Vodafone says decided against spinning off emerging markets unit

Operator says it meanwhile has started preparations to separately list its Vodafone India subsidiary


BARCELONA (Reuters) - Mobile networks operator Vodafone has looked at spinning off its entire emerging markets unit, which includes its interests in India, Africa, New Zealand, Qatar and Turkey, but decided the synergies it gives justified keeping the group together, Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said on Wednesday.

The size and scope of Vodafone's worldwide operations were in the spotlight this summer when it was in talks with European cable operator Liberty Global about an unspecified exchange of assets.

Turkey's 4G tender outstrips predictions with bids of $4.5 billion

President had urged move straight to 5G, for which technical standards do not yet exist


ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's auction of 4G mobile phone frequencies lured a higher than expected 3.96 billion euros ($4.5 billion) worth of bids, the agency running the process said on Wednesday, showing the appeal of Turkey's youthful and growing market.

The bids from Britain's Vodafone, and Turkish duo Avea and Turkcell, the only three operators in Turkey, will be subject to an approval process before a final decision on allocations is made.

Turkey minister says might cancel 4G tender, switch to 5G

Officials have previously said 4G services would be offered from the start of 2016


ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey could cancel a May tender for 4G telecoms infrastructure after President Tayyip Erdogan urged the country not to "lose time" with the technology and move straight to 5G, the trade minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Erdogan last week called for a move to fifth-generation mobile networks, within two years, skipping the current 4G technology, which cast doubt over the ongoing tender process.

Turkish telecommunications are currently based on 3G technology.

EU's head of digital policy raps resistance to ban on roaming fees

Member states in eastern Europe worry that operators will be forced to raise domestic prices


BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union member states came under fire from the bloc's head of digital policy on Tuesday for resisting efforts to scrap mobile phone roaming charges for consumers.

Though the removal of the charges is a priority for the European Commission as it seeks to spur cross-border telecoms competition, EU members concerned about the effect on operators have proposed that any ban should be held back until 2018 at the earliest.

Rocket Internet raises fresh capital after food spending spree

Disbelievers question emerging markets strategy unpredictable places


FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Rocket Internet went to investors with a capital hike just four months after its stock flotation, asking for fresh funds following a 1 billion euro spending spree that targets online food takeaway businesses as the next big thing.

The Berlin-based company, Europe's biggest Internet player thanks to its stakes in more than 100 start-ups ranging from fashion to finance, raised 1.4 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in its October IPO. It added a further 588 million euros on Friday that it said would allow it to continue to look around.

Vodafone Egypt spending $1.25 billion on network upgrade

Investments to cover equipment, modernizing base stations and creating new coverage areas


CAIRO (Reuters) - Vodafone Egypt plans to spend around 9.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.25 billion) on upgrading its network over the next three years to keep pace with demand for data services, its CEO said.

Vodafone Egypt, majority owned by British mobile operator Vodafone, is the leading communications player by customer numbers in the country of 90 million.

"Annual investments will represent more than 30 percent of annual revenues," Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Essam told Reuters in an interview.

Telenor and TeliaSonera signal truce with Danish mobile merger

Combined business would be on a par with Denmark's former national telecoms operator TDC


OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian telecoms company Telenor and Sweden's TeliaSonera have agreed to combine their Danish mobile businesses to boost margins in their toughest market.

The plan to put their Danish operations into a 50-50 joint venture, which aims to save 800 million Danish crowns ($133 million) a year by 2019, lifted the share price of both companies and their main rival on investor hopes of an end to cut-throat price competition.

Denmark's TDC weighs bid for Swedish cable firm Com Hem: sources

Almost 40 percent of Swedish households are connected to Com Hem's network


LONDON (Reuters) - TDC, Denmark's biggest telecoms network operator, is weighing a bid for Swedish cable firm Com Hem, as it seeks to expand across the Nordic region, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

TDC is sounding out banks to fund a deal that could value the cable operator at more than 11.7 billion Swedish crowns ($1.56 billion) based on its current market price, the sources said.

Qualcomm sees more China trouble, faces probes in U.S., Europe

Opportunities have been clouded by an 11-month-old antitrust investigation


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc warned on Wednesday that an antitrust investigation and problems collecting royalties could harm its business in China next year and it also disclosed new regulatory investigations in the United States and Europe.

China's expanding high-speed 4G network is driving demand for smartphones with leading-edge technology, but Qualcomm's opportunities have been clouded by an 11-month-old antitrust investigation there.

Iraq's cellphone operators to pay $307 million for 3G airwaves: regulator

The 3 mobile operators have been waiting years to begin 3G services


BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq’s mobile phone network operators have agreed to pay $307 million each for radio spectrum, enabling them to launch higher-speed 3G mobile internet services in the war-torn country in two months, a senior official at the national regulator told Reuters.

Iraq is one of the few Middle East countries still reliant on 2G networks, which mostly carry voice calls and SMS texts and only the most basic online services, while fixed line internet connections are expensive and unreliable.

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