SK Telecom claims world's first launch of LTE-Advanced

SK Telecom has stolen a march on domestic and international rivals by claiming to have launched the world’s first network based on LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology.

The launch comes just two years after the South Korean company began providing commercial LTE services, and with many operators around the world yet to begin offering LTE to their customers.

Make or break moment for Myanmar reforms in opaque telecoms sector

Reuters

Companies awarded telecommunications licenses in Myanmar this week will need to spend billions of dollars rolling out networks across a country that has yet to pass a law to govern the sector and where opaque, state-owned enterprises will remain players.

The process is being watched closely as a test case for reform in Myanmar, although the risks did not stop 90 international firms and groups from joining the initial phase.

ZTE to churn out more 4G devices

Reuters

China's ZTE Corp, the world's fifth largest smartphone maker, is aggressively moving into the higher end of the market for mobile gadgets with more 4G shipments.

The Shenzhen-based company has been trying to move away from selling lower end mobile phones, a strategy that has served it well in boosting its global market share, but at the expense of pressuring margins and profitability.

It plans to further raise its global profile by sponsoring a U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA) team later this year, executives said.

M2M Zone Multi-sponsored Webinar Series

The healthcare market for machine-to-machine technology is finally poised to show the kind of growth that experts have predicted for years. Case studies are showing the efficiencies that can be gained from machine diagnostics to medical records keeping, but hurdles remain, including ongoing regulatory issues and a possible investment slowdown.

SoftBank closer to acquiring Sprint after Dish abandons bid for now

Reuters

Japan's SoftBank Corp cleared a major hurdle in its attempt to buy U.S. wireless provider Sprint Nextel Corp, as rival bidder Dish Network Corp declined to make a new offer after SoftBank sweetened its own bid last week.

SoftBank (Tokyo, Japan) Chief Executive Masayoshi Son is now a step closer to sealing the largest overseas acquisition by a Japanese company in history, after winning support from a key shareholder by raising SoftBank's offer to $21.6 billion from $20.1 billion last week.

Satellite backhaul deal to bring 3G to rural Malaysia

Satellite operator O3b Networks has signed a backhaul deal that will allow Malaysia’s Maju Nusa to provide 3G services in rural and remote parts of the country.

The companies did not disclose details of the financial terms but describe the tie-up as a “multi-million-dollar, multi-year deal”.

That deal comes just days before O3b (St Helier, Jersey) is set to launch its next-generation satellite constellation and will provide “fiber-equivalent capacity” to Maju Nusa (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia), according to O3b’s statement.

Chorus says regulatory moves imperil New Zealand's fiber future

New Zealand operator Chorus has lashed out at regulatory moves to slash wholesale prices for access to its copper broadband services, arguing it will put the “once in a generation” transition to fiber at risk.

Meeting with New Zealand’s Commerce Commission, as well as representatives of the country’s retail operators, Mark Ratcliffe the chief executive of Chorus (Wellington, New Zealand), said the regulatory proposals had led to a “dramatic flight of international capital out of Chorus and New Zealand”.

Softbank raises Sprint offer, wins key shareholder support

Reuters

Japanese mobile operator SoftBank Corp said it agreed with Sprint Nextel Corp to raise its offer for the U.S. wireless carrier to $21.6 billion from $20.1 billion, as it fights off a counter bid by Dish Network Corp.

SoftBank's amended offer, Japan's biggest outbound deal, won the backing of hedge fund Paulson & Co, Sprint's second-biggest shareholder, which had earlier supported the Dish bid. Paulson said it would vote all its shares in favor of SoftBank's improved offer.

FIC and Cluster Wireless to develop "intelligent" M2M solutions

OEM supplier First International Computer (FIC) is teaming up with M2M specialist Cluster Wireless on the development of M2M products and services for the enterprise market.

The two companies have announced a “multi-year technology collaboration and partnership” they say will accelerate the development of “intelligent, flexible, [and] cost-efficient” M2M services aimed at enterprise customers.

FIC (Taipei, Taiwan) says the partnership will give it more flexibility during the design, manufacture and deployment of its custom hardware products.

SoftBank in talks to buy T-Mobile US: report

SoftBank has reportedly begun discussions with Deutsche Telekom about a takeover of T-Mobile US should it fail in its attempts to buy rival network operator Sprint.

The Japanese operator is pursuing a deal to buy a 70% stake in Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) for $20.1 billion, but faces competition from satellite TV provider Dish Network (Meridian, CO, USA), which has offered $25.5 billion for Sprint.

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