Today, service providers are competing in an increasingly competitive market, which makes gaining and retaining customers essential to their overall performance. A hot topic of conversation this week at 4G World in Chicago, Illinois is customer experience, but more importantly the personalization of the customer experience.
“To satisfy a customer, you need to know what satisfies them,” said Steven Cotton, head of revenue management at TM Forum.
Sprint Nextel (Overland Park, Kan., U.S.A.) said it would need $7 billion in new financing agreements over the next few years to cover a cash shortfall created by Apple Inc's iPhone and a network upgrade.
"If we want to maintain a cash balance as high as $2 billion minimum at any point in time, we would want to extend the maturities of $4 billion that come due in 2012 and 2013 and raise between $1 billion to $3 billion, primarily from vendor financing," said Chief Executive Dan Hesse on Wednesday.
The top two U.S. telecom operators, AT&T Inc (Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.) and Verizon Communications (New York) reported financial results from the third quarter of 2011. Both companies reported increased revenue from the year-ago quarter; although AT&T's revenue was below analyst expectations, while Verizon's revenue was slightly higher than expectations. Both companies’ revenue was affected by weak smartphone sales in the third quarter.
China Mobile (Beijing, China), the world's largest mobile carrier by subscribers, has 10 million iPhone users even though it does not yet have an agreement with iPhone maker Apple, says its chairman.
Wang Jianzhou also said Apple had promised to make an iPhone compatible with China Mobile's TD-LTE standard when its next-generation model comes out. He could not say when this would happen.
"We have not yet got agreement with Apple," say Wang. "Apple promised to provide, when they develop the iPhone for LTE, that it will include TD-LTE. We are discussing the details."
As a result of two agreements signed on Thursday with ZTE (Shenzhen, P.R.C.), a telecom equipment manufacturer, and the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, France Telecom-Orange (Paris, France) will acquire 100% of Congo Chine Télécom, a mobile operator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. France Telecom-Orange will contribute its marketing, commercial and technical expertise, as well as the Orange brand to leverage CCT’s network assets, says the company.
Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) plans to sell its Genesys call center software business to private equity group Permira for $1.5 billion in cash but will keep a larger, less profitable chunk of its Enterprise unit that had also been on the block, it said on Wednesday.
The price, which is at the higher end of what bankers and analysts had expected, will provide Alcatel-Lucent with a welcome cash injection as Chief Executive Ben Verwaayen struggles to wrap up a three-year turnaround plan on a positive note.
Apple Inc (Cupertino, Calif., U.S.A.) reported a rare miss in quarterly results after sales of its flagship iPhone fell well short of Wall Street expectations, hammering its shares. Shares of the world's most valuable technology corporation dived more than 5% to below $400 after it said it sold 17.07 million iPhones -- well short of the roughly 20 million expected by analysts.
Apple's CFO said iPhone sales came in ahead of internal expectations but were hurt in September by customers waiting for a new version.
C Spire Wireless (Ridgeland, Miss., U.S.A.), a privately held regional U.S. mobile phone network operator, will become the fourth U.S. operator to sell the Apple Inc (Cupertino, Calif., U.S.A.) iPhone in "coming weeks" beating much bigger rival T-Mobile USA to a Apple deal.
C Spire, which recently changed its name from Cellular South, has about a million customers in four states, making it more than 33 times smaller than No. 4 U.S. operator T-Mobile USA, which has 33.6 million customers.
Siklu Inc. (Petach Tikva, Israel), a wireless backhaul provider, on Tuesday announced the closing of its $19 million Series B investment. New investors in this round include Amiti Ventures (Chicago, Ill, U.S.A.), Qualcomm Incorporated (San Diego, Calif., U.S.A.) and another undisclosed category leading strategic investor. They have been joined by all existing investors: DFJ-Tamir Fishman Ventures, Evergreen Venture Partners and Argonaut Private Equity. Ben Rabinowitz, Managing Partner at Amiti Ventures, will join the Board of Directors of Siklu.
Research and consulting firm Northeast Group, LLC (Washington, D.C.) last week released its Mexico Smart Grid Market Forecast, which projects the total smart grid market will reach a cumulative $8.3 billion by 2020. Mexico trails only Brazil in terms of potential for smart grid in the Latin America region. The smart metering market in Mexico represents the largest opportunity, with more than 21 million smart meters to be deployed by the end of the decade, according to the report.