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.

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.

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