Deutsche Tel deal change paves way to cut US exposure

Reuters

Sweetening the terms of a U.S. merger not only improves Deutsche Telekom's chances of getting a deal done, but may also pave the way for what some investors and bankers think it really wants - to reduce its exposure to a highly competitive market.

The German group's T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, WA, USA) unit lacks the critical mass to take on bigger U.S. rivals Verizon (New York City, NY, USA), AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) and Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) and has been losing market share.

Brazil says new 4G mobile band not ready for World Cup

Reuters

Visitors to Brazil for the 2014 soccer World Cup will not be able to use the latest wireless technology operating on a frequency used widely in the United States and Europe, the head of telecom regulator Anatel told Reuters.

Anatel president Jõao Rezende said in an interview that the 700 MHz spectrum won't be ready for the big event. Instead, he said, tourists can buy local 4G chips that will work on Brazil's 2.5 GHz network - or settle for slower service.

EE aims for 1 million 4G customers, to double 4G speeds

UK mobile operator EE says it is aiming to sign 1 million customers up to its 4G service by the end of the year and hopes to attract new business by doubling connection speeds from their current level.

Speaking at a press conference in London, chief executive Olaf Swantee said the operator – a joint venture between Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) and France Telecom (Paris, France) – would start doubling average 4G speeds to 20Mbps by dedicating 20MHz of its 1800MHz spectrum to the service, compared with the 10MHz it uses today.

Telecom New Zealand to launch 4G with Huawei in 2013

Telecom New Zealand (TNZ) has said it will launch 4G services in October in the city of Auckland and extend the technology to Wellington and Christchurch by Christmas.

Next year, the incumbent operator plans to have the service up and running across about half of its smartphone network.

The access infrastructure is to be rolled out by Chinese equipment maker Huawei, while Cisco will build the core network.

Tele2 seeks European acquisitions after Russia sale: Financial Times

Tele2 has told the UK’s Financial Times newspaper that it will seek further acquisitions after negotiating the sale of its Russian subsidiary to VTB, a state-controlled bank, earlier this month.

VTB (Moscow, Russia) paid $3.5 billion for the company after MTS (Moscow, Russia) and Vimpelcom (Moscow, Russia), Tele2’s biggest mobile rivals, had teamed up to offer as much as $4.25 billion.

France Tel, Deutsche Tel line up banks for EE market listing

Reuters

France Telecom has chosen Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to advise it on a potential initial public offering of EE, Britain's largest mobile operator, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) is expected to hire JP Morgan for the sale, multiple sources from the sector said, since the bank advised it in 2009 when the 50-50 joint venture with France Telecom (Paris, France) was formed.

Iliad aims to surprise on 4G launch

Xavier Niel, the founder of French mobile-phone upstart Iliad, has suggested the operator may be preparing to launch 4G services during an interview with the Europe1 radio station.

“We will try to provide a surprise one day,” he is quoted as saying by Dow Jones Newswires.

The operator has been advancing rapidly in the 2G and 3G markets since launching services in early 2012 at a fraction of the prices charged by the country’s incumbents.

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.

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