MTN says probe dismisses corruption allegations

Reuters

An external committee appointed by African mobile phone group MTN to investigate claims by rival Turkcell of corrupt dealings in Iran has dismissed the allegations as "a fabric of lies, distortions and inventions".

The committee, chaired by retired British judge Lord Hoffmann, also found nothing to support claims that MTN (Johannesburg, South Africa) had promised to get the South African government to supply Iran with defense equipment in exchange for a telecoms operating license.

BT revenues drop 6% on regulatory, economic woes

UK fixed-line incumbent BT reported a disappointing 6% fall in third-quarter sales, to £4.5 billion ($7.1 billion), as tough economic conditions, adverse regulation and dwindling revenues from line rentals and calls all took their toll.

Although pre-tax profit was 7% higher than a year earlier, at £675 million, the increase was partly attributed to “the reduced cost of sales due to the decline in revenue”, plus lower depreciation and amortisation charges as the company reins in capital expenditure.

KPN's debt-cutting solution could be a new share issue

Reuters

Dutch telecoms group KPN is widely expected to announce steps to cut debt when announcing full-year results next week, with some analysts bracing for a share issue.

KPN (The Hague, Netherlands), which will report 2012 results on February 5, breached its own debt target of 2.0-2.5 times debt to core profit (EBITDA) in the second quarter. The ratio hit 2.7 in the third quarter.

Carrier Ethernet 2.0 - Changing the World, Again

CE 2.0 is Makes it easier for Carriers to meet and exploit rising demand

First generation Carrier Ethernet already dominates WAN equipment revenue, and now Carrier Ethernet 2.0 is making it easier for Carriers to meet and exploit the demand that Carrier Ethernet has already fuelled

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Ten years ago The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) was founded to develop and promote a new generation of Ethernet called Carrier Ethernet. Since then Carrier Ethernet has transformed WAN and enterprise connectivity as well as providing an infrastructure to fuel soaring user expectations for mobile applications.

AT&T rating cut by Moody's on concern about debt-financed buyback

Ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded AT&T on concern about debts the operator has incurred to finance its share repurchase program.

Lowering the credit rating from A3 to A2, Moody’s says it believes the debt- financed program will result in “materially higher leverage for several years before it can be offset by organic growth”.

NTT DoCoMo revenues up on data growth, but profits fall

NTT DoCoMo has reported a 6.1% year-on-year increase in revenues for the last nine months of 2012, to ¥3,370.8 billion ($37 billion), thanks to the growing take-up of LTE-based smartphones and data services in the final part of the year.

Nevertheless, net income for the same period fell by 5.6%, to ¥702.2 billion, due to an increase in operating expenses aimed at strengthening the Japanese operator’s cloud business and higher handset costs.

SingTel sells 30% stake in Warid to Abu Dhabi Group

Singaporean telecoms incumbent SingTel has sold its 30% stake in Pakistan’s Warid Telecom to the Abu Dhabi Group, which already owned the other 70% of the loss-making operator.

SingTel will receive a cash payment of $150 million for its shares as well as 7.5% of the proceeds from any future sale of Warid (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates).

It says the sale follows a strategic review of the investment, its competitive position and opportunity.

Bharti Airtel keen on Myanmar move

India’s Bharti Airtel has expressed interest in acquiring a telecoms license in Myanmar, according to a source cited by The Wall Street Journal.

“We have sent our expression of interest in acquiring a mobile phone services license to the Myanmar government,” the executive is quoted as saying.

Bharti Airtel’s (New Delhi, India) Asian arm already operates mobile-phone businesses in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, besides India, and Myanmar obviously holds appeal for an operator with considerable experience of serving underpenetrated, low-income markets.

US Justice Dept examining Softbank, Sprint deal

Reuters

The Justice Department urged the U.S. telecommunications regulator on Tuesday to "defer" action on its investigation of Japan's Softbank Corp's takeover of Sprint Nextel, according to an FCC filling.

Softbank (Tokyo, Japan) and Sprint (Overland Park, USA) agreed last year that Softbank Corp would pay $20 billion for control of Sprint Nextel Corp, giving the Japanese firm entry into the U.S. market and Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. carrier, much-needed cash.

US government warns of hack threat to network gear

Reuters

The Department of Homeland Security urged computer users on Tuesday to disable a common networking technology feature, after researchers warned that hackers could exploit flaws to gain access to tens of millions of vulnerable devices.

The U.S. government's Computer Emergency Readiness Team, on its website, advised consumers and businesses to disable a feature known as Universal Plug and Play or UPnP, and some other related features that make devices from computers to printers accessible over the open Internet.

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