Russia demands Internet users show ID to access public Wifi

New law caught many in the industry by surprise and companies said it was not clear how it would be enforced

Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia further tightened its control of the Internet on Friday, requiring people using public Wifi hotspots provide identification, a policy that prompted anger from bloggers and confusion among telecom operators on how it would work.

The decree, signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on July 31 but published online on Friday, also requires companies to declare who is using their web networks. The legislation caught many in the industry by surprise and companies said it was not clear how it would be enforced.

T-Mobile deal collapse could spark telecom price war

Sprint invests $5 billion to transform its much maligned network by the end of next year

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sprint Corp's <S.N> newly appointed Chief Executive Marcelo Claure has so far had a Midas touch in the telecoms industry, turning Brightstar, a reseller of U.S. handsets to Latin America, into a distributor valued at $2.2 billion when it was sold to Japan's SoftBank <9984.T>.

But his talents will now be put to the test like never before as he must complete the No. 3 carrier's network upgrade while trying to retain customers, who are defecting in droves.

ECB sticks with Verizon in wake of U.S.-German spying clash

Central bank upholds framework for provision of internet-related services, business continuity

Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank (ECB) has no plans to end its business relations with U.S. telecoms firm Verizon Communications Inc, ECB President Mario Draghi said in response to a query from a member of the European parliament on Thursday.

The German government said in June it had canceled a contract with Verizon as part of an overhaul of its internal communications, prompted by revelations last year of U.S. government spying.

In the letter to Fabio De Masi, Draghi wrote that the ECB "takes the threat of economic espionage very seriously".

Xiaomi unseats Samsung to gain China's smartphone throne: report

Data also shows brand success is almost entirely dependent on its home market in China

Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Xiaomi Inc took China's smartphone crown in the second quarter after the Beijing-based firm replaced Samsung Electronics Co Ltd as China's largest smartphone vendor, according to data from Canalys.

Xiaomi shipped just under 15 million units in the three months ended June, while Samsung's 13.2 million unit shipments just beat China's Lenovo Group by around 200,000 units to take second place, said Canalys.

BlackBerry's new service wins key clearance from U.S. Defense agency

Will allow customers in DoD to use enterprise services to manage and secure devices

Reuters

TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd said on Wednesday its Android and iOS device-management service has won a key security clearance from the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

The company said the DISA clearance will allow its customers in various U.S. Department of Defense agencies to begin to use its BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10 system to manage and secure devices powered by Google Inc's Android operating system and Apple Inc's iOS software.

Sprint drops bid to buy T-Mobile, changes CEO

Could give added impetus to a rival bid for T-Mobile by French telecoms firm Iliad

Reuters

(Reuters) - Sprint Corp S.N has dropped its bid to acquire No. 4 U.S. carrier T-Mobile U.S. Inc TMUS.N after regulatory resistance showed no signs of softening despite months of lobbying, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Sprint's shares plunged 19 percent to $5.90, while T-Mobile fell 10 percent to $30.38 on Wednesday.

The move is a rare setback for Sprint's Japanese parent, SoftBank Corp 9984.T, whose billionaire founder Masayoshi Son had seen the acquisition as key to taking on U.S. market leaders AT&T Inc T.N and Verizon Communications Inc VZ.N.

BlackBerry closes chapter on restructuring process: internal memo

CEO Chen says recovery is underway, confident company will be cash flow positive by end of year

Reuters

TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd <BB.TO> has concluded a protracted and painful restructuring process and is back on a growth footing, according to an internal memo to all its employees viewed by Reuters.

"We have completed the restructuring notification process, and the workforce reduction that began three years ago is now behind us," said the memo from BlackBerry's Chief Executive John Chen that was sent out on Friday.

Iliad may face tough battle cutting costs at T-Mobile

Faces significant obstacles such as negotiating better deals with U.S. tower operators

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - French telecoms firm Iliad will be hard-pressed to meet its goal of generating $2 billion in additional annual operating profit at T-Mobile US Inc by cutting costs and slashing prices if its takeover bid is accepted, analysts said.

Iliad, which in recent years has shaken up the French mobile market with cheap subscriber plans, bid $15 billion last week for a 56.6 percent stake in T-Mobile, the No. 4 U.S. mobile operator.

Canada's telcos burst into banking, healthcare in hunt for growth

With landlines and cable TV waning and wireless growth slowing, operators push into uncharted businesses

Reuters

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's three biggest telecom firms, keen to keep shareholders happy with fat dividends, are breaking into businesses ranging from banking to healthcare to drive growth as they run out of expansion options and shy away from overseas purchases.

BCE Inc <BCE.TO>, Rogers Communications Inc <RCIb.TO> and Telus Corp <T.TO> dominate their industry in Canada but with landline connections on the wane, cable TV losing out to online portals and wireless growth slowing, Canada's telecom giants are pushing into uncharted businesses.

Chinese employees at Microsoft's Nokia arm protest mass layoffs

Latest cuts represent about 14 percent of Microsoft's worldwide workforce

Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - "Hundreds" of Chinese employees at Microsoft Corp's Nokia phone business protested on Friday against mass layoffs that the U.S. tech company announced last month, according to an employee present and pictures posted on social media networks.

Protesters held banners and shouted slogans against "Microsoft's hostile takeover and violent layoffs" for five hours until "they had sore throats," said the employee who participated in the demonstration and so declined to be identified.

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