The UK’s 4G auction has fallen well short of government expectations, raising just £2.34 billion ($3.61 billion) compared with a target of £3.5 billion.
The country’s four existing mobile network operators – EE (Hatfield, UK), Telefonica O2 (Slough, UK), Vodafone (Newbury, UK) and Three (Maidenhead, UK) – all picked up new frequencies, as did fixed-line incumbent BT (London, UK), bidding through its Niche Spectrum Ventures subsidiary.
India will allow wireless broadband airwave holders to provide voice services if they pay an additional $306 million, a senior government official said on Monday, a move likely to boost billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd.
Reliance Industries (Mumbai, India), controlled by India's richest man, is the only company with nationwide fourth-generation (4G) broadband airwaves. The company re-entered the fiercely competitive sector by buying airwaves in a 2010 auction and has so far invested at least $3.5 billion.
US mobile broadband operator Clearwire reported a narrower fourth-quarter loss of $187 million, compared with $237 million in the same period last year, but revenues slid 14%, to $311 million.
The company is currently the target of a $2.2 billion takeover attempt by Sprint (Overland Park, USA), which already owns 50% of the company, but has also attracted the interest of satellite operator Dish Networks (Meridian, USA), which has proposed to buy it at a higher price.
Telecom Italia said it will slash dividends in half and raise some €3 billion ($4 billion) in debt so that it can continue funding the rollout of next-generation networks, but the Italian incumbent is still aiming to lower its high overall level of net debt.
The dividend cut follows similar moves by other European incumbents, including Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) and KPN (The Hague, Netherlands), which are under pressure to invest in faster mobile and fixed-line networks during a period of economic retrenchment.
Three, the UK’s smallest network operator, has announced bold plans to make its forthcoming 4G services available to customers on existing price plans for no extra charge.
The move would mark a radical break with industry practice so far: most European operators are pricing 4G at a premium to older 3G services, requiring customers to sign up to new terms and conditions.
A sales recovery at Ericsson's key networks unit raised hopes on Thursday the world's top mobile telecom gear maker is beginning to shake off the global downturn.
Ericsson's (Stockholm, Sweden) biggest business, which builds mobile networks, showed fourth-quarter sales growth - the first rise in more than a year - helping the company as a whole to post year on year sales up 5 percent. Margins in the unit also rose from the previous quarter.
Mobile phone operators Vodafone and Three have asked British regulator Ofcom for permission to re-use their existing airwaves for 4G services, following in the footsteps of larger rival EE.
Britain got superfast mobile broadband late last year, long after countries such as the United States and Japan, when Ofcom allowed EE (London, UK) to run 4G services over its allocated spectrum.
Ofcom said on Friday it had started a consultation over liberalizing more of the spectrum that was previously licensed for 2G and 3G mobile services in response to the requests.
UK operator EE has unveiled details of new tariffs for its exclusive ‘4G’ service, following criticism over pricing and usage restrictions and as rivals gear up to launch services of their own.
From January 31 until March 31, consumers will be able to pay just £31 ($49) a month on a 24-month contract, compared with a previous entry-level rate of £36 a month.
The deal comes with unlimited UK calls and texts and a monthly data-usage allowance of 500MB.
Investors holding 29 percent of the outstanding minority shares of Clearwire Corp
Sprint (Overland Park, USA), the No. 3 U.S. mobile service provider, announced on December 17 an agreement to acquire the outstanding shares of Clearwire (Bellevue, USA) it doesn't already own for $2.97 per share. While Sprint holds a more than 50 percent stake in Clearwire, the deal requires approval from holders of just over 50 percent of Clearwire's minority shares.
Telecom Italia has unveiled new pricing plans, including a single rate for landline calls to fixed and mobile numbers, and provided an update on its LTE and fiber deployments during a meeting with Italian consumer associations.
Marco Patuano, the company’s chief operating officer, said a new single rate of €0.05 per minute will come into effect from April 1.