Spanish telecoms group Telefonica has struck a deal to gradually secure control of Telecom Italia and its lucrative South American business without having to launch a full takeover bid.
The multi-part 860 million euro ($1.2 billion) cash and shares deal secured on Tuesday will allow Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) to raise its stake in Telco, the holding company controlling about 22 percent of Telecom Italia (Milan, Italy), allowing Telco's other investors, Intesa Sanpaolo (Turin, Italy), Generali (Trieste, Italy) and Mediobanca (Milan, Italy) to eventually bow out.
Megafon, Russia's second-largest mobile phone company, may start up a bank to capitalize on growing interest among consumers in managing their finances on-the-go and to cross-sell services to existing customers.
Russian mobile operators, trying to boost profits in a maturing market, have been searching for avenues to earn more from their subscriber base.
Megafon (Moscow, Russia) would be following Russia's top mobile phone operator MTS (Moscow, Russia), which this year bought a stake in a bank from its parent company Sistema (Moscow, Russia).
AT&T Inc Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said on Tuesday his company would buy wireless assets in Europe if there were available at the right price.
Stephenson declined to comment on potential deals during an appearance at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference. The executive said European operators were far behind the United states in investments in wireless broadband, mainly because regulatory policies regarding spectrum licenses discouraged investments in the region.
But he said when the policies change, broadband investments should take off.
Orange Business Services has become the latest customer of Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform (DCP) in a deal that should boost the operator’s prospects in the burgeoning global market for M2M services.
The operator – the enterprise arm of French telecoms incumbent Orange – says the agreement will allow its customers to deploy, manage and scale up M2M devices and applications that cater to multinational needs.
Customers will be able to use a service portal to manage and control their installed base of SIMs and monitor performance.
Spain’s Telefonica has won a €1.78 billion ($2.4 billion) smart-meter contract in the UK that forms a part of the government’s ambitious plan to overhaul the country’s outdated metering system.
The deal will see Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) provide connectivity services over a period of 15 years in the central and southern regions of the country, representing two out of the three contracts that were up for grabs.
The operator has described the deal as the industry’s biggest M2M contract win to date.
Dutch module maker Gemalto has teamed up with software giant Oracle and smart-grid specialist V2COM on the development of M2M technology aimed at Latin America’s vast smart-grid market.
The company says its modules are to be used in a new smart grid platform that also features Java-based software from Oracle and will be able to relay information to utilities’ back-end IT systems using technology developed by V2COM.
The platform should facilitate the use of “big data” analytics, allowing utilities to reduce energy losses and improve customer service.
M2M platform provider ILS Technology has topped a new security ranking compiled by ABI Research, with Axeda and Sierra Wireless coming in second and third places respectively.
The assessment looked at eight security providers, comparing the companies on several criteria related to product implementation and vendor innovation.
Besides topping a ranking on security, ILS Technology (Boca Raton, FL, USA) also came first in the innovation category, followed by Axeda (Foxboro, MA, USA) in second place and Numerex (Atlanta, GA, USA) in third.
M2M specialist Sierra Wireless is trying to fuel interest in its range of services with the launch of a new solution exchange and partner program.
The program is designed to promote integrated wireless solutions powered by Sierra Wireless (Richmond, Canada) technology and, according to the company, offers a streamlined and functional way for solution partners to market offerings to a network of operator, sales and reseller channels.
Expanding its role in the M2M value chain, Aeris Communications has launched a cloud-based platform providing data management and analytics functionality for M2M applications.
The company, which operates a CDMA-based network exclusively for M2M services, says the launch of AerCloud will expand its product line-up all the way from the network through to the applications.
The platform is aimed at helping application developers to collect and store data, mine it for insights and then allow it to be used in applications and by third parties.
The boss of French mobile operator SFR has said the company does not have to merge with a rival to remain a viable business, according to French publication le Journal du Dimanche.
Chief executive Jean-Yves Charlier is reported to have said the operator could continue to executive its strategy as a standalone player.
SFR (Paris, France) is a subsidiary of French telecoms and media conglomerate Vivendi (Paris, France), which has recently appeared intent on divesting itself of various telecoms assets and focusing on its core media interests.