Press Clippings: November 2008

Major Industry items you might have missed

Saturday, November 29, 2008

YTL partners with Cisco for WIMAX rollout.

Source: TeleGeography.

Y-Max Networks, a subsidiary of YTL Corporation, has announced a deal with hardware vendor Cisco to establish the formers core WiMAX network in Malaysia. The agreement will see Cisco build and integrate the network, which includes IP CORE, Operating Support Systems, Billing Systems, Proactive Network Operating Centre, and Interoperability Testing labs.

Posted by Judith — 3:38 AM

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ericsson inks deal with MBNL for 3G network management.

Source: TeleGeography.

Ericsson has been awarded a contract to manage the integration of T-Mobile’s and 3 UK’s 3G networks as part of the 50/50 joint venture, Mobile Broadband Network Limited. The four-year contract will see Ericsson maintain and operate the consolidated network and an estimated 5,000 cell sites are expected to be decommissioned as part of the agreement. Approximately 80 employees from T-Mobile have also been transferred to Ericsson to strengthen the vendor’s UK managed services capability.

Posted by Judith — 5:52 AM

Telstra’s NBN bid non-compliant, will still be considered.

Source: TeleGeography.

It is being reported that Telstra has failed to meet the government guidelines for the bid. Despite a government stipulation that bids should propose coverage of 98% of the population, Telstra’s submission is for a network covering between 80%-90%. The non-compliant bid is believed to have been prompted by refusals from the government to clarify whether the successful bidder for the project would be forced into a structural separation process. An expert panel appointed by the government is set to consider all bids, and it has been confirmed that this will includes Telstra’s, despite the non-compliance.

Posted by Judith — 5:05 AM

EU nations back SMS rules.

Source: The Inquirer.

EU telecoms ministers have limited the price of sending text messages by mobile phone while roaming in the European bloc.
From the middle of next year, mobile phone companies will not be able to charge EU phone users more than EUR0.11 for SMS messages.

Posted by Judith — 4:28 AM

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Nokia to cease sales in Japan, except high-end brand.

Source: Reuters.

Nokia, the world’s biggest cellphone maker, has announced that it will stop selling mobile phones in Japan except for its luxury Vertu brand after struggling to expand its presence.
Japan is the world’s fourth largest mobile phone market after the United States, China and India. But it makes up only a tiny part of sales at Nokia, whose products have failed to lure customers away from more sophisticated Japanese ones.

Posted by Judith — 3:12 AM

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

BCE privatization delayed.

Source: Globe and Mail.

The massive planned privatization of telecommunications giant BCE Inc. is in jeopardy after the company failed a preliminary solvency test by the auditing firm hired to provide valuations for the would-be purchasers, led by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board.

Posted by Judith — 5:52 AM

India to press go button on 3G sale.

Source: BWCS.

The Indian government has chosen NM Rothschild and Sons to oversee the coming auction of 3G mobile phone licences in the country. The eagerly awaited spectrum sale will begin within “two to three days” and should be completed by the 15th of January.
Interest is high in the auctions, particularly as India is now, officially, the world’s second largest mobile market, after China and the world’s fastest growing wireless market. Last month, the country saw 10.42m. new mobile customers sign up with the existing operators, while China added 8m.

Posted by Judith — 5:03 AM

TiVo launches mobile site.


TiVo is rolling out a mobile site that lets subscribers use their cellphones to search for and record TV shows. Currently, the service is only available to Verizon Wireless customers who pay a fee to access it. The new web site, however, is free and can be accessed by any subscriber with an internet-enabled handset.

Posted by Judith — 4:30 AM

Australian NBN deadlines passed; six bidders confirmed.

Source: TeleGeography.

It is reported that six bids have been made for Australia’s National Broadband Network after the deadline for submissions passed today. Telstra has been confirmed as one of the companies to throw their hat in the ring. Rival Optus has also put a bid forward for the NBN, backed by the Terria Consortium. Canada’s Aaxia NetMedia has also lodged a bid. The final named bidder is the Accacia Group, whose investors include directors of KPMG, Highpoint Property Group and the founders of Seek. The other two bidders have not been named.
The NBN project, which will cover 98% of the country, is expected to cost up to AU$10bn. (US$6.5bn.), and the government has pledged to provide up to AU$4.7bn. of that.

Posted by Judith — 4:09 AM

Siemens reaches insolvency deal with BenQ Mobile.

Source: cellular-news.

Siemens AG, Germany’s largest industrial and electronics company, has announced that it has reached a deal with administrators in the case of BenQ Mobile’s insolvency settlement.
Siemens said that it would pay a gross sum to BenQ Mobile of EUR300m. (US$381m.) in relation to the insolvency of the BenQ business in 2006.

Posted by Judith — 3:55 AM

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Iowa Telecom agrees Minnesota buy.

Source: TeleGeography.

The rural fixed line carrier Iowa Telecom has agreed to buy Minnesota’s Sherburne Tele Systems in a US$80.6m. deal. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in mid-2009. Iowa Telecom currently has more than 230,000 access lines in service.

Posted by Judith — 4:42 AM

CenturyTel/Embarq deal receives anti-trust approval.

Source: TeleGeography.

The US Federal Trade Commission has approved CenturyTel’s US$4.98bn. buyout of larger rival Embarq. The all-stock deal, which was announced last month, will create an entity with 7.9m. fixed line customers and around 2m. broadband internet users across 33 states.

Posted by Judith — 4:30 AM

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cisco To Cut Costs With Holiday Shutdown

Source: ChannelWeb

Cisco Systems is implementing a mandatory shutdown for the holidays in an effort to trim costs amidst a tough global economy.

Posted by Penny — 4:04 PM

Windstream divests CT wireless assets

Source: TeleGeography.

The US fixed line operator Windstream has completed its US$60m. cash sale of wireless network assets in North Carolina to AT&T. The deal includes approximately 52,000 cellular subscribers, spectrum licences and cell sites covering an area of North Carolina which is home to around 450,000 people. Windstream inherited the wireless assets when it acquired North Carolina-based telco CT Communications last year.

Posted by Judith — 5:26 AM

Eircom put on the block.

Source: TimesOnline.

Ireland’s main telecoms company Eircom will be formally put up for sale this week when its distressed Australian owner appoints investment bank UBS to find a buyer.
The company is one of several assets in Europe that Babcock & Brown put on the block last week as part of a sweeping restructuring plan.

Posted by Judith — 3:03 AM

Sprint completes 40Gbps trial on 10Gbps cable.

Source: TeleGeography.

Sprint Nextel has completed a trial of 40Gbps transmissions over a 9,000km transatlantic IP link between New York and Lulea in Sweden. The telco says the trial marks the first time that an OC768 40Gbps signal has been successfully transmitted over a submarine cable using a single wavelength and existing Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing.

Posted by Judith — 2:27 AM

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Nokia to start Japan cell phone service in 2009.

Source: Reuters.

Nokia plans to launch a mobile phone service in Japan next spring, a move expected to intensify competition among Japanese cell phone carriers.
Finnish cell phone manufacturer Nokia is expected to use lines owned by Japan’s biggest mobile phone carrier, NTT Docomo.

Posted by Judith — 5:46 AM

Friday, November 21, 2008

Clearwire shareholders approve WiMAX spin-off.

Source: TeleGeography.

Clearwire shareholders have voted to approve the deal, first announced in May, that will merge the company’s WiMAX operations with the Xhom WiMAX unit of Sprint Nextel. The shareholder vote and regulatory approval mean the deal is on track to close before the end of the year. Clearwire and Sprint will be joined by five strategic investors — Intel Corp, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks — who have agreed to invest a total of US$3.2bn. into the new unit.

Posted by Judith — 3:19 AM

Rule change will allow telecom mergers in Brazil.

Source: cellular-news.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has approved a change to Brazil’s telecommunications law, allowing fixed-line telecoms to operate in more than one region of the country.
The change will allow telecom Tele Norte Leste Participacoes SA — or Oi — to buy Brasil Telecom, Brazil’s No. 3 fixed-line carrier. Oi said in April it would pay 5.9bn. reals (US$2.5bn.) for control of Brasil Telecom.
The new company would then compete against foreign players that dominate the market: Spain’s Telefonica SA and Mexico’s America Movil, which is owned by billionaire Carlos Slim.

Posted by Judith — 2:14 AM

Four of six major U.K. ISPs shy away from Phorm.

Source: Clickz News.

Sky and Tiscali are the latest ISPs to signal they won’t be employing behavioural targeting technologies from Phorm or NebuAd across their networks, despite having held discussions with the firms. Existing Phorm partner Talk Talk, however, says it is committed to the technology, and may even roll it out without conducting preliminary consumer trials.

Posted by Judith — 2:06 AM

US Federal Court grants Telenor motion, holds Altimo in contempt.

Source: cellular-news.

¬≠The US Federal Court for the Southern District of New York has granted Telenor’s motion requesting that Alfa Group companies Altimo, Alpren, Hardlake and Storm be held in contempt of court for their failure to obey a November 2, 2007 court order upholding Telenor’s arbitration award against Alfa Group subsidiary Storm.
The Court held all four companies in contempt, imposed escalating fines, and ordered Storm to sell its shares in Ukrainian mobile operator Kyivstar within 90 days, unless within that period, Alfa has divested its shareholdings in excess of 5 per cent of Turkcell and Ukrainian High Technologies.

Posted by Judith — 1:48 AM

Vodafone says Nigeria could be interesting market.

Source: Reuters.

Vodafone’s Chief Executive Vittorio Colao believes Nigeria could be an interesting market for the mobile group and that keeping its stake in Verizon Wireless in the U.S. is right for now.
Vodafone owns 45% of Verizon Wireless, with Verizon Communications.

Posted by Judith — 1:38 AM

Thursday, November 20, 2008

FCC Chairman looking to vote on D-block, AWS-3 auctions next month.

Source: FierceBroadbandWireless.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is apparently seeking a vote on two wireless broadband auction initiatives before his chairmanship ends when President Elect Barack Obama takes office in January. Martin is looking to put the re-auction of the public-safety 700 MHz D-block spectrum and the controversial AWS-3 auction, which would require the winning bidder to dedicate 25% of its network capacity to free broadband service, on the Dec. 18 agenda.

Posted by Judith — 5:17 AM

Verizon & Velocix team up for CDN services.

Source: Light Reading.

Verizon is to introduce its own brand of content distribution services aimed at providing media companies a faster path to deliver video to broadband customers, and it will do so with equipment and services from Velocix.
Verizon will announce the initiative for its broadband FiOS plant as well as its global backbone network. The goal is to ensure quality delivery of video content to broadband subscribers both within and outside of the company’s network.

Posted by Judith — 4:46 AM

Sprint plans major outsourcing.

Source: BWCS.

Hard-pressed US mobile operator, Sprint Nextel, is said to be considering outsourcing thousands of jobs in a bid to cut costs. The process, commonly known as “re-badging”, would see swathes of the company’s employees switched to the payroll of Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent or IBM as Sprint hands over responsibility for the running of its phone network and IT systems to different companies.

Posted by Judith — 4:42 AM

Huawei lowest bidder in ICE tender for 3G platform.

Source: TeleGeography.

Chinese telecoms equipment supplier Huawei has submitted the lowest of three bids to Costa Rica’s state telecoms operator ICE for the rollout of a 3G network of 950,000 lines. Huawei’s bid of US$245m. beat those from Ericsson (US$34m.) and ZTE (US$447m.).

Posted by Judith — 3:35 AM

Yahoo, T-Mobile announce mobile search deal.

Source: Reuters.

Yahoo Inc announced an expansion of its mobile Web portals to T-mobile, so its smart phone users who get data will have Yahoo search by default.
Yahoo started serving T-mobile, a unit of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, in 10 European countries this year, sharing ad search revenue.
Yahoo will reach 105m. U.S. subscribers between its deal with T-Mobile and one with AT&T.

Posted by Judith — 2:54 AM

Verizon finally has its answer to the iPhone.

Source: cnet.

On Friday, Verizon will be the first and only wireless carrier in the U.S. to offer Research in Motion’s new BlackBerry Storm. The device is the first phone that could give Apple’s iPhone, which is offered exclusively on AT&T’s network, a run for its money.

Posted by Judith — 2:06 AM

KPN to work with Reggefiber for nationwide FTTH service.

Source: TeleGeography.

The Netherlands’ largest telecoms group KPN is teaming up with fellow Dutch fibre-optic provider Reggefiber to roll out FTTH services across the country. The two firms’ total investment on the project could reach EUR6-EUR7bn. (US$7.5-US$8.8bn.) over the next five to seven years.

Posted by Judith — 1:39 AM

FT enters into exclusive talks for Togolese licence.

Source: TeleGeography.

France Telecom has announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of the West African state of Togo, opening up the way for exclusive negotiations with regards to ‘a new global operator licence’ under the Orange brand.

Posted by Judith — 1:37 AM

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

iPCS drops Sprint injunction.

Source: TeleGeography.

The Sprint Nextel affiliate wireless operator iPCS has withdrawn its request for an injunction which would have blocked Sprint’s proposed WiMAX tie-up with Clearwire. iPCS had sought a temporary restraining order to stop the merger, though it has now agreed to drop the request for an injunction if Sprint/Clearwire agrees to give it at least two months notice of any launches in iPCS service areas.

Posted by Judith — 5:05 AM

LG gets smart at AT&T Mobility.

Source: RCR.

LG Electronics Co. has delivered its first smartphone for the United States market to AT&T Mobility.
The “Incite” is a touchscreen, 3G device running Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Mobile 6.1 with productivity and entertainment features, including a 3 megapixel camera and camcorder.
LG has been highly successful in the U.S. market by providing a range of low-, mid- and high-tier phones to the top carriers in both GSM and CDMA technologies and now rivals Motorola Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in a three-way battle for leadership here.

Posted by Judith — 4:01 AM

ZTE, Qualcomm behind Aircell Gogo service.

Source: FierceBroadbandWireless.

ZTE and Qualcomm announced they’ve developed the networking platform for Aircell’s Gogo inflight Internet service. Aircell’s Air-to-Ground service relies on ZTE’s EV-DO Rev. A base stations and IP switching platform and Qualcomm’s aircraft-mounted modems.

Posted by Judith — 2:57 AM

MTN to offer African roaming.

Source: BWCS.

Pan African mobile operator MTN Group says it will introduce seamless roaming across all of its 21 companies operating in Africa and the Middle East. The new service, to be dubbed One World, will allow MTN subscribers to receive free incoming calls while using the participating networks.

Posted by Judith — 2:44 AM

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

China picks up 3G pace, Mobile completes gear deals.

Source: Reuters.

China took another step toward its long-cherished goal of operating high-speed telecoms services, with China Mobile paying over US$4bn. in deals and smaller rival Unicom hoping to win a 3G license soon.
China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile provider, is now in talks with Motorola and Sony-Ericsson on acquiring dual-band cell phones that can used on China’s homegrown third-generation wireless standard, TD-SCDMA.

Posted by Judith — 3:46 AM

Leap jumps into Milwaukee.

Source: TeleGeography.

Leap Wireless International, which offers cellular services across the US under the Cricket brand, has launched its first networks in the upper Midwest. It has added coverage for 2.4m. people in the Greater Milwaukee area, with networks spanning 3,390 square miles.
The cellco offers a range of flat-rate unlimited calling plans without a monthly contract. It has operations in 29 states and claimed 3.46m. subscribers at end-September.

Posted by Judith — 3:12 AM

Indian DoT rules out any new mobile concessions.

Source: TeleGeography.

The Department of Telecommunications has announced that it will not grant any further mobile licences. The DoT maintains that there is sufficient competition in the market, hence its decision, although legal challenges to the ruling are expected.

Posted by Judith — 3:04 AM

CMT approves commercial launch for Telefonica FTTH network.

Source: TeleGeography.

The Spanish telecoms regulator, the CMT, has announced that it will now allow Telefonica to launch commercial services over its FTTH network. The decision comes after it was recently revealed that the CMT had temporarily suspended the telco’s right to launch services following a complaint from rival Orange that alleged wholesale access terms for the network had not been finalised.

Posted by Judith — 2:56 AM

Monday, November 17, 2008

Verizon finally gets 700 MHz assets.

Source: RCR.

The FCC has given final clearance to Verizon’s US$4.7bn. purchase of a nationwide collection of regional licenses at the 700 MHz auction earlier this year, refusing Google’s request to impose a stronger open-access condition and revising a key component of its merger review policy.
The FCC action, which also requires the new No. 1 wireless provider to divest 10 megahertz in a New Jersey market, follows the agency’s approval of the US$28bn. Verizon Wireless-Alltel merger and cellular association CTIA’s withdrawal of a legal challenge to the C-Block open-access provision.

Posted by Judith — 5:02 AM

ARM, Adobe collaborate on mobile Web browsing.

Source: Reuters.

Software maker Adobe Systems and chip designer ARM Holdings will collaborate to bring better Web services to ARM-powered devices including cellphones from most of the world’s biggest handset makers.
Nokia and Samsung as well as Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, have processors designed by UK-based ARM at their core.

Posted by Judith — 4:22 AM

Sprint given extra time for Nextel shut-down.

Source: TeleGeography.

Sprint Nextel has been told it now has just under a year to close down its iDEN mobile data networks in 81 markets where affiliate operator iPCS offers cellular services. A court in Illinois last week blocked an attempt by Sprint to overturn the initial ruling from September 2006 which ordered Sprint to close down its iDEN systems in iPCS territories. However, the deadline to comply with the shut-down order has been doubled in length to 360 days.

Posted by Judith — 4:14 AM

Millicom wins eighth African licence.

Source: BWCS.

Millicom International Cellular has announced that it has won another African licence. The latest win is in Rwanda where the company has been successful in the bidding for the third national licence, beating off competition from three rivals.
Millicom is to hold an 87.5% stake in its newly created joint venture with local company Marathon Corporation. Between them, the new partners will pay US$60m. for the 15 year franchise. The company said that the new licence will bring its total of licences held to 16 - spread across Africa, Asia and South America.

Posted by Judith — 3:06 AM

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sprint loses to iPCS again: Nextel sale ordered; Xohm endangered.

Source: TelecomWeb.

Sprint Nextel has lost yet again in its battle against wireless reseller iPCS, with the Illinois Supreme Court for a second time upholding an order forcing Sprint to divest or shut down a chunk of the Nextel network in portions of rural Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska.
The refusal of the court to agree with a Sprint plea to be allowed to appeal the Nextel divestiture order augurs poorly for Sprint in its next big showdown with iPCS. That’s a hearing now set for Nov. 17 at which iPCS is asking for an emergency injunction stopping the planned spin-out of Sprint’s mobile WiMax venture Xohm into a joint venture with Clearwire.

Posted by Judith — 5:02 AM

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nortel & Verizon team for teleconferencing.

Source: TelecomWeb.

Verizon Business has selected Nortel as its partner in a new managed telepresence service, to be delivered over Verizon’s global private IP network.
Under terms of the deal, the service will be sold by Verizon but managed by Nortel from its Multimedia Network Operations Centers around the world. Verizon already has a video collaboration portfolio, but thinks the new deal will lead to greater network utilization.

Posted by Judith — 4:21 AM

DT calls for VDSL help.

Source: TeleGeography.

Deutsche Telekom has called on its fellow German telcos to help build a national high speed VDSL broadband network, warning that the country would lose its competitive edge if it failed to do so. The telco wants VDSL to be exempt from regulation, saying it needs to negotiate access and prices with rivals on its own to recoup its investment.

Posted by Judith — 3:40 AM

Telekom Austria jumps on femto bandwagon.


The mobile division of Austrian carrier Telecom Austria has announced that it has started the first femtocell pilot in Central Europe.
Mobilkom has rolled out the technology with 35 selected residential and business customers throughout Austria, using kit from Chinese vendor Huawei.

Posted by Judith — 2:38 AM

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Microsoft to spend US$1bn. on R&D in China.

Source: Reuters.

Microsoft is to spend more than US$1bn. in China over the next three years on research and development.
The research spending does not include the US$300m. the company has already committed to build a new research and development facility in Beijing.
Even before the new investment China represented one of Microsoft’s largest research and development areas, trailing only the United States.

Posted by Judith — 7:07 AM

FCC approves Verizon, Alltel deal.

Source: TeleGeography.

The FCC has given its approval to Verizon’s US$28.1bn. acquisition of Alltel. The combined subscriber base of Verizon’s 70.8m. and Alltel’s 13.8m. takes them beyond AT&T with 74.9m. to become the new number one US wireless operator. However, the FCC has stipulated conditions on the deal. Verizon will be required to maintain any roaming agreements Alltel has with other carriers for at least four years.

Posted by Judith — 6:12 AM

BT cuts 10,000 jobs.

Source: Scotsman.

BT has announced it is cutting 10,000 jobs, mainly among agency workers and sub-contractors.
The company said it had already cut 4,000 jobs, leaving a further 6,000 to go between now and March, adding that it was not planning any compulsory redundancies.
The cuts, part of an on-going efficiency programme, will mainly affect BT’s indirect labour force including agency workers, contractors and offshore staff, including those based in India.

Posted by Judith — 5:20 AM

FastWeb, Eutelsat partnership.

Source: TeleGeography.

Fixed line operator FastWeb will extend its broadband coverage across Italy in an industrial alliance with French satellite company Eutelsat Communications. In June FastWeb reached an agreement with Telecom Italia to share access to each other’s networks and cooperate in building a new generation network with enhanced broadband capacity to avoid duplication in infrastructure buildout.

Posted by Judith — 4:15 AM

Velocita, SkyTel set to tackle M2M space.

Source: RCR.

Two companies with lengthy wireless histories have merged into one entity that is geared to tackle the machine-to-machine market.
Velocita Wireless and SkyTel are launching their new business plan this week. Velocita was formerly owned by Sprint Nextel and SkyTel was formed 20 years ago, offering the nation’s first nationwide paging service.
The new SkyTel combines Velocita’s national data network, which was the first in the nation, with SkyTel’s network.

Posted by Judith — 3:12 AM

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cisco Targets Consumer Telepresence Market

Source: Forbes

Cisco Systems Inc Chief Executive John Chambers said the company will launch a consumer version of its high-definition video conferencing system in around a year.

Posted by Trevor Hayes — 12:13 PM

Microsoft nears deal on search with Verizon.

Source: Reuters/WSJ.

Microsoft is said to be moving closer to an agreement with Verizon Wireless to become the default search provider on the wireless carrier’s cellphones, a deal rival Google has been striving for.
Under the terms now being considered, Microsoft would share revenue with Verizon from ads shown in response to cellphone Web searches, with guaranteed payments to the carrier of approximately US$550m. to US$650m. over five years.

Posted by Judith — 4:39 AM

BCE buyout still on track.

Source: TeleGeography.

Canada’s largest telecoms group BCE has reported that the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench has refused to grant an injunction to halt the company’s pending takeover deal. The court order had been sought by shareholders unhappy that CA$600m. (US$501m.) of dividends were cancelled to smooth the way for the buyout.

Posted by Judith — 4:19 AM

NTT DoCoMo to buy strategic stake in Tata Teleservices.

Source: TeleGeography.

NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s biggest mobile network operator by subscribers, is reported to be planning to buy a 25% stake in Indian mobile and wireline operator Tata Teleservices.

Posted by Judith — 4:06 AM

Orchestral manoeuvres in the light of Telepresence.

Source: BTplc.

Southbank Sinfonia, Britain’s best known orchestra of young professionals is for the first time using a unique, immersive “in person” collaboration technology to hold UK regional and international auditions to join its ensemble.
The technology, Cisco TelePresence, will be supplied through a collaboration with BT and Cisco.
The quality of the wideband spatial audio and ultra high definition video experience is such that there is no need for the young musicians to incur the cost of travelling to undertake an audition.

Posted by Judith — 3:04 AM

Voxbone announces iNum: the Internet’s first global ‘country code’.

Source: TeleGeography.

Voxbone, a provider of local telephone numbers to communications service providers and businesses worldwide, has launched iNum, a global telephone number that enables anyone to establish a local presence anywhere in the world. Voxbone will use the +883 ‘country code’, newly created by the International Telecommunication Union, to create a global country code and associated banks of direct-inward-dial numbers.

Posted by Judith — 2:34 AM

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nortel culls 1,300 jobs, loses US$3.4bn.

Source: Light Reading.

Nortel has announced a significant restructuring plan, including a headcount reduction of 1,300 jobs, in an effort to better address its target markets and find a profitable footing.
The revamp of the company into more autonomous business operations has resulted in the departure of a number of well known senior executives.

Posted by Judith — 3:50 AM

Monday, November 10, 2008

AT&T to acquire Centennial for US$944m.

Source: NYT.

AT&T plans to buy the rural phone company Centennial Communications for US$944m. in cash to expand its wireless network in Puerto Rico and other regions of the United States. Centennial has 1.1m. wireless subscribers, of which about 40% are in Puerto Rico.

Posted by Judith — 4:27 AM

Demand for mobile video pushes operators to an expensive upgrade.

Source: TimesOnline.

Mobile phone operators have spent billions of pounds rolling out 3G services for comparatively little return; now, amid a financial downturn and at the onset of a global recession, they are gearing up to do it all again.
Until recently 4G, which promises mobile broadband speeds that far outstrip even fixed-line broadband levels, seemed a comfortable four or even five years down the line. But not any more: Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, plans to auction 4G spectrum next year, forcing operators to commit to the new technology; worse, T-Mobile, the German group owned by DT, has upped the ante and become the first operator to run trials of 4G LTE, one of two competing technologies.

Posted by Judith — 4:00 AM

MetroPCS, Leap to launch free roaming on each other’s networks.

Source: RCR.

MetroPCS and Leap Wireless International will offer free roaming onto each other’s networks, a move stemming from a reciprocal roaming agreement signed in September by the two rivals.

Posted by Judith — 3:31 AM

BSNL plans overseas foray, open to overseas acquisitions.

Source: TeleGeography.

BSNL is reported to be actively looking to acquire operators in Africa and the Middle East. The operator is also reported to have joined a consortium of seven companies, Europe India Gateway, which will invest approximately US$50m. in an undersea cable link in the Atlantic. BSNL and fellow state-run operator MTNL are also involved in a separate joint venture, Millennium Telecom, which will lay two further undersea cable links to the east and west.

Posted by Judith — 3:04 AM

Belgacom granted approval for Scarlet takeover; network to be divested.

Source: TeleGeography.

Belgium’s largest broadband operator by subscribers, Belgacom, is expected to complete the purchase of internet service provider Scarlet by the end of November, after the deal won approval from competition authorities. However, the approval is conditional, and it has also been reported that Belgacom must first sell Scarlet’s fibre-optic network and cap prices for broadband services before the deal can be finalised.

Posted by Judith — 2:42 AM

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Panasonic and Sanyo aim to merge by end of year.

Source: NYT.

Two Japanese consumer electronics companies, Panasonic and Sanyo, have announced that they were pursuing a merger, a deal that would bring together two well-known brands with combined annual sales of more than 11 trillion yen, or US$111.5bn.

Posted by Judith — 3:00 AM

Friday, November 7, 2008

AT&T bulks up wi-fi with US$275m. Wayport purchase.

Source: InformationWeek.

In a move to firm up its Wi-Fi business, AT&Thas announced that it has acquired Wayport for US$275m.
Wayport provides back-office management for Wi-Fi hotspots and offers thousands of wireless hotspots in locations like Four Seasons hotels, McDonald’s, and Sun Healthcare. The company said the acquisition will expand AT&T’s Wi-Fi footprint to nearly 20,000 hotspots in the United States.

Posted by Judith — 4:54 AM

Ballmer rules out new bid for Yahoo.

Source: CNET.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has stated that Microsoft is “not interested” in making a new offer for internet company Yahoo, despite Yahoo’s share price currently sitting at less than half what Microsoft initially offered.

Posted by Judith — 3:11 AM

Structural separation ‘stupid with a capital S’; threatens Telstra’s NBN bid.

Source: TeleGeography.

It is reported that fixed line and broadband incumbent Telstra has warned it may not bid for the national broadband network (NBN) tender, just three weeks from the bidding deadline of 26 November. The issue of structural separation has long been rumoured to be a contentious issue for Telstra regarding bidding for the NBN project, with Sol Trujillo, Telstra’s CEO, calling the idea ‘stupid with a capital S’. It is believed that a failure to obtain a guarantee from the government that it would not forced to hive off the fibre-optic network from Telstra’s retail operation remains the biggest concern for the telco.

Posted by Judith — 3:09 AM

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Google abandons deal with Yahoo.

Source: BBC.

Google has decided to abandon its advertising partnership with Yahoo to avoid having a “protracted legal battle” with regulators.
The deal involved Google providing some of the advertising around Yahoo’s search results and would have been worth US$800m. (GBP494m.) a year to Yahoo.

Posted by Judith — 4:08 AM

Vodafone takes control of Vodacom.


UK-based operator Vodafone has announced that its Rand22.5bn. (US$2.5bn.) bid for a further 15% stake in South African operation Vodacom has been accepted.
The move takes Vodafone’s holding in Vodacom to 65%, and allows the company to realise its long standing aim of taking control of the African operator.

Posted by Judith — 3:55 AM

Amdocs to acquire ChangingWorlds for personalization system.

Source: Converge.

Amdocs has agreed to acquire ChangingWorlds, a privately-held provider of personalization and intelligent portal solutions for mobile service providers, for US$60m. in cash.
ChangingWorlds’ patented technology automatically builds subscriber profiles based on user behavior and usage patterns that require no user input or action to make finding relevant content faster and requiring less clicks.

Posted by Judith — 3:43 AM

Orange UK slows broadband rollout; IPTV plans reconsidered.

Source: TeleGeography.

UK cellco Orange will slow down the rollout of its fixed line broadband services in the country, and plans to rethink plans for the launch of IPTV services amid high levels of competition in the market. In the broadband market it is understood that the operator will focus on improving the quality of its services, moving away from previous plans to concentrate on growing its subscriber base. Additionally, Orange has reiterated plans to build its own broadband infrastructure, rather than rent lines from incumbent BT.

Posted by Judith — 3:07 AM

Telarus signs WSA.

Source: TeleGeography.

Telarus has signed a Wholesale Services Agreement (WSA) with Telecom New Zealand’s wholesale business allowing it to offer fixed line voice, ADSL and SHDSL services. By extending its MPLS into New Zealand, Telarus will initially run a single point of presence (POP) from Auckland to provide national coverage.

Posted by Judith — 2:56 AM

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

FCC OKs Verizon/Alltel and Sprint/ Clearwire deals.

Source: Reuters.

The FCC has voted to approve a Verizon Wireless plan to buy Alltel for US$28.1bn. and Sprint Nextel’s proposed joint venture with Clearwire.
After their deal, Verizon Wireless will overtake AT&T Inc as the biggest U.S. mobile service. Sprint and Clearwire plan to combine their resources to build a high-speed wireless network with investments from companies such as Comcast Corp, Intel Corp and Google Inc.

Posted by Judith — 3:36 AM

Tech giants win white space fight.

Source: BBC.

Federal regulators have approved a plan to use currently unlicensed parts of the US TV airwaves, known as white spaces, to deliver broadband services.
For more than two years this proposal has pitted new media against old.
The unanimous 5-0 vote by the FCC is being seen as a major victory for the big technology companies that lobbied long and hard to open up the white spaces.

Posted by Judith — 3:33 AM

Globalstar licence expanded to allow rural WiMAX.

Source: TeleGeography.

The FCC has approved proposals by satellite internet operator Globalstar for the modification of its licence to permit the use of the WiMAX air interface protocol. The decision opens the way for Globalstar to deploy WiMAX wireless broadband services to more than 500 rural communities across the United States.

Posted by Judith — 3:01 AM

Sprint facing US$1.2bn. lawsuit.

Source: TeleGeography.

Sprint Nextel is facing a US$1.2bn. federal class-action lawsuit over the fees it charges customers for the early termination of their contracts. The cellco lost a similar case in a California court in July this year and the attorney in that case has now widened the scope of his appeal to become a full national class-action suit.

Posted by Judith — 2:53 AM

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sprint commits to iDEN, Motorola rejoices.


US mobile operator and WiMAX pioneer, Sprint, said it intends to rejuvenate its ageing iDEN network after failing to find a buyer for the unit.
The carrier, which acquired the iDEN network along with Nextel in 2005, said it has extended its long term partnership with Motorola, the creator of the proprietary push to talk technology.

Posted by Judith — 6:09 AM

FCC delays Tuesday vote, prepares for ‘white spaces’ ballot.

Source: InformationWeek.

The FCC reported on Monday that it will postpone the planned Election Day vote on the universal service fund and major revisions to intercarrier compensation.
More than 100 members of Congress and a large group of telecommunications industry players had sought the delay in the vote, which FCC Chairman Kevin Martin had wanted to take place before results of Tuesday’s national election were recorded.

Posted by Judith — 4:24 AM

Tiscali to sell UK broadband business to BSkyB.

Source: TimesOnline.

Tiscali, the troubled Italian broadband provider, has confirmed that it is in talks with BSkyB to sell its UK broadband business to the satellite broadcaster.
BSkyB, which is 39% owned by News Corporation is believed to have tabled an initial bid of GBP450m. for Tiscali’s 1.8m. broadband customers.
If the deal goes through, BSkyB would leapfrog Carphone Warehouse to become the country’s third-largest internet provider with 3.6m. customers, behind BT and Virgin Media.

Posted by Judith — 3:56 AM

Qualcomm, Amobee team for mobile ads.

Source: InformationWeek.

Qualcomm has announced a partnership with Amobee to help carriers bring more targeted mobile ads to customers’ cell phones.
The deal will integrate Amobee’s large ad-serving platform with Qualcomm’s Plaza platform, and the goal is to enable wireless carriers to give its customers unique mobile Internet experiences while cashing in on the mobile ad revenue.

Posted by Judith — 3:22 AM

Monday, November 3, 2008

Microsoft, LG sign mobile collaboration deal.

Source: Reuters.

Microsoft and South Korea’s LG Electronics have announced that they have signed a preliminary agreement on strategic collaboration in mobile technology.

Posted by Judith — 4:56 AM

Zain takes majority Iraqi stake.

Source: TeleGeography.

Kuwait-based Zain Group has increased its ownership in its Iraqi mobile subsidiary Zain Iraq from 30% to 62% by activating a call option agreed with Athir National (Bahrain), one of the shareholders of Atheer Telecom Iraq, for a total consideration of US$34.5m.

Posted by Judith — 4:10 AM

UK users get cheaper mobile broadband.


UK service providers have started a price war over mobile broadband, after one carrier claimed that 10% of users are mis-sold packages.
On Friday, Telefonica’s UK operation, O2 UK, announced that research it had carried out revealed that one in ten mobile broadband users feel they were mis-sold on what it offered.

Posted by Judith — 4:01 AM

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Verizon gains biggest Government Comms contract.

Source: TelecomWeb.

Verizon has landed a massive US$1.1bn. worth of new contracts under the General Service Administration’s Networx Universal MegaContract, believed to be the largest awards to a single company to date.
The new awards are a pair of contracts from DITCO, the contracting arm of the Defense Information Systems Agency worth up to US$752m. and US$358m., covering various data and voice services.

Posted by Judith — 5:24 AM

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