French government will police quality of 4G services: minister

Reuters

The French government will act to ensure telecom operators provide decent service as they roll out cut-rate plans for new high-speed 4G broadband service, a minister for digital issues said on Sunday.

Low-cost operator Iliad (Paris, France) this month added 4G service to its Free Mobile offers without raising the price, putting pressure on leading telecoms companies Orange (Paris, France), Vivendi's SFR (Paris, France) and Bouygues Telecom (Paris, France) to follow suit with competitive offers.

Orange joins rivals in France's 4G price war: report

Orange is reported to have joined a price war in France’s nascent 4G market, offering the high-speed service to customers on its low-cost Sosh tariffs for no additional charge.

The move follows similar announcements by Iliad (Paris, France) and Bouygues (Paris, France), meaning Vivendi-owned SFR (Paris, France) is the only mobile network operator yet to slash fees for access to its 4G network.

But according to Dow Jones, which reported on the latest development, analysts expect SFR to follow suit in the near future.

European Commission to invest $965 million in 5G

The European Commission (EC) is to invest €700 million ($965 million) in 5G research and development in a bid to improve the competitiveness of the region’s mobile communications industry.

The plans form part of the EC’s Horizon 2020 program, which will see a total of €6.2 billion injected into eight Public Private Partnerships in areas deemed to be of strategic importance to Europe.

EE and AT&T announce 4G roaming agreement

UK operator EE has signed a roaming deal with AT&T allowing customers of the US telecoms giant to use 4G services when travelling to the UK.

The operator also promised that further roaming deals would be announced early next year.

AT&T to sell Connecticut wireline assets to Frontier for $2 billion

Reuters

AT&T Inc, the biggest U.S. phone company, said on Tuesday that it would sell its wireline operations in Connecticut to regional telephone operator Frontier Communications for $2 billion in cash, to help fund network upgrades.

Frontier (Stamford, CT, USA) shares rose more than 8 percent after it said the deal would boost its dividend payout ratio, generate savings and improve its adjusted free cash flow.

Sprint, Dish to test wireless broadband service in Texas

Reuters

Wireless service provider Sprint Corp and satellite television company Dish Network Corp said they will jointly develop a trial wireless service in Texas, in an apparent sign of improving relations between the companies.

Dish (Meridian, CO, USA) has been seeking a partnership with an established mobile operator to help it enter the wireless market. However, its efforts earlier this year to buy Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) failed after a bitter public battle with Japan's SoftBank Corp (Tokyo), now the owner of 80 percent of Sprint.

Sprint considering $20 billion bid for T-Mobile: report

US operator Sprint is readying a bid of more than $20 billion for smaller rival T-Mobile US, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the newswire says Sprint is currently studying regulatory concerns but could launch a bid in the first half of next year.

A takeover would combine the country’s third- and fourth-biggest players to create a stronger rival to market leaders AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) and Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA).

TeliaSonera restructures to improve customer focus, transparency

Scandinavian operator TeliaSonera has unveiled details of a restructuring aimed at improving its focus on customers and making it a more transparent organization from a corporate-governance perspective.

As a result of the new structure, TeliaSonera (Stockholm, Sweden) will split operations into three geographical divisions addressing needs in Europe, Eurasia and Sweden, its domestic market.

EE to invest $450 million in improving mobile calls

UK operator EE says it will invest £275 million ($450 million) in improving the quality and reliability of mobile calls on its 2G and 3G networks in 2014.

The funds will also be used to conduct trials of new voice technologies such as voice over LTE (VoLTE) and voice over WiFi.

After China Mobile sugar rush, Apple will fight for customers

Reuters

For all the hype, Apple Inc's long-awaited iPhone agreement with China Mobile Ltd may deliver little more than a fleeting revenue jolt for the U.S. giant.

A deal with the world's largest mobile carrier, expected as early as this week, nets Apple (Cupertino, CA, USA) 759 million potential new customers that could generate $3 billion in 2014 revenue, or nearly one-quarter of Apple's projected revenue growth in its current fiscal year.

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