Mobile data demand boosts MegaFon earnings

Russia’s MegaFon has flagged growth in revenue and profits on the back of rising demand for mobile data services and an increase in smartphone sales.

The operator – Russia’s third biggest after MTS (Moscow, Russia) and VimpelCom (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – said revenues for the three months ending September were up by 9%, to RUB77.5 billion ($2.37 billion), while net profit rose by 2.9%, to RUB15.3 billion, compared with the same period last year.

Portugal Telecom hit by forex weakness, domestic sales decline

Portugal Telecom has reported drops in revenue and earnings for the three months ending September due to the weakness of the Brazilian real and a slump in domestic sales.

The Portuguese incumbent flagged an 11.3% fall in operating revenues, to €1.45 billion ($1.95 billion), and said net income plummeted by 66.4%, to just €21 million, between the third quarters of 2012 and 2013.

Portugal Telecom (Lisbon, Portugal) said its performance in its domestic market continued to be affected by intense competition and poor macroeconomic conditions.

Belgacom, Mobistar, Base buy Belgian 4G mobile licenses

Reuters

Belgian telecoms companies Belgacom and Mobistar and Dutch KPN's BASE said on Tuesday they bought licences to operate super-fast 4G mobile services in Belgium for 120 million euros ($161.25 million) each.

The 20-year licences for 800 Megahertz (MHz) spectrum were auctioned by the Belgian telecoms regulator, which had already said at the start of October that there were three bidders for three licences.

T-Mobile considering buying spectrum from private party

Reuters

T-Mobile US Inc is considering buying spectrum from an unidentified private party and would use some of the proceeds of a planned $2 billion share offering to finance such a deal, the company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

On Monday, after the market close, the company announced an offering of up to roughly 72 million shares and said it could buy wireless airwaves using proceeds from the sale. The share sale could represent the fourth biggest secondary offering so far this year, according to Reuters data.

Vodafone to ramp up investment as trading suffers

Reuters

Britain's Vodafone will spend 7 billion pounds - more than expected and earlier than expected - to increase the speed and coverage of its networks and reverse a record fall in revenues resulting from its struggling European business.

The world's second-largest mobile operator, which is using some of the proceeds from the $130 billion sale of its U.S. arm to upgrade its infrastructure, said it would spend 3 billion pounds in Europe, 1.5 billion in its emerging markets and the rest on fixed-line assets, enterprise and its retail arm.

ITU and Bupa form telehealth partnership to fight chronic disease

The International Telecommunications Union says it has signed a “groundbreaking” partnership with international healthcare company Bupa aimed at using mobile technologies to fight disease in low- and middle-income countries.

Named ‘Be Healthy, Be Mobile’, the program is to focus on combating chronic non-communicable illnesses like diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and serious respiratory conditions.

The collaboration is also to involve the World Health Organization.

Deutsche Telekom agrees 546 million euros takeover of GTS Central Europe

Germany’s Deutsche Telekom has announced a €546 million ($731 million) takeover of GTS Central Europe aimed at allowing it to provide fixed-line services in parts of central Europe where it is currently a ‘mobile-only’ player.

The German incumbent said the takeover would also allow it to provide cross-border services to business customers – addressing an important pillar of its strategy for European regeneration.

Vodacom revenues up 6.6% on customer growth, data explosion

South Africa’s Vodacom has reported a rise in revenues and earnings over the first six months of the year on the back of growth at its international operations and improved trends in its domestic market.

Majority owned by the UK’s Vodafone (Newbury), the operator said revenues were up by 6.6%, to ZAR36.7 billion ($3.55 billion), compared with the same period in 2012, while earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization rose by 9.6%, to ZAR13.2 billion, over the same period.

Telecom Italia to sell Argentina unit, towers in new strategy

Reuters

Telecom Italia will sell its Argentina unit and other assets while issuing a convertible bond, aiming to raise around 4 billion euros ($5.3 billion) to stave off a credit rating downgrade and strengthen operations in Italy and Brazil.

Italy's biggest telecoms operator, which is in the middle of a strategy shift under new Chief Executive Marco Patuano, said it had received an unsolicited offer for its 22.7 percent stake in Telecom Argentina (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and planned to sell.

New Austrian mobile service to start next year

Reuters

A new mobile operator plans to start up in Austria next year, bringing fresh competition into the market after Hutchison Whampoa's takeover of Orange Austria.

Mass Response is the second company to take advantage of cheap wholesale access to Hutchison's (Hong Kong) network, which it was forced to offer as a condition of the takeover that reduced the number of Austrian mobile network operators to three from four.

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