VimpelCom in talks with Hutchison over Wind Italy: report

VimpelCom is mulling a potential sale or merger of its Italian mobile business, according to the UK’s Financial Times newspaper.

The operator – whose biggest market is Russia – is reportedly in discussions with Hutchison Whampoa about the future of Wind (Rome, Italy), its second-biggest subsidiary and Italy’s third-biggest mobile operator.

Ooredoo launches Algeria's first 3G network

Qatari incumbent Ooredoo has launched what it claims is the first 3G network in Algeria, where it is the smallest of the country’s three mobile network operators.

In a statement, Ooredoo (Doha, Qatar) – formerly known as Qtel – said it had switched on its network in the country’s ten biggest cities just hours after getting the final regulatory sign-off.

Although it promises its 3G services will be available “at no additional cost”, the operator requires customers to procure a second 3G-enabled number (which it will supply) and add this to their SIM cards.

French government will police quality of 4G services: minister

Reuters

The French government will act to ensure telecom operators provide decent service as they roll out cut-rate plans for new high-speed 4G broadband service, a minister for digital issues said on Sunday.

Low-cost operator Iliad (Paris, France) this month added 4G service to its Free Mobile offers without raising the price, putting pressure on leading telecoms companies Orange (Paris, France), Vivendi's SFR (Paris, France) and Bouygues Telecom (Paris, France) to follow suit with competitive offers.

Orange joins rivals in France's 4G price war: report

Orange is reported to have joined a price war in France’s nascent 4G market, offering the high-speed service to customers on its low-cost Sosh tariffs for no additional charge.

The move follows similar announcements by Iliad (Paris, France) and Bouygues (Paris, France), meaning Vivendi-owned SFR (Paris, France) is the only mobile network operator yet to slash fees for access to its 4G network.

But according to Dow Jones, which reported on the latest development, analysts expect SFR to follow suit in the near future.

European Commission to invest $965 million in 5G

The European Commission (EC) is to invest €700 million ($965 million) in 5G research and development in a bid to improve the competitiveness of the region’s mobile communications industry.

The plans form part of the EC’s Horizon 2020 program, which will see a total of €6.2 billion injected into eight Public Private Partnerships in areas deemed to be of strategic importance to Europe.

TeliaSonera spends $72 million on fiber assets

Sweden’s TeliaSonera has announced several acquisitions aimed at boosting its presence in the country’s high-speed broadband market.

In a statement, the operator said it had spent a total of SEK473 million ($72 million) on controlling stakes in fiber players Zitius, Quadracom Networks and Riksnet.

EE and AT&T announce 4G roaming agreement

UK operator EE has signed a roaming deal with AT&T allowing customers of the US telecoms giant to use 4G services when travelling to the UK.

The operator also promised that further roaming deals would be announced early next year.

Deutsche Telekom to launch SaaS-based smart-metering kit

German telecoms operator Deutsche Telekom claims it will soon become the world’s first company to offer a modular solution for smart metering using so-called ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) technology.

The service will give utility companies a selection of tools for energy provision and management, and includes a gateway administration service, the installation of meters and gateways, the communications link, a meter data-management system and an IT system based on SAP (Walldorf, Germany), with which Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) has a long-standing partnership.

TeliaSonera restructures to improve customer focus, transparency

Scandinavian operator TeliaSonera has unveiled details of a restructuring aimed at improving its focus on customers and making it a more transparent organization from a corporate-governance perspective.

As a result of the new structure, TeliaSonera (Stockholm, Sweden) will split operations into three geographical divisions addressing needs in Europe, Eurasia and Sweden, its domestic market.

EE to invest $450 million in improving mobile calls

UK operator EE says it will invest £275 million ($450 million) in improving the quality and reliability of mobile calls on its 2G and 3G networks in 2014.

The funds will also be used to conduct trials of new voice technologies such as voice over LTE (VoLTE) and voice over WiFi.

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