Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio form network-sharing partnership

Indian operators Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm have announced a network-sharing plan aimed at avoiding “duplication of infrastructure” and lowering costs.

The companies said they would share inter- and intra-city fiber-optic networks, submarine cable networks, towers, internet broadband services and other technologies that might emerge in future.

Besides avoiding duplication and freeing up capital for other projects, the operators said that comprehensive network sharing would help to “preserve the environment”.

AT&T considering more widespread fiber deployment: report

Set to launch a ‘gigabit’ fiber-based service in Austin, Texas this week, US telecoms giant AT&T is reportedly considering plans to extend the deployment of super-fast broadband services to other cities in the country.

According to a report from the UK’s Financial Times newspaper, Randall Stephenson, the operator’s chief executive, told attendees at an investor conference in New York that he saw “lots of other opportunities around the country … for Austin-type projects”.

Bid deadline for Canada's Mobilicity delayed by a week

Reuters

The court-appointed monitor for struggling Canadian wireless startup Mobilicity has extended the deadline for suitors to bid for the company by a week to December 16, a regulatory filing shows.

Bidders for the Toronto-based startup, which filed for court protection from its creditors earlier this year, now have until noon next Monday to submit their offers in the court-supervised auction, according to a document posted on the website of monitor Ernst & Young Inc.

Ernst & Young said it extended the deadline following requests from several bidders.

India court to rule on seized Nokia plant on Thursday

Reuters

An Indian court will issue on Thursday its verdict on Nokia's appeal against the seizure by tax authorities of its local factory after a tax dispute, lawyers for the company and the tax department said on Wednesday.

The Chennai factory is one of Nokia's (Helsinki, Finland) biggest phone-making plants.

Nokia has been trying to end the dispute ahead of the sale of its mobile phone business to Microsoft (Seattle, WA, USA) in a 5.4 billion euros ($7.4 billion) deal.

(Reporting by Nigam Prusty; Writing by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

Hong Kong regulator denies 3G re-auction will cause disruption

Hong Kong authorities have denied that plans to re-auction some of the 3G frequencies currently in use will cause disruption and lead to higher prices for the country’s 3G users.

Frequencies in the 2.1GHz band are due to expire in October 2016, but under a so-called “hybrid approach” regulators plan to re-auction just a third of these frequencies, which – it insists – represents just 7–10% of the overall spectrum held by the incumbent operators.

Bouygues offers 4G at no extra cost in response to Iliad pressure

France’s Bouygues Telecom has responded to pricing pressure from rival Iliad by saying that its 4G services will be available to existing customers at no extra cost.

The announcement comes just days after Iliad (Paris, France) upped the competitive stakes by publishing details of new low-cost 4G services, revealing that customers would be able to make use of the super-fast technology for as little €19.99 ($27.15) a month.

Existing Bouygues (Paris, France) subscribers will be able to use 4G services without signing up to a new minimum term contract, says the operator.

Commercial LTE network deployments hit 244: GSA

Some 244 operators in 92 countries have now launched commercial 4G services based on the LTE standard, according to the latest research update from the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).

The technology appears to have gathered real momentum this year, which has seen a total of 93 networks launched commercially, according to the GSA.

The organization, which represents the interests of mobile suppliers globally, expects another 16 networks to be commercially deployed by the end of the year.

France's Iliad takes price war into 4G market

France’s Iliad has made clear that it plans to continue being a thorn in the side of the country’s incumbent operators by unveiling a range of low-cost tariffs for its new 4G service.

The operator says a 4G service will now be available to consumers for as little as €19.99 ($27.15) a month, or €15.99 for customers who already subscribe to its internet services.

The tariff includes 20GB of monthly data usage and Iliad claims its price is just a fifth of fees being charged by rivals for a comparable service.

UK operators, government aim to scrap roaming fees by 2016

Three of the UK’s mobile network operators have signed up to a government-brokered agreement to work towards scrapping the ‘roaming’ charges that customers pay when using their phones abroad.

Authorities say they will work with Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulatory, and the industry to develop a “UK government position for on-going negotiations in the EU that will help us achieve the goal of eliminating roaming charges within the EU by 2016”.

China Mobile briefly takes pre-orders for iPhones - Fortune.com

Reuters

China Mobile Ltd, the world's largest mobile phone carrier, has quietly begun taking pre-orders for Apple Inc's iPhones, according to a report on Fortune.com.

Apple (Cupertino, CA, USA), which needs to expand its footprint in China, its biggest market after the United States, is trying to offset slowing revenue growth in developed markets that are increasingly saturated and hyper-competitive.

The Chinese carrier has struggled to sustain growth as rivals like China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd sign up new users at a faster pace.

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