Europe's big telecoms roar back to health, worrying rivals

Incumbents gained broadband market share in 1H 2014 for first time in 8 years


PARIS (Reuters) - Europe's big telecom firms are back to rude financial health after years of poor results and regulatory pressure, drawing crowds of new investors and protests from rivals who worry the formerly state-owned companies may rebuild their monopolies.

Germany's Deutsche Telekom and Spain's Telefonica have predicted that revenues will grow this year, while France's Orange and Norway's Telenor  have promised higher future dividends, a major motivation for investors in the sector.

Italy government pushing for broadband solution

Sector regulator AGCOM favors 'fiber-to-the-cabinet' architecture


MILAN (Reuters) - The Italian government is pushing to speed up the roll-out of ultrafast broadband networks to help its ailing economy, fuelling speculation it could force incumbent Telecom Italia into a costly overhaul of its existing infrastructure.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi meets on Tuesday to approve an 6 billion euro ($6.7 billion) plan to build a nationwide fiber optic network by replacing the aging copper wires that run into subscribers' homes.

Qualcomm preps technology to reduce burden on mobile networks

'LTE Unlicensed' adapts signals to be used over short distances


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm wants wireless carriers to set up new technology that would offer cellphone users better reception in places like subway tunnels and shopping malls.

The San Diego, California company said on Thursday it will start selling components this year featuring LTE technology adapted for a smaller scale than traditional cellphone base stations mounted on metal towers bristling with antennas and other electronics.

Cablevision loses video subscribers for 10th straight quarter


(Reuters) - Cablevision Systems Corp reported a drop in video subscribers for the tenth quarter in a row, raising concerns about the company's prospects as customers increasingly shift to lower-priced bundled services from telecom carriers.

Cablevision's shares fell as much as 5.5 percent after the company also posted a 3.4 percent drop in adjusted operating cash flow, a closely watched metric for the cable TV industry.

IBM targets $40 billion in cloud, other growth areas by 2018

Revenue growth strategy includes analytics, mobile, social and security


(Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp, which ruled computing in the age of the mainframe, is targeting $40 billion in annual revenue from the cloud, big data, security and other growth areas by 2018.

The aggressive target, set by IBM executives at the company's annual investor meeting in New York on Thursday, is the latest step for the technology giant towards emerging, high-margin businesses, and away from its previous strongholds in hardware and servers.

On U.S. net neutrality rules, 11th-hour push against vague rule

Shared concern by industry groups and activists is a rare example of the two sides being aligned


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the U.S. Federal Communications Commission prepares to vote on new rules for high-speed Internet service, one aspect of the rules is drawing criticism from both opponents and proponents of tighter regulation.

The FCC, which is set to vote next week to regulate Internet service providers more like traditional telephone companies, has introduced a so-called "general conduct" provision in the latest version of the rules that aim to ensure net neutrality, the principle that all web traffic should be treated equally.

T-Mobile and AT&T encourage FCC to revisit spectrum bidding rules


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - T-Mobile's chief executive on Wednesday called the recent U.S. auction of airwaves "a disaster" for American consumers as he took aim at rules that allowed Dish Network Corp to partner with companies that may qualify for some $13 billion in discounts.

Satellite provider Dish and biggest U.S. wireless carriers Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc won most of the licenses in the record-breaking $45 billion auction of spectrum that ended last month.

Telecoms tycoon seeks to buy out Vivendi from Numericable-SFR

Could clear the way for bid on smaller French rival Bouygues Telecom


PARIS (Reuters) - Billionaire Patrick Drahi is aiming to buy Vivendi's 20 percent stake in Numericable-SFR to strengthen his grip on France's No.2 telecoms group and prepare for a possible next round of industry consolidation.

Drahi's holding company Altice and its subsidiary Numericable-SFR said on Wednesday they had offered Vivendi 3.9 billion euros ($4.5 billion), or 40 euros a share, for the media firm's stake.

EU's head of digital policy raps resistance to ban on roaming fees

Member states in eastern Europe worry that operators will be forced to raise domestic prices


BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union member states came under fire from the bloc's head of digital policy on Tuesday for resisting efforts to scrap mobile phone roaming charges for consumers.

Though the removal of the charges is a priority for the European Commission as it seeks to spur cross-border telecoms competition, EU members concerned about the effect on operators have proposed that any ban should be held back until 2018 at the earliest.

Lockheed sees double-digit growth in cyber business

Serves 200 critical infrastructure firms globally in energy, oil and gas, chemical, finance and pharm


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp, the No. 1 provider of information technology to the U.S. government, said it expected double-digit growth in its overall cybersecurity business over the next three to five years, and even bigger gains in the commercial sector.

Lockheed, also the Pentagon's biggest supplier, said it was making strong inroads in the commercial market by leveraging a dozen years of experience and intelligence gathered while guarding its own networks and those of government agencies.

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