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.

Portugal Telecom to merge with Brazil's Oi

Portugal Telecom has announced plans to merge with Brazilian affiliate Oi in a move set to create a global operator serving more than 100 million customers across Europe and Latin America.

The Portuguese incumbent says the deal is a natural development of the alliance the two companies struck in 2010, and will see Zeinal Bava – who led Portugal Telecom (Lisbon, Portugal) until earlier this year before taking up the leadership role at Oi (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – appointed chief executive of the combined entity.

Pakistan's PTCL launches bid for rival Warid: Reuters

Pakistani incumbent PTCL is reported to have launched a takeover bid for local mobile rival Warid, holding out the possibility of much-needed consolidation in the country’s beleaguered telecoms industry.

Backed by Middle Eastern telecoms giant Etisalat (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates), PTCL (Islamabad, Pakistan) is said to have given notice of the bid through a filing to the Karachi stock exchange, according to Reuters, but details of the offer price or PTCL’s plans for the company were not disclosed.

Spanish telecom firms show peril of pinning hopes on 4G

Reuters

Spanish telecom firms are yielding to the reality of recession by selling new superfast mobile services at no extra charge, offering a cautionary tale for European peers which hope premium 4G prices will help them return to growth.

Many consumers in Spain, where unemployment stands at 26 percent, are unwilling or unable to spend up to 800 euros ($1,100) on a 4G-enabled smartphone and then sign up to a more expensive monthly plan - despite the promise of download speeds that are five times faster than existing 3G services.

Iliad plots new phase in French mobile assault

Reuters

French low-cost telecom operator Iliad will soon open a second front in a mobile price war when it starts helping customers buy expensive smartphones in the coming months, piling more pressure on its larger rivals.

Honduras awards America Movil, Millicom 4G licenses

Reuters

Honduras has awarded Mexican telecoms giant America Movil and emerging markets telecoms group Millicom licenses to offer 4G high-speed mobile services, telecoms commission Conatel said on Tuesday.

America Movil (Mexico City, Mexico) operates under the brand Claro in Honduras, while Millicom (Luxembourg) operates under the name Tigo. The licenses cost $12.05 million each.

The companies must start operating 4G networks within 18 months, Conatel said.

(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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