Zain Bahrain strikes managed-services deal with Ericsson

Middle Eastern telecoms operator Zain Bahrain has signed a managed-services deal with Ericsson as it looks to free up resources for investment in higher-end services and offerings.

The four-year agreement will see the operator transfer responsibility to Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) for handling the day-to-day operations of its network.

Similar deals have been struck in other parts of the world as companies try to improve their operating efficiency and focus efforts on improving their service offerings.

Telecom firms urge EU to reconsider plan to overhaul sector

Reuters

Telecom firm bosses on Tuesday urged the European Commission to reconsider a major reform package which includes a price cap on cross-border phone calls and an end to roaming fees, and to allow more consolidation in the sector.

Their opposition throws up obstacles for the proposals championed by EU telecom chief Neelie Kroes which aim to spur companies to invest to help Europe catch up with the fast mobile and broadband networks in the United States and Asia.

AT&T CEO sees 'huge opportunity' in Europe

Reuters

AT&T Inc Chief Executive Randall Stephenson on Tuesday said that he sees a "huge opportunity for somebody" in Europe to invest in mobile broadband and reap the big profits already being generated from such services in the United States.

Stephenson, who has been exploring opportunities for AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) to expand into Europe, said Europe has the potential to be "incredibly exciting" during his appearance at an industry conference held by ETNO, the European telecommunications lobby.

Telecom Italia eyes Italy restructuring, halts network plan - union

Reuters

Telecom Italia's new chief executive Marco Patuano will unveil a business plan outlining the future of its South American units and a possible corporate restructuring in Italy at a board meeting on November 7, trade union officials said.

Patuano told a meeting with unions on Friday the heavily indebted former phone monopoly had put on hold a plan to spin off its fixed-line network because the right regulatory conditions were not in place, they said in a joint statement.

South Korea tops ITU's ICT development index again

South Korea has topped a ranking of ICT development for the third year in a row, with Sweden and Iceland coming second and third respectively.

The ICT development index prepared by the International Telecommunications Union ranks a total of 157 countries on the basis of ICT usage, access and skills.

Frequently cited as one of the world’s most connected countries, South Korea leads the rankings, with a number of countries in Scandinavia and northern Europe also performing strongly.

Telecom New Zealand takes 4G fight to Vodafone

Telecom New Zealand has announced plans to launch LTE services at no extra charge to customers, putting pressure on rival Vodafone in the country’s nascent 4G market.

The operator said its service will go live in the cities of Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington on November 12, allowing prepaid and contract customers to take advantage of the higher-speed network technology on existing tariffs.

Bank Rossiya moves to buy half of Tele2 Russia: reports

Private lender Bank Rossiya has reportedly filed applications to buy a 50% stake in mobile operator Tele2 Russia.

According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, the applications were made through Invinte and ABR Investments, two offshore companies.

Tele2 Russia (Moscow, Russia) is currently owned by VTB Bank (St Petersburg, Russia), Russia’s second-biggest lender, which bought the operator from its Swedish parent company for $3.55 billion in April this year.

BlackBerry shares rise on interest from strategic buyers

Reuters

Shares of BlackBerry Ltd rose more than 4 percent in trading before the bell on Monday, following news of interest from strategic buyers in the embattled smartphone company and an analyst upgrade on the company's stock.

Shares in the company rose above the $8 mark after a Reuters report on Friday that the Waterloo, Ontario-based company is in talks with Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA, USA), Google Inc (Mountain View, CA, USA) and SAP (Walldorf, Germany) about selling them all or parts of itself.

China SDN/NFV Conference

Date
Start Date: 
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
End Date: 
Thursday, April 24, 2014

China:

SDN is an exciting technology that has attracted the interest of telecom operators in China along with service providers, data centers and large enterprises. With this soaring interest comes the need for network operators to find the best ways to approach SDN. The upcoming SDN Conference offers you firsthand opportunity to explore, learn and discuss about the SDN trends and development and what this technology means for telecom operators, service providers, data centers, large enterprises, equipment vendors and other stakeholders. We look forward to welcoming you. 

UK authorities to boost mobile broadband on trains

UK rail authorities plan to roll out high-speed broadband services on the busiest parts of the country’s rail network, according to a government statement published this week.

The scheme is set to benefit 70% of the travelling public by 2019, although passengers will start to notice improvements from 2015, according to the Department for Transport’s release.

Authorities aim to boost mobile signals on trains by upgrading existing infrastructure and installing new on-board equipment.

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