France Telecom makes bid on DR Congo mobile operator

Reuters

France Telecom is weighing a bid for the fourth-largest mobile operator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as part of its effort to expand in fast-growing markets in the Middle East and Africa.

A deal for Congo-China Telecom (CCT), still being negotiated, would involve buying a 51% stake owned by Chinese telecom vendor ZTE , and the 49% that the national government has put up for sale.

Telecom Italia to buy AES Atimus in $1 billion deal

Reuters

Telecom Italia (Rome Italy), the country’s largest telecom operator, is set to buy Brazilian fiber-optic grid company AES Atimus (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) for $1 billion.

Like European peers including France Telecom and Portugal Telecom, Telecom Italia has pursued growth in emerging markets to offset weaker growth at home.

The Italian company, Europe's No.5 telecoms operator, has relied on its Brazilian unit to drive growth in recent years and this deal is expected to further its prospects in Latin America.

Companies making major push for the Cloud

Last month Apple Inc. (Cupertino, Calif., U.S.A.) came out with the iCloud, a cloud service unique to its products. Since then, more companies have been announcing their moves into the cloud computing business.

On Monday, Microsoft (Redmond, Wash., U.S.A.) CEO Steve Ballmer spoke at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference, and urged its partners to join Microsoft as it moves into cloud technology.

TerreStar $1.4 billion sale to Dish approved by Court

Reuters

A judge last Thursday approved TerreStar Networks Inc's (Reston Va.) proposed $1.375 billion sale to Dish Network Corp (Meridian, Colo.), pushing the satellite communications company a major step closer to emerging from a 9-month stint in bankruptcy.

TerreStar had more than $1 billion of debt when it sought Chapter 11 protection last October.

The company, which tried to market the first satellite smartphone, had been coveted for its roughly 20 megahertz of spectrum.

Voicemail pins major factor in phone hackings

With new phone hacking allegations against News of the World employees coming to light, questions over who is susceptible to voicemail hackings and what is being done to prevent future attacks are becoming increasingly important.

According to Sahba Kazerooni, the director of professional services at Security Compass, an information security firm, hackers are taking advantage of weak forgotten password questions.

ATIS Cloud Services Forum releases CDN Interconnection Specifications

ATIS (Washington, D.C.), a membership organization for telecom industry standards, announced on Tuesday that its Cloud Services Forum (CSF) has released the “CDN Interconnection Use Case Specification and High Level Requirements” standards document. The standard provides an initial description of content distribution networks (CDNs) and develops interconnection use cases and high-level requirements to support passing content distribution requests between two service providers.

AT&T, Space Systems object to TerreStar sale to Dish

Reuters

Bankrupt telecommunications firm TerreStar Networks Inc (Reston, Va.) is facing two objections to its proposed sale to Dish Network Corp (Meridian, Colo.), including one from the maker of its own geosynchronous satellite.

Space Systems/Loral Inc (Palo Alto, Calif), manufacturer of the TerreStar satellite currently orbiting the earth, filed court papers Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court saying the plan would pay it only a fraction of what is owed under three satellite contracts.

LightSquared secures $265 million in additional financing

LightSquared (Reston, Va.), a wholesale-only integrated 4G-LTE wireless broadband and satellite network, announced on Tuesday that it has raised $265 million in additional financing. The capital was drawn from both existing investors as well as new investors in the company.
According to LightSquared, the additional financing will be used for general corporate purposes, which includes constructing its 4G-LTE wholesale network. Over the last 12 months LightSquared has raised over $2.3 billion.

Philip Falcone’s Harbinger Capital has already put $3.1 billion into the company.

Outsourcing: transforms telecom customer service from cost to profit

The changing landscape of customer care presents both challenges and opportunities

Maintaining customer satisfaction while creating efficient savings is crucial for telecom service providers, especially during a period of economic uncertainty. As every provider knows, meeting the service expectations of customers is critical.

Even if a customer’s experience has been largely neutral or positive, it is the few negative experiences that will stick in his mind. Telecom service providers can’t afford to neglect the impact of negative customer experiences associated with services.

Vodafone sees $5.5 billion dividend from Verizon

Reuters

Vodafone (London, England), a mobile operator, could receive an annual dividend of $5.5 billion from its stake in Verizon Wireless (New York, N.Y.), its finance officer said.

A spokesman said Andy Halford, Vodafone's chief financial officer, had told reporters in New Delhi on Wednesday that the $5.5 billion figure stemmed from an assumption that Verizon Wireless had an annual free cash flow of $10 billion to $12 billion.

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