VimpelCom profit soars despite ongoing disputes

VimpelCom has reported a surge in its quarterly profit despite unfavourable currency movements, continued conflict between its shareholders and a run-in with the Algerian government.

Facing challenges on numerous fronts, the huge Russian operator managed to increase second-quarter net income by 83% compared with the same period last year, to $488 million, thanks to cost reductions and the growth of some emerging-market operations.

China Mobile profit up 1.5% as 3G business struggles

Competition from over-the-top services and the deficiencies of its own third-generation (3G) mobile-phone technology are costing China Mobile dearly.

The biggest mobile-phone operator in China reported disappointing growth in net profit for the first half of the year of just 1.5%, to 62.2 billion yuan ($9.77 billion), compared with the same period of 2011.

As China’s vast market becomes flooded with handsets, revenues rose just 6.6% to 266.53 billion yuan, a much weaker rate of growth than in previous years.

Qtel makes $2.2 billion offer for Wataniya

Qatar’s Qtel has made a $2.2 billion offer for the 47.5% share of Kuwait’s Wataniya it does not already own.

The operator says it has already won the approval of Kuwait’s Capital Markets Authority for the deal.

The announcement comes just two months after Qtel doubled its stake in Iraq’s Asiacell to 60% for $1.47 billion.

Backed by the cash-rich Qatari state, Qtel is increasing its holdings in fast-growing businesses at a time when other big telecoms operators would struggle to fund deals.

Cisco still pessimistic on Europe, raises dividend

Reuters

Cisco Systems Inc offered little hope that dire economic conditions in Europe would come to an end any time soon but pleased investors with a 75 percent dividend hike as the company posted quarterly results that beat estimates.

The world's largest network equipment maker had spooked investors three months ago, when Chief Executive John Chambers cautioned that macroeconomic conditions in Europe could hurt technology spending but now analysts expect Chambers to remain cautious.

Regulators OK T-Mobile testing of shared use of airwaves

Reuters

U.S. communications regulators will allow T-Mobile USA to test the impact of commercial wireless broadband on a highly sought after swatch of airwaves currently used for government operations, the company said on Wednesday.

Testing by T-Mobile, the U.S. unit of Deutsche Telekom AG
, would gauge potential opportunities and challenges for wireless carriers looking to deploy next generation 4G wireless services on the 1755-1850 megahertz band, while sharing the airwaves with existing government users.

LightSquared investigation deadline extended

Reuters

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Shelley C. Chapman this afternoon extended a critical document discovery deadline in the LightSquared bankruptcy proceedings.

The deadline was extended to September 28 from September 11 in U.S. bankruptcy court, effectively allowing the parties involved more time.

A group of lenders holding over $1.08 billion of secured debt at LightSquared LP, the company's main operating subsidiary, seeks to investigate the propriety of a $279 million loan extended to the holding company for LightSquared last July.

Cellcom, Partner plan internet TV as mobile competition bites

Reuters

Israel's two largest mobile phone operators Cellcom and Partner Communications are planning television-over-Internet services as weak earnings highlighted their need for profitable new earnings streams.

Haim Romano, Partner's chief executive, said on Tuesday the company was working to accelerate TV Internet services. "Once the conditions are ripe, Partner will offer an innovative, quality and attractive solution also in this area," he said.

Cellcom CEO Nir Sztern also said he was examining Internet TV as well as an entry to the cellular credit card business.

Big retailers to take to mobile payments: WSJ

Reuters

Big retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores, Target Corp and Japan's 7-Eleven are planning to develop a mobile payment network, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people involved in the initiative.

The Merchant Customers Exchange (MCX) is an initiative taken by these retailers to match similar services from Google, which began operating it last year on its Android devices, the WSJ said.

It was unclear how much each merchant would contribute to the network's development, the paper said.

Smart meter industry left disappointed by Brazil ruling

Brazil’s energy regulator has stunned the industry by announcing that smart meters will be installed at existing premises only if customers request them.

The National Agency of Electrical Energy (ANEEL) has given suppliers 18 months to offer consumers electronic meters under two separate schemes. Suppliers must install meters at no cost if consumers opt simply for time-of-usage tariffs, but can charge installation fees if customers choose plans that provide specific details about the service.

RIM attracting interest from healthcare, smart grid sectors

BB10, the operating system set to replace QNX on Research in Motion’s BlackBerry devices, is attracting interest from companies in the healthcare and smart grid industries, according to a story published earlier this week on CNET.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins is reported to have told CNET that healthcare and smart grid businesses have already shown interest in the new operating system and that BB10 could ultimately support devices used across a range of industries.

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