Verizon's iPhone now in stores, ending AT&T exclusivity

Antenna problems may persist

After more than three years of AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) exclusivity, Verizon Wireless' (Basking Ridge, NJ, USA) iPhone finally goes on sale today in the U.S. After years of pent-up demand from its customers, Verizon has seen very strong pre-launch demand for Apple's handset. Analysts predict, on average, that Verizon could sell more than 12 million units this year.

Alcatel-Lucent shares leap after CEO optimism

Claims 3-year turnaround is on track

Reuters

Long-troubled telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent sparked investor hopes it had turned a corner when it kept an ambitious free cash flow target and reassured on its 2011 profitability.

Shares in the Franco-American group shot up more than 13 percent to their highest level since October 2009, making it the French CAC 40 index's biggest gainer on Thursday.

Chief Executive Ben Verwaayen, a Dutchman who formerly led BT Group before taking over Alcatel-Lucent in September 2008, said the results showed that the group was on track to complete his promised three-year turnaround.

KT to become top owner of BC Card, bets on mobile payment

Board approves purchase of 33.85% stake

Reuters

KT Corp, South Korea's No.2 mobile carrier, said on Thursday that it plans to become the top shareholder of credit card processing firm BC Card, betting on mobile payment services to generate new revenue.

KT (Seoul) said in a statement that its board had approved its planned purchase of a combined 33.85 percent stake in BC Card from Woori Bank and Shinhan Card.

AT&T Adds 2 Million Devices in Q4, Edges Ahead of Verizon in M2M Race

US network now supports almost 11 million devices

As cell phone penetration in the US hits 95% (100% if you rule out kids under 5 years of age), the battleground for the largest telecom carriers has shifted to machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. And it looks like AT&T (Dallas, TX USA) has just gotten its nose ahead in this race, adding almost 2 million devices in Q4 2010. (Note: this includes consumer and computing devices like eReaders, tablets and laptops.)

Backhaul Optimizer Claims to Double Bandwidth for Voice, Data

New optimizer to be introduced at MWC

A new optimizer for mobile backhaul applications is said to double the amount of data standard networks can handle, allowing network operators to leverage existing networks for significant cost savings. The I-Gate 4000 from Dialogic Inc. (San Jose, CA USA) provides for voice- and data-stream optimization for 3G, 2G, and enterprise traffic, and is said to significantly improve the customer experience. The unit will be introduced at the upcoming Mobile World Congress In Barcelona.

IEEE Publishes Broadband-Over-Power Line Standard

Standard enables communications data rates in excess of 500 Mbps

IEEE (Piscataway, NJ USA) has announced that the final IEEE 1901 Broadband over Power Line (BPL) standard was finalized in December 2010 and is now available at its website. Sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society, this BPL standard is designed for use in a wide range of applications including smart energy, transportation and Local Area Networks (LANs) in both the home and the enterprise.

Canada overturns harsh data caps

Industry Minister says Internet billing ruling was flawed

A Canadian regulatory ruling that effectively stops small Internet providers from offering unlimited downloading must be revised, Industry Minister Tony Celement said on the social networking site Twitter.

Consumer backlash against limits on Internet use have grown in the last week, after major Canadian carriers announced data caps around 25 gigabytes, down from previous typical ceilings of 250 gigabytes or more.

"True. CRTC must go back to the drawing board," Clement wrote late Wednesday when asked whether he would overturn the decision if the regulator does not back down.

Former Indian Telecoms Minister arrested

CBI busts Andimuthu Raja for corruption

Reuters

The Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested former Telecoms Minister Andimuthu Raja over a massive graft scam, officials said, a huge blow for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and efforts to pass bills in the parliamentary budget session. Raja belongs to a parliamentary ally of the ruling Congress party and his arrest may spark tension between coalition partners and galvanise an opposition that has blocked parliament since November to protest the scandal over mobile phone licences.

Dish Network buys DBSD for $1 billion

Deal includes DBSD’s existing debt

Dish Network Corp. (Meridian, CO, USA) will purchase DBSD North America for approximately $1 billion. DBSD is a combination satellite and land-based communication company.

DBSD is currently is chapter 11 bankruptcy and, as a condition of the purchase, Dish has agreed to an $87.5 million debtor credit. The deal will include interest that is accruing on DBSD’s existing debt. The transaction will be finalized after regulatory approval and DBSD’s emergence from bankruptcy.

Dish is a satellite TV company that provides service to over 14 million U.S. subscribers.

Vodafone names Gerard Kleisterlee its new chairman

Former Philips Chief Executive takes over for Sir John Bond

Reuters

Vodafone (London) has named outgoing Philips Chief Executive Gerard Kleisterlee as its new chairman. Kleisterlee, who has spent his entire career at Philips, will take over from John Bond at Vodafone's annual general meeting later this year, 12 months after Bond endured a small rebellion over his role in the firm's strategy.

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