Just days after rivals blamed it for denting their profits, French telecoms upstart Free (Paris, France) claimed to have secured a 5.4% share of the country’s mobile-phone market, with 3.6 million customers, since launching its services in January this year.
The company has been accused of starting a price war by rivals including Vivendi-owned SFR (Paris, France) and Bouygues (Paris, France), both of which announced disappointing results last week.
Some phonemakers are quietly exploring alternatives to the Android operating system implicated in the Samsung-Apple ruling, industry watchers say, despite their public pronouncements they are sticking with the technology.
Last week, a U.S. court ruled Samsung's (Seoul, South Korea) Android devices were violating Apple (Cupertino, USA) patents - a major blow to the leading mobile software platform because it could lead to sales bans and high licensing fees.
Chinese group ZTE (Shenzhen, China), the world's fourth-largest mobile phone maker, unveiled its first smartphone model using Intel (Santa Clara, USA) processors, marking an important break into a top-tier handset maker by the U.S.-based group.
ZTE said on Thursday its Grand X IN model, which will go on sale in Europe next month, will mark the start of a wider portfolio of Intel-based products.
"This is the first among a number of handsets in the next 12 to 18 months," Chris Edwards, European business development and marketing chief at ZTE, said in an interview.
French mobile-phone operator Bouygues Telecom (Paris, France) has blamed new entrant Free (Paris, France) for its dwindling profits and shrinking customer base over the first half of the year.
Net income at real-estate company Bouygues fell by 29%, to €278 million, compared with the first half of 2011, due to the setbacks at the group’s mobile-phone business.
Bouygues Telecom also expects full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to fall by 41% to around €750 million as a result of expenses related to cost cutting.
Millicom (Luxembourg) and the government of Senegal appear to have settled their differences over a mobile-phone license, bringing a four-year dispute to an end.
The two parties fell out in 2008 when Senegalese authorities reportedly asked Millicom to cough up $200 million for the renewal of its mobile-phone license.
Millicom rejected the demand on the grounds that it already owned that license and offered a much lower sum for the right to provide 3G services on top of its existing offers.
Telekom Austria (Vienna, Austria) chief executive Hannes Ametsreiter has said the Austrian telecoms incumbent is to explore possible synergies with KPN (The Hague, the Netherlands), its counterpart in the Netherlands, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
The two telecoms companies have a common shareholder in America Movil (Mexico City, Mexico), the Latin American mobile-phone operator owned by Mexico’s Carlos Slim, one of the world’s wealthiest men.
Ametsreiter said that talks with KPN were due to begin shortly.
China's ZTE Corp (Shenzhen, China) said it would take part in a projected U.S. congressional hearing next month linked to an investigation of alleged Chinese espionage threats to U.S. telecommunications infrastructure.
The House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has invited the chairman of ZTE, Hou Weigui, and deputy chairman of Huawei Technologies Co (Shenzhen, China), Ken Hu, to testify at a hearing that would explore their companies' relationships with the Chinese authorities, among other things.
Mobile payments company Square Inc's credit card readers will be sold at AT&T Inc's stores making them more accessible, as the two-year old start-up takes on established payment processors.
Square (San Francisco, USA), started by Twitter Inc (San Francisco, USA) co-founder Jack Dorsey, signed the No. 2. U.S. carrier on Tuesday, adding to growing list of retailers, including Radioshack Corp (Fort Worth, USA), Best Buy Inc (Richfield, USA) and Apple Inc (Cupertino, USA), that sell its card readers.
An auction of 2G spectrum in India is set to begin on November 12, according to a statement from the country’s Department of Telecommunications (DoI).
Airwaves in the 800MHz and 1800MHz bands are to go up for sale after their previous owners were stripped off the assets earlier this year.
Authorities had revoked licenses held by companies including Telenor (Oslo, Norway) and Sistema (Moscow, Russia) after upholding claims of corruption during the auction process of 2008.
Many licenses were awarded to companies for just a fraction of their true value, authorities said.
The UK’s mobile payments market suffered further fragmentation earlier this week with the news that Everything Everywhere (London, UK) had signed a new five-year deal with MasterCard (Purchase, USA).
Details of the collaboration are few, but the companies say one of their first products will be a prepaid service for mobile devices allowing customers to make payments using Near Field Communications (NFC) technology.