India court halts execution of government order banning 3G pacts


An Indian court granted a stay on execution of a government order asking telecoms carriers to stop third-generation (3G) services outside their licensed areas through roaming pacts, after top carrier Bharti Airtel Ltd (New Delhi, India) challenged the decision.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the telecoms ministry to not take any "coercive action" until the next hearing of the case. It did not immediately set the next date of hearing.

T-Mobile USA in $2.4 billion tower deal with Crown Castle


T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, USA) is selling the rights to operate 7,200 of its wireless broadcast towers for $2.4 billion to Crown Castle International Corp (Houston, USA) to help fund a network upgrade and reduce debt at its parent Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany).

Crown Castle has the option to pay another $2.4 billion to buy the towers outright from T-Mobile USA at the end of the lease term for each tower - between 2025 and 2048 - under the deal announced on Friday.

Softbank to acquire eAccess for $1.84 billion

Softbank (Tokyo, Japan) is to acquire aAccess (Tokyo, Japan), a smaller competitor, in a deal valued at $1.84 billion and designed to help it close the gap with its chief rivals, according to Reuters.

Under a share swap due to be completed in February, Japan’s third-biggest operator will pay 52,000 yen per eAccess share, a substantial premium given eAccess’s share price of 15,070 yen at the end of last week.

Answering analyst questions on the deal, Softbank said the launch of the iPhone 5 had provided the impetus for the takeover.

LightSquared begs FCC to let it use spectrum

Embattled US operator LightSquared (Reston, USA) has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US telecoms regulator, for permission to continue using frequencies that do not interfere with GPS systems while authorities address their concerns about its other spectrum holdings, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Vodafone says it will cost 500 million sterling to fix CWW


Vodafone Group (Newbury, UK) said it would cost about 500 million pounds ($807 million) to fix Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) (London, UK) over the next four years but the payback by 2016 from the acquisition would be bigger than some analysts expected.

RIM buys itself breathing room for BB10

Research In Motion Ltd (Waterloo, Canada) shares jumped on Friday after the embattled BlackBerry maker posted quarterly results that showed it was still able to pull off a surprise as it tackles the formidable task of getting consumers excited over its new smartphone line.

While RIM's performance gave Wall Street a modicum of optimism, analysts stressed RIM has to now prove that the BlackBerry 10 devices, due early next year, can halt its brand's downward spiral. That won't be easy, they said.

Middle East telcos mull alliance in Facebook fight


Middle East telecommunications firms are discussing the idea of creating a pan-Arab online platform that would earn them more revenue from their networks by challenging Facebook (Menlo Park, USA) and other Internet behemoths of the West.

The ambitious project faces technical and financial obstacles and may never be implemented on a large scale.

India's Reliance Industries likely to bid for spectrum: report

Reliance Industries (Mumbai, India) is likely to participate in the forthcoming auction of frequencies that were previously awarded in 2008 but seized by authorities earlier this year, according to a story in India’s Economic Times newspaper.

The company already owns spectrum through its Infotel Broadband subsidiary, but it is not allowed to provide voice services over those frequencies.

Telekom Austria slashes dividends as Slim raises stake

Telekom Austria (Vienna, Austria) has slashed its dividends by 87% in the same week that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim secured a 23% share in the incumbent operator.

In a statement released this week, the company said it would cut its dividend from €0.38 to €0.05 per share this year and maintain that figure throughout 2013.

TeliaSonera to start Yoigo sale soon: sources


Teliasonera (Stockholm, Sweden) will kick off the sale process for its Spanish mobile operator, Yoigo, in the next two weeks in a deal that is expected to attract bids from France Telecom (Paris, France) and Vodafone (Newbury, UK), three people familiar with the matter said.

Information documents are set to go out soon to bidders, the people told Reuters, after being delayed over the summer by holidays and the departure of Yoigo's chief executive.

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