Operators urged to stop subsidizing devices by ABI Research

Mobile operators need to give up their habit of subsidizing mobile devices, according to a new study from ABI Research.

The report claims that operators are not reaping any return on the investments they are making to lure customers on to more expensive smartphone tariffs.

Indeed, according to ABI, the over-the-top providers are the ones that are benefiting from operators’ largesse as they take revenue share.

Telefonica in talks with PPF over sale of Czech subsidiary

Spanish telecoms incumbent Telefonica has acknowledged it is exploring “strategic alternatives” for its Czech subsidiary in a stock exchange filing.

The statement came in response to press speculation that Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) is planning to sell its 70% stake in Telefonica Czech Republic in a deal that could raise as much as $3.6 billion for the debt-burdened Spanish operator, based on the subsidiary’s current market value.

Vodafone completes Kabel Deutschland takeover

The UK’s Vodafone has completed its €7.7 billion ($10.43 billion) takeover of Kabel Deutschland, according to a statement on the German cable company’s website.

The deal puts Vodafone (Newbury, UK) in control of 76.57% of Kabel Deutschland’s (Unterfoehring, Germany) shares and will aid its push into Germany’s high-speed broadband market and allow it to better compete against telecoms incumbent Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) on bundled packages that include fixed, broadband and mobile services.

AT&T to scrap single-device tariffs for new customers

Mobile consumers taking a service from AT&T will soon find they have no option but to choose a so-called “shared data” plan, allowing them to connect a number of devices on a single monthly tariff.

The US operator is taking the radical step of phasing out other plans in what it describes as a response to current consumer preferences.

“In less than a year, our postpaid customers have connected more than 13 million devices via Mobile Share plans – and the number continues to grow daily,” said the operator in a blog post on its website.

Mexico government says recovers 68 percent of disputed 2.5GHz spectrum


Mexico's government said on Monday it had reached a deal with concession-holders, including MVS Multivision, to recover 68 percent of available space in the country's disputed 2.5 GHz spectrum, which could boost competition in the telecoms sector.

The government decided to reclaim the spectrum after MVS (Mexico City, Mexico) and other companies failed to use it to develop high-speed networks. The issue had been tied up in legal wrangling for years.

Telefonica set to sell $3.6 billion Czech stake: sources


Spanish telecoms group Telefonica has started preparing the sale of its $3.6 billion stake in its listed Czech unit, three sector bankers closely following the process but not directly involved said on Monday.

Telefonica (Madrid, Spain), which aims to cut its debt to under 47 billion euros ($64 billion) by the end of the year, has sold a number of assets to pay down borrowings, including its Irish business O2.

Analysts have long tipped Telefonica Czech Republic as an asset the group might shed. Telefonica reported net debt of 49.8 billion euros in mid-year results.

TIM CEO says Telecom Italia trying not to sell: paper


Brazilian phone company TIM Participacoes SA is not up for sale, its chief executive told a local newspaper, denying reports that Telecom Italia SpA wants to sell its 67 percent stake.

A sale of Brazil's No. 2 wireless company is one option being considered by Telecom Italia's (Milan, Italy) new chief executive, Marco Patuano, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters last week. Patuano is under pressure from Telecom Italia's top shareholder, Spanish group Telefonica SA (Madrid, Spain), to cut debt through asset sales.

Vodafone claims 100,000 4G customers, extends LTE coverage

UK operator Vodafone says it will extend 4G services to Liverpool, Glasgow and Manchester this month and claims to have signed up more than 100,000 customers since it began offering the service in late August.

The company plans to switch on its 4G network in Liverpool on October 17, activate services in Glasgow on October 24 and add Manchester to the list soon after that.

Last month, Vodafone (Newbury, UK) launched 4G services in the cities of Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield, having made services available in London in late August.

Telstra boasts 3.2 million 4G subscribers just two years after launch

Australian telecoms incumbent Telstra says more than 3.2 million 4G devices are now operating on its network just two years after it first launched the high-speed technology.

Telstra’s (Melbourne, Australia) ability to convert customers to 4G looks impressive considering that UK operator EE (Hatfield) – which provides services in a much bigger market, in terms of population, but over a much smaller geographical area – took ten months to sign up one million 4G customers despite being a monopoly provider of the technology over that period.

Mobile internet access prices fall by 17.7%: ABI Research

The average price of mobile internet access has fallen by 17.7% over the past year, according to the latest study by ABI Research.

The market-research company regularly monitors internet prices in a range of countries and notes a sharp drop in costs to the consumer between September 2012 and September 2013.

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