A new mobile operator plans to start up in Austria next year, bringing fresh competition into the market after Hutchison Whampoa's takeover of Orange Austria.
Mass Response is the second company to take advantage of cheap wholesale access to Hutchison's (Hong Kong) network, which it was forced to offer as a condition of the takeover that reduced the number of Austrian mobile network operators to three from four.
Mobile phone usage contributes more to the economy in Africa than to any other region in the world, according to new research from the GSM Association (GSMA).
The industry body reckons mobile accounts for more than 6% of Africa’s GDP and expects this figure to rise to about 8% by 2020.
Last year, it says, the mobile industry supported some 3.3 million jobs and contributed $21 billion to public funding in the region, including license fees, but it looks set to employ 6.6 million men and women and contribute $42 billion to public funding by 2020.
Cable company Liberty Global has reported widening losses due to derivative instruments plus higher interest and tax expenses, while the company’s revenues have received a major boost from its acquisition of UK operator Virgin Media earlier this year.
For the three months ending September, the company saw its net loss grow to $830 million from just $22 million in the same period last year.
French telecoms and media conglomerate Vivendi says it has reached a €4.2 billion ($5.67 billion) deal with Etisalat over the sale of its 53% stake in Maroc Telecom.
The transaction still requires sign-off by regulatory authorities but Vivendi (Paris, France) is confident of concluding the sale by early 2014.
The French company describes the deal as a part of its strategy to refocus activities around media and content and away from telecoms.
EE has become the first of the UK’s mobile operators to launch services based on Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A), the next-generation standard that represents an evolution of the 4G LTE technology now taking off in the UK market.
The network is being rolled out across what is known as London Tech City in the east of the capital and will provide connection speeds of up to 300Mbps, according to EE.
Services are not, however, available on a commercial basis.
Loss-making telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent plans to raise 955 million euros ($1.3 billion) from shareholders and $750 million from a high-yield bond to cut debt and drive what its boss has called a last-ditch effort to save the group.
Satellite operators Orbcomm and Inmarsat have formed a strategic alliance aimed at developing products and services for the fast-growing satellite M2M market.
The companies say their collaboration will also investigate opportunities for the future expansion and integration of their satellite networks.
However, the tie-up will mainly work on developing a standard satellite platform as well as cost-effective hardware and flexible service pricing models for the M2M industry.
Spain’s Telefonica is trying to spur M2M development through a new module certification program, designed to help customers launch M2M products and services more quickly.
Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) has branded its initiative the “Global M2M Module Certification Program” and says it has already certified modules from Sierra Wireless (Richmond, Canada), Telit (London, UK) and u-blox (Thalwil, Switzerland), all of which had to undergo a series of interoperability and other tests before being approved.
Dutch telecoms incumbent has launched a fleet-management service for business customers in the Dutch and Belgian markets.
Branded KPN Fleet Management, the service is described as a “management tool” for companies maintaining large fleets.
KPN (The Hague, Netherlands) says it provides real-time insights allowing fleet managers to reduce costs as well as bolster efficiency and safety.
The operator is offering the service in partnership with fleet-management solutions provider Masternaut.
Investment firm PPF Group is on the verge of agreeing a €2.5 billion ($3.38 billion) deal to acquire a controlling stake in Telefonica’s Czech business, reports the Financial Times.
According to sources cited by the UK newspaper, the companies are set to reach an agreement over the next few days.
Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) has been reported to be looking for a buyer of its 66% stake in Telefonica Czech Republic ever since regulatory authorities decided to reserve spectrum in a forthcoming frequency auction for a new entrant to the telecoms sector.