A large Clearwire Corp shareholder on Friday stepped up its campaign against the planned sale of the wireless service provider to its majority owner, Sprint Nextel Corp, saying it plans to ask the U.S. telecoms regulator to block the deal.
Crest Financial's general counsel also said on a call with reporters that it will ask the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to block Sprint's plan to sell 70 percent of itself to Softbank Corp (Tokyo, Japan) of Japan for $20 billion.
French mobile-phone operator plans to maintain capital expenditure at a 2012 level of between €1.5 billion and €1.6 billion this year, according to a report in France’s Les Echos newspaper.
The operator reportedly plans to increase spending on mobile networks while reducing investments elsewhere.
Much of the capital expenditure is likely to go towards expanding the reach of SFR’s LTE networks, following the launch of commercial LTE services last November.
South Korea’s operators have launched joyn services in a bid to reclaim ground lost to ‘over-the-top’ (OTT) players, although there is some confusion over whether services are yet interoperable between the three companies.
In a press release on its website, SK Telecom (Seoul, South Korea) said that customers can now make use of joyn services like ‘Rich Call’ and ‘Rich Messaging’ – under the joyn.T brand – allowing images to be exchanged during voice calls and SMS to be used with more instant messaging features.
Mobile broadband revenues are forecast to grow at an annual rate of 19.2% and generate $122.9 billion in incremental revenue between 2013 and 2016 in new research from Ovum.
Despite these impressive gains, overall operator revenues are forecast to increase little over the next five years from a 2012 estimate of about $2 trillion.
Europe has fallen behind the United States in mobile telephone network development because its regulatory framework is fragmented and does not provide incentives for investment, the head of Norwegian telecoms group Telenor told Reuters.
European fourth-generation (4G) network frequencies are too expensive, the investment cost is high and operators, particularly in countries affected by drawn out recessions, lack the pricing power to make the investment worthwhile, Chief Executive Jon Fredrik Baksaas said in an interview.
Clearwire Corp agreed to sell a roughly 50 percent stake for $2.2 billion to majority shareholder Sprint Nextel Corp, which would then have full ownership of spectrum that will help it offer high-speed wireless services.
The $2.97-per-share deal is only 7 cents per share higher than a bid many minority shareholders said was too low days before. Clearwire (Bellevue, USA) shares slid 9.8 percent to $3.04 in premarket trading.
Shares in Dutch telecoms group KPN, now part of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim's empire, plunged as much as 15 percent after it cut its dividend for this year and next to meet the higher-than-expected cost of new mobile licenses.
A new player, Sweden's Tele2 (Stockholm, Sweden), also won licenses in Friday's Dutch auction of 4G wireless spectrum, a move likely to increase competition in one of Europe's most lucrative telecoms markets as the winners roll out faster services that allow users to watch video and surf the Internet on the move.
Japan’s Softbank says its board has approved the signing of a bridge loan contract for up to JPY1.65 trillion ($19.7 billion), which the company plans to use to fund its purchase of a controlling stake in US operator Sprint.
Softbank (Tokyo, Japan), Japan’s third-largest mobile-phone operator, announced plans to buy 70% of Sprint back in October for a fee of approximately $20 billion.
The deal would mark the largest foreign acquisition by a Japanese company of all time.
The Dutch state raised much more than expected in its auction of fourth generation (4G) wireless frequencies, with prices so high market leader KPN said it would have to cut dividends to afford its licences.
The auction raised a much higher-than-expected 3.8 billion euros ($5 billion) and the result will lead to fierce competition in one of Europe's most lucrative mobile phone markets as the winners roll out faster, fourth-generation services which allow consumers to watch video and surf the Internet on the move.
Sprint Nextel Corp's $2.1 billion offer to buy out Clearwire Corp appeared to be running into trouble on Thursday, as some shareholders said they wanted more money while Softbank Corp set a cap on how much Sprint could pay.
Sprint (Overland Park, USA), which owns 50.45 percent of Clearwire (Bellevue, USA), offered $2.90 per share for the rest of the company and said it would also provide interim financing of $800 million to the cash-strapped company. Any deal would need approval by Softbank (Tokyo, Japan), which has agreed to buy 70 percent of Sprint for about $20 billion.