India's Ambani brothers team up on 4G network sharing

India’s Ambani brothers have signed a $2 billion deal to share network infrastructure, aimed at speeding up the rollout of 4G services.

Under the arrangement, Reliance Jio Infocomm (Mumbai, India) – owned by Mukesh Ambani – will lease up to 45,000 sites owned by Reliance Communications (Mumbai, India), the mobile operator controlled by Anil Ambani.

In a joint statement on the tie-up, the two operators said it would allow them to derive major benefits from the sharing of capital and operating costs.

Wipro makes $5 million investment in Axeda for minority stake

Indian software giant Wipro has made a $5 million investment in Axeda in exchange for a minority stake in the M2M platform provider, the size of which has not been disclosed.

The Indian firm says it wants to capitalize on the rapid growth in the M2M market and plans to develop new enterprise applications in partnership with Axeda (Foxboro, MA, USA).

Malaysia's DiGi strikes M2M partnership with Ericsson

Malaysian telecoms operator DiGi has become a high-profile customer of Ericsson’s M2M platform as it looks to fortify its M2M offerings.

Ericsson is likely to have been an obvious choice for the subsidiary of Norway’s Telenor (Fornebu, Norway), whose Telenor Connexion M2M division already has a relationship with the Swedish vendor.

Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) says the platform will allow DiGi (Shah Alam, Malaysia) to reduce time-to-market for M2M applications, boosting revenue and reducing operational costs.

Vodafone and China Mobile pull out of Myanmar race

Reuters

Britain's Vodafone and China Mobile said on Friday they had pulled out of the battle to win a new license in Myanmar, saying the conditions set by the country did not suit the two operators.

The Chinese and British groups, the first and second-largest operators in the world respectively, said in April that they had joined forces to bid for a license in the country formerly known as Burma, where the government wants to increase the number of mobile operators from two to four.

They were among 12 applicants to reach the short list.

India authorities dismiss Nokia tax appeal

Reuters

Indian authorities dismissed Nokia's appeals over an income tax demand of 20.8 billion Indian rupees ($370 million), the phone company said, a setback for its efforts to resolve the dispute in a crucial market.

Nokia's (Helsinki, Finland) India unit was served in March with the tax demand for five years starting from 2006/07, in one of several tax disputes involving a foreign company in India.

The Finnish phone company said on Friday that it will examine all options, including taking the case back to the Delhi High Court. ($1 = 56.2450 Indian rupees)

Sprint, SoftBank reach deal with US over security concerns

Reuters

Sprint Nextel Corp and Japan's SoftBank Corp have reached an agreement with U.S. authorities on the national security aspects of the Japanese firm's pending $20.1 billion deal to win control of the U.S. wireless carrier, people familiar with the matter said.

As a part of that agreement, the U.S. government will have a veto over new equipment purchases by Sprint in certain circumstances if the two companies merge, one source said.

India's SSTL sees net loss widen on network closures

India’s Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) saw its net loss widen to INR6.4 billion ($115 million) in the first quarter of 2013, from INR5.3 billion a year earlier, after license revocations forced the operator to shut down much of its business.

Owned by Russia’s Sistema (Moscow), the parent of Russian mobile-phone operator MTS, SSTL (New Delhi, India) reported a 14% drop in revenues, to INR3.5 billion, after closing networks in 13 of India’s telecoms circles.

SoftBank would add 'security director' to Sprint board

Reuters

SoftBank Corp would appoint a "security director" to Sprint Nextel Corp's board if its takeover bid succeeds and give the U.S. government right of approval on the appointment in hopes of easing national security concerns raised by the proposed deal.

Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on May 1 that the new director appointed by Tokyo-based SoftBank would oversee public safety concerns related to Sprint's wireless and wireline operations.

CTIA 2013: Telenor Connexion touts advantages of connectivity focus

It seems mobile network operators are constantly being urged to play a bigger M2M role than that of connectivity provider, but Telenor Connexion claims its focus on connectivity is helping it stay ahead of the competition.

The operator this week announced a new deal to provide connectivity services in Europe and Asia for Geotab, a North American fleet telematics specialist now expanding its service internationally.

Dish uses national security ads to fight SoftBank deal

Reuters

Dish Network Corp has rolled out an advertising campaign suggesting a deal by a Japanese company to acquire Sprint Nextel Corp could threaten U.S. national security, hoping to sway lawmakers and win support for its rival offer.

The campaign, which so far appears on the Internet and in Washington-area newspapers, is Dish's most public lobbying effort yet against Japan-based SoftBank Corp (Tokyo).

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