitel, have around 19m. mobile customers in Germany and around 900,000 in the Netherlands.

Posted by Judith — 4:38 AM

U-verse for Tennessee.

Source: TeleGeography

AT&T plans to spend US$400m. over the next two years deploying its U-verse fibre network in Tennessee. When completed the FFTP network will cover 56 Tennessee towns. AT&T currently claims to have more than one million customers in the state while Comcast is the dominant cable provider.

Posted by Judith — 3:39 AM

Ofcom outlines plans for super-fast broadband.

Source: TeleGeography.

The UK communications regulator Ofcom has announced that it aims to set out details of the regulatory framework for super-fast broadband in September this year. It has also highlighted the need for an investment framework for these services revealing plans for hosting working sessions for companies, focused on practical action, to take place in the near future.

Posted by Judith — 3:01 AM

Nokia dragged over coals in Bochum settlement.


Nokia has announced that it has now been corralled into a partnership with the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia to stimulate growth, create new jobs and generate investment for Bochum and the neighbouring cities.
The company has already agreed to a EUR200m. package for the 2,300 workers it axed from its device manufacturing plant in Bochum, earlier this year.

Posted by Judith — 2:57 AM

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Consortium rescues Bell Canada takeover.

Source: NYT.

A private equity and pension fund consortium has announced that it salvaged a record US$52bn. deal for Bell Canada by postponing its closing date until mid-December and renegotiating some terms of the transaction — including canceling dividend payments on the telecommunication giant’s common stock.

Posted by Judith — 6:49 AM

Friday, July 4, 2008

Japan-Russia cable system starts operations.

Source: Digital Media Europe.

TransTeleCom Company (TTK), a telecommunications backbone operator in Russia and NTT, have announced that the Hokkaido-Sakhalin Cable System (HSCS), which directly links the two companies’ telecom networks via an undersea cable in Russia and Japan, has begun commercial operation.
Its startup gives NTT the shortest route between Japan and Europe, compared with existing cable routes through southern Asia and the United States, by connecting the cable to the TTK’s backbone network in Russia.

Posted by Judith — 4:18 AM

Vodafone acquires majority stake of Ghana Telecom.

Source: NYT.

The Vodafone Group said it had agreed to acquire a 70% stake in Ghana Telecom, the African country’s third-largest mobile phone operator, for US$900m. Vodafone, based in Britain, said the government of Ghana would retain a 30% stake in Ghana Telecom.

Posted by Judith — 3:14 AM

Thursday, July 3, 2008

NTT Data acquires majority stake in Matsushita mobile phone unit.

Source: TeleGeography.

NTT Data, a division of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone which builds computer networks and provides maintenance services, is acquiring a 60% stake in a mobile phone software subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial, Japan’s second largest handset manufacturer.

Posted by Judith — 6:05 AM

Nokia finds way to bring Navteq into fold.


Handset vendor Nokia’s US$8.1bn. acquisition of mapping firm Navteq is back on track after the European Commission gave the deal the go ahead..
The Finnish firm said it expects to close the purchase, it’s largest to date, within the next five business days.
The acquisition fits with the Finnish firm’s positioning as a competitor to Google, rather than a straight handset vendor.

Posted by Judith — 4:59 AM

Five line up to take Huawei’s mobile unit.

Source: BWCS.

The field of competitors vying to buy the mobile handset division of Chinese vendor Huawei has been reduced to five - all private equity companies.The remaining bidders are reported to include: Bain Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs’ private equity arm, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Silver Lake Partners. The fifth possible partner is AEA Investors, whose bid is being masterminded by former Nortel chief Bill Owens.

Posted by Judith — 4:01 AM

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

UTStarcom sheds some wireless weight.

Source: Light Reading.

The new-look UTStarcom is taking shape, as the company is now selling off a second wireless division in hopes of focusing on higher-margin businesses like IPTV.
The company has announced a deal to sell off its Personal Communications Division (PCD) to an arm of AIG Investments. The sale would have PCD keep its management team and morph into Personal Communication Devices LLC, an entity that would have AIG Vantage Capital as its lead investor and UTStarcom as a 2% owner.

Posted by Judith — 4:05 AM

Blyk to enter Belgium early.

Source: BWCS.

Advertising funded mobile operator Blyk has announced plans to enter the Belgian market six months earlier than anticipated. The company reported that it has agreed an MVNO deal with Belgian mobile operator Mobistar.

Posted by Judith — 4:01 AM

T-Mobile introduces HSUPA network upgrade.

Source: TeleGeography.

T-Mobile UK has deployed an HSUPA upgrade across its entire 3.5G mobile network, allowing faster upload speeds of up to 1.4Mbps, becoming the first operator in the UK to implement the technology on a national basis.

Posted by Judith — 3:55 AM

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

HP purchase of EDS gets U.S. government clearance.

Source: InformationWeek.

Hewlett-Packard’s planned US$12.6bn. purchase of EDS has cleared U.S. government antitrust review.
They are still waiting for approval from European regulators. EDS will hold a shareholder meeting on July 31 to get clearance from its investors to seal the deal.

Posted by Judith — 5:02 AM

Verizon Communications keen to buy Vodafone out of wireless venture.

Source: TeleGeography.

Verizon Communications has restated its interest in buying out Vodafone’s 45% interest in their US cellular venture Verizon Wireless.
The imminent departure of Vodafone chief executive Arun Sarin has fuelled speculation that the UK-based firm could relinquish its stake in Verizon Wireless, with a number of Vodafone shareholders known to be keen to see the firm exit the US.

Posted by Judith — 4:18 AM

Nokia signs Warner to music deal.

Source: Reuters.

Nokia has signed a deal with Warner Music Group to make Warner titles available through its “Comes With Music” service and Nokia music store.
“Comes With Music” from Nokia, the first cellphone maker to push heavily into content, would differ from other packages on the market as users can keep all the music they have downloaded during the 12 months.

Posted by Judith — 4:09 AM

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