China Unicom hit by 3G competition

Rising handset subsidies led to a 2% year-on-year fall in profit at China Unicom (Beijing, China) for the second quarter of the year.

China’s second-biggest mobile operator reported net profit of 2.42 billion yuan ($381 million) as it increased spending on smartphones in a bid to lure more Chinese consumers on to its 3G networks.

Even so, the results were slightly better than expected, based on a poll of six analysts conducted by Reuters, due to a drop in depreciation expenses.

Brazil considers auction of new 4G spectrum

The president of Brazil’s telecoms regulator has told Bloomberg that his country is considering an auction of spectrum in the 700MHz band for use with 4G wireless services.

The spectrum is currently used for television broadcasting in Brazil but will become free when Globo Comunicacao e Participacoes SA and Grupo Record, among other TV networks, complete their transition to digital broadcasting from analog signals.

The networks have been forced to complete that transition by June 2016 under a presidential decree of June 2006.

Telecom New Zealand profit boosted by Chorus demerger

Telecom New Zealand has reported huge gains in profitability thanks to one-off adjustments related to the demerger of its infrastructure business in December last year.

New Zealand’s incumbent operator reported net profit of NZ$1.2 billion ($973 million) for 2012, compared with just NZ$166 million last year, several months after agreeing to spin off Chorus.

The company agreed to the separation under pressure from the New Zealand government, but Chorus was subsequently awarded the bulk of contracts to build a new fibre-optic broadband network across the country.

FCC approves Verizon Wireless' cable spectrum deal

Reuters

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday said it had formally approved Verizon Wireless' proposal to purchase $3.9 billion of airwaves from big cable providers.

As part of the approval, the FCC put in place measures to accelerate deployment of Verizon Wireless' newly acquired airwaves from Comcast Corp, Time Warner Cable Inc and others.

Samsung shares shed $12 billion after Apple's legal victory

Reuters

Samsung Electronics shares tumbled around 7 percent on Monday, wiping $12 billion off the South Korean giant's market value, as a sweeping victory for Apple Inc in a U.S. patent lawsuit raised concerns about its smartphone business - its biggest cash cow.

Samsung, which says it will contest the verdict, was ordered to pay $1.05 billion in damages after a California jury found it had copied critical features of the hugely popular iPhone and iPad and could face an outright sales ban on key products.

Slovak Telekom license fee to be recalculated

Slovak legal authorities have ruled invalid the calculation of a fee paid by Slovak Telecom (Bratislava, Slovakia) to renew its mobile operating license, according to a story published by Reuters.

The operator, which is 51% owned by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, had paid €47.8 million ($60 million) last year for the right to offer mobile-phone services in Slovakia for another ten years.

That fee was determined by the Slovak Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, but the Slovak Supreme Court has called into question the method used to calculate it.

UK operators outraged by Everything Everywhere 4G headstart

A few months from now the boldly named Everything Everywhere may be able to boast it is the only 4G operator in the UK. Courting the ire of other mobile networks, communications regulator Ofcom this week took the controversial decision to let the T-Mobile-Orange tie-up launch LTE services later this year using its current 1800MHz spectrum holdings. Vodafone and Telefónica-owned O2 will have to wait until the auction of new airwaves, likely to happen early next year, before they can hope to join it in the 4G market.

Verizon cable airwaves deal wins FCC backing: Bloomberg

The proposal by Verizon Wireless to purchase unused spectrum from a group of US cable companies has secured enough votes to win the approval of the Federal Communications Commission, according to a story from Bloomberg.

According to the newswire, the agency’s two Republican commissioners have joined Democratic Chairman Julius Genachowski in approving the $3.6 billion deal. The agency has five members in total.

China Telecom buys 3G assets as profit slumps 8.3%

China Telecom has announced plans to buy 3G infrastructure from China Telecommunications Corporation, its state-run parent, while reporting an 8.3% fall in net profit for the first half of the year, to 8.8 billion yuan ($1.4 billion), compared with the same period in 2011.

The operator, which competes against bigger rivals China Mobile and China Unicom in the mobile-phone market, says it will spend approximately 84.6 billion yuan on CDMA infrastructure currently owned by China Telecommunications Corporation.

T-Mobile USA to offer unlimited data service option

Reuters

T-Mobile USA, the No. 4 U.S. mobile provider, will sell a new unlimited data service option to its customers for a monthly fee in a direct challenge to its bigger rival Sprint Nextel, the only other big U.S. provider selling unlimited services.

The offer may also help T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom, stand out from the biggest U.S. operators Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc, which have both set caps on their customers monthly data usage.

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