India's Ambani brothers sign network-sharing deal

India’s Ambani brothers have come together on a network-sharing deal that represents their first collaboration since the Ambani business empire was divided between them in 2005.

Under a contract signed this week, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications (Mumbai, India) will share its fiber-optic network with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm (Mumbai, India) in exchange for a one-off payment of INR12 billion ($220 million).

Reliance Communications will also be allowed to use the infrastructure of Reliance Jio Infocomm.

Bouygues launches 4G service sales drive

Reuters

Bouygues Telecom will add 200 sales staff to its call centers after winning the right to re-use mobile frequencies once used for voice calls for superfast mobile broadband, its chief executive told Le Figaro newspaper.

The move is a shift from last year's plan to cut over 500 jobs to cope with an intense price war brought on by the arrival of low-cost mobile group Iliad (Paris, France) .

MetroPCS promotes T-Mobile deal after advisers pan it

Reuters

MetroPCS Communications Inc urged shareholders to support its proposed merger with Deutsche Telekom AG's unit T-Mobile USA after two proxy advisory firms recommended that shareholders vote against it.

Proxy advisers Glass Lewis (San Francisco, CA, USA) and ISS (Rockville, MD, USA) have backed efforts by two key activist investors to block the deal by recommending that shareholders vote against it at a special meeting on April 12.

Sierra Wireless becomes MedStartr sponsor

M2M module maker Sierra Wireless says it has become a sponsor of crowdsourcing platform MedStartr and will henceforth be the preferred provider of wireless communications technology for MedStartr companies.

MedStartr says it will gain direct access to a full range of connectivity solutions from Sierra Wireless (Richmond, Canada), helping MedStartr companies to accelerate product development.

MetroPCS urges shareholders to vote for T-Mobile deal

Reuters

MetroPCS Communications Inc urged shareholders to support its proposed merger with Deutsche Telekom AG unit T-Mobile USA Inc after two proxy advisory firms recommended that shareholders vote against the deal.

Proxy advisers Glass Lewis (San Francisco, CA, USA) and ISS have backed efforts by two key activist investors to block the deal.

MetroPCS (Richardson, TX, India) said in a letter to shareholders on Monday there could be no assurance that it would be able to deliver better shareholder value as a stand-alone wireless company.

Clearwire taps Sprint funds, boosting deal prospects

Reuters

Wireless service provider Clearwire Corp said it would draw on $80 million in financing from Sprint Nextel Corp , which is seeking to buy it, reducing the chances for rival bidder Dish Network Corp.

Clearwire (Bellevue, WA, USA), which is already majority owned by Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA), said on Wednesday that it would continue talks with Dish (Meridian, CO, USA) but that it has not changed its recommendation in favor of its agreement with No. 3 U.S. mobile provider Sprint.

Telekom Austria turns unlimited data model on its head

Reuters

Telekom Austria has announced new mobile deals abandoning the unlimited data packages that have become commonplace and instead offering free voice and text messages.

The move, in Europe's most keenly-priced market, is a bet that soaring data usage can replace dwindling revenues from the former cash cows of voice and texts, which are coming under pressure from Web-based competitors.

Telekom Austria said on Thursday it would offer only the new tariffs after existing contracts ran out.

EE boosts 4G coverage to 50% of UK population

UK mobile-phone operator EE says it has switched on its 4G network in another 13 cities and now covers half the country’s population with the superfast mobile service.

The joint venture between Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) and France Telecom (Paris, France) is racing to boost availability and take-up as its rivals prepare to launch their own 4G services.

T-Mobile USA eyes growth from iPhone, marketing changes

Reuters

T-Mobile USA said on Tuesday that it will start selling Apple Inc's iPhone on April 12, making it the last of the big national U.S. operators to sell the popular smartphone.

The No. 4 U.S. mobile provider, which is seeking to merge with smaller rival MetroPCS Communications (Richardson, TX, USA), is hoping the device can help stem customer losses. The launch follows a marketing overhaul that eliminates device subsidies and two-year service contracts favored by its bigger rivals.

ZTE swings to net loss on weak operator spending

A slowdown in network equipment and device markets has taken its toll on China’s ZTE, which has reported a net loss of RMB2.84 billion ($457 million) for 2012, compared with a net profit of RMB2.06 billion the year before.

China’s second-biggest network equipment maker, behind Huawei (Shenzhen, China), ZTE (Shenzhen, China) also reported a 2.36% decline in revenues, to RMB84.22 billion.

In a statement accompanying the figures, ZTE pointed to the slowdown in equipment investments by the global telecoms industry in 2012.

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