Spain has become the first country in the world where mobile-phone customers can make use of joyn services across all the major networks.
The announcement by the GSM Association, the industry group behind joyn, notes that Telefonica (Madrid, Spain), Orange (Paris, France) and Vodafone (Newbury, UK) have taken the steps needed to provide a fully interoperable service.
South Africa’s Shanduka Group has paid $335 million for a stake in MTN Nigeria, the West African country’s largest mobile-phone business.
Describing itself as a black-owned and managed investment holding company, Shanduka (Sandton, South Africa) has acquired the stake from three private investors but not disclosed how much of MTN Nigeria it now owns.
The operator is majority owned by South Africa’s MTN Group (Johannesburg, South Africa), which holds a 78.83% stake in the company.
In what could be a blow to the European ambitions of Egypt’s Naguib Sawiris, Telecom Italia says it will not bid for GVT, Vivendi’s Brazilian phone business, according to Italy’s Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper.
Billionaire Sawiris this week confirmed that he would attempt to buy a stake in the Italian incumbent through a cash injection of €3 billion ($3.9 billion), but Telecom Italia (Rome, Italy) had previously hinted at a lack of interest unless it decided to proceed with a bid for GVT (Curitiba, Brazil).
Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris is used to ruffling feathers and making headlines.
He was up to both on Tuesday, provoking shareholders at Telecom Italia (Rome, Italy) with proposals to make himself a significant shareholder at half the price they might want, while the political party he co-founded prepared for protests against Egypt's president.
Pan-African mobile-phone operator Vodacom has reportedly launched an M2M service in Nigeria aimed at boosting the country’s retail and financial sectors.
The offering appears to be a mobile-payments service, using GSM network connectivity to link retailers’ terminals to central servers and banking systems.
According to press reports, Vodacom (Bloemfontein, South Africa), majority owned by Vodafone (Newbury, UK), is using a secondary GSM network as a backup in case of an outage, but says users will be oblivious to any changeover.
Orange, the mobile brand of France Telecom, launched a global free calling and texting application on Thursday, in direct competition with services such as Skype, WhatsApp and Viber.
Telecom operators around the globe have suffered as free calling and texting services have proliferated over the past few years. The apps allow users to communicate without using their voice or text allotments, leading some operators like KPN (The Hague, Netherlands) to complain about the hit to their bottom line.
Etihad Etisalat Co (Mobily), Saudi Arabia's second-biggest telecoms operator, has asked to meet the industry regulator after it was suspended from selling pre-paid SIM cards, a company spokesman said, describing the ban as "astonishing".
Mobily's sales of pre-paid, or pay-as-you-go SIM cards will remain halted until the company "fully meets the pre-paid service provisioning requirements," the firm said in a statement.
Telefonica is weighing up whether to sell shares in its Latin American operations on the New York Stock Exchange, according to a report in Spain’s Expansion newspaper.
The various subsidiaries would be grouped into a Spanish holding company for trading sometime next year, reports the paper.
An IPO would help Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) to reduce its substantial pile of debt, which has continued to grow in recent years as the Spanish incumbent has expanded its international operations.
Oman has awarded a fixed-line telecoms license to a partnership between PCCW International and Awaser Oman Co, according to a statement filed by the country’s regulatory body.
The license covers the greater Muscat area – home to about 700,000 of Oman’s 2.8 million people – and is valid for a period of 25 years.
PCCW International (Hong Kong) and Awaser Oman Co (Muscat, Oman) will be able to provide both fixed-line voice and data services.
French operator SFR may announce 1,100 redundancies later this week owing to the difficult operating conditions in France, according to a story in Les Echos newspaper that cited comments made by a labor union official.
The French mobile-phone operator is set to present a jobs-reduction scheme to unions on Wednesday, but is also expected to create 300 new jobs, according to Vanessa Jereb of the UNSA union.