OneWeb sets record launch plan after $500 million funding

648 small satellites orbit to provide global broadband and mobile telephone services


MUMBAI/CAPE CANAVERAL (Reuters) - Privately owned OneWeb announced what it called the world's largest commercial rocket deal on Thursday after raising $500 million from a group of global investors to support its plans to bring broadband to billions of people via satellite.

The fund-raising attracted backing from Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Europe’s Airbus Group, which will also build 900 "micro-satellites" designed to extend the reach of the Internet to remote corners of the world.

Facebook gaining ground on YouTube in video ads, report says

Online video growing faster than any other digital category, rising 33 percent in 2014


FRANKFURT/PARIS (Reuters) - Facebook is gaining ground on Google's YouTube as an outlet for big companies to market their products via online videos, the fastest growing category of Internet ads, a report published on Monday said.

The competition for video viewers opens up a new front in the clash between the two web giants that already compete in other types of advertising given their appeal to young and international consumers, Ampere Analysis said in a study.

Nokia CEO says to get back into phones: Manager Magazin

Analysts expect Microsoft to write off all or part of the $7.2 billion paid for Nokia's handset unit


FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Nokia, once the world's biggest maker of mobile phones, plans to start designing and licensing handsets again once an agreement with partner Microsoft allows it to in 2016, its chief executive told Germany's Manager Magazin.

"We will look for suitable partners," Rajeev Suri said in an interview published on Thursday. "Microsoft makes mobile phones. We would simply design them and then make the brand name available to license."

End Buffering and Deliver a High Quality Mobile Video Experience

Implementing an intelligent traffic optimization solution can provide new mobile video revenue streams

With the capabilities of smartphones, tablets, and smart-machines becoming more advanced, consumers are using their mobile devices to handle more data intensive operations. According to Akamai’s Q4/2014 State of the Internet Report, mobile data usage grew 11 percent quarter over quarter and 54 percent year over year.

BlackBerry move to embrace Android may bring unexpected reward

Financial and tech analysts agree the move presents challenges, but little downside


TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd's move to embrace Android may be aimed at lifting revenue from its software and device management segment, but analysts say it may inadvertently give its device arm a fillip and a new lease on life.

"From the standpoint of marketing, this is a great way for BlackBerry to get visibility. It really doesn't hurt them much, and the upside is high," said Rob Enderle, who runs technology consulting firm Enderle Group.

Austria becomes battleground in fight over mobile mergers

European Commission competition authorities launch study on how best to evaluate price changes


VIENNA/PARIS (Reuters) - When the number of mobile network operators competing in Austria was cut by a merger from four to three in January 2013 it was seen as an important test case just as a deal-making frenzy was about to break out among telecoms firms across Europe.

Yet two years after Hutchison Whampoa  bought larger local rival Orange Austria for 1.3 billion euros ($1.45 billion), there is still no consensus as to whether Austrians are better off in terms of coverage or service, and regulators and operators are disputing whether consumers are paying more.

Dish, T-Mobile US talk merger, wireless spectrum a key factor

Speculation causing waves across the industry; deal could spell trouble for Sprint


NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Just four months ago, T-Mobile US Inc Chief Executive John Legere warned consumers that results of a U.S. airwaves auction "should scare the hell out of you" because winning bids by Dish Network Corp and bigger phone companies threatened competition.

Now Legere is in talks to merge T-Mobile US Inc and Dish Network Corp, said a source familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss the confidential negotiations. A decisive factor is how the partners would use the spectrum Dish has been buying up over the years.

Vodafone in talks with Liberty Global on asset swap, not merger

After weeks of speculation, Vodafone released a statement on Friday saying it was not in merger talks


LONDON (Reuters) - Vodafone, the world's second biggest mobile company, said it is in early talks about exchanging selected assets with Europe's largest cable operator Liberty Global, which could enable each to better compete with rivals.

Analysts and sector bankers said the two most important countries for both firms where they overlap were Britain and Germany. They also both operate in Ireland, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.

Nextel operator NII to stay in Brazil, its last Latam operation

Despite a braoder economic slowdown, Nextel turned a profit of $3.5M in Brazil in the 1st quarter


SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Nextel operator NII Holdings Inc is stepping up investment in Brazil to expand its tiny share of the mobile telephone market and has no plans to sell out despite an economic slowdown, its chief operating officer said.

The downsized company will plow into Brazil a good part of the resources generated by the recent $1.8 billion sale of its Mexican operations to AT&T, NII Holdings COO and Nextel Brazil president, Gokul Hemmady, told Reuters.

Mobile phone access in Africa set to double in next five years

Governments are aware of the economic potential but are sometimes slow to implement legal frameworks


CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Eighty percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s 800 million people should have access to mobile telephones by the end of the decade, double the current rate, although government help is needed to reach far-flung areas, industry body group GSMA said Wednesday.

The growth of mobile data - an even more powerful economic tool than simple voice services - also hinges on authorities allocating sufficient spectrum, said Mortimer Hope, the Africa director of GSMA.

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