Nokia bets software revolution will help avoid past merger errors

Getting the transition right is essential to achieving the synergies and avoiding alienating major customers

Reuters

PARIS/HELSINKI/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Nokia's acquisition of smaller rival Alcatel-Lucent may avoid the pitfalls that befell earlier telecom network equipment marriages, thanks to a revolution over the past decade in how products are launched and developed.

The brains and brawn of telecom networks today lie in software, which is programmable and flexible, and not in customized hardware as in the past. Products are more modular with open interfaces that allow equipment from different manufacturers to talk to each other.

Arris to buy British set-top box maker Pace in $2.1 billion deal

Deal comes as OTT disrupts traditional video service industry

Reuters

(Reuters) - Network gear maker Arris Group Inc said it would buy British set-top box maker Pace Plc in a $2.1 billion cash-and-stock deal to expand its operations outside North America.

The deal, which involves the creation of a new company that will be incorporated in the UK, will help Arris reduce corporate taxes.

Arris said the deal will reduce its non-GAAP tax rate to about 26-28 percent. The company's tax rate was 36.8 percent in 2014.

Metroweb's state owner rejects Telecom Italia proposal: sources

Battle is politically sensitive as PM Renzi considers it a building block for a plan to roll out faster networks

Reuters

MILAN/ROME (Reuters) - The state owner of Italy's Metroweb has rejected a proposal by Telecom Italia to take a stake in the broadband company and gradually reach full ownership, according to two people close to the matter and an email seen by Reuters.

The latest twist in long-running talks between Telecom Italia and state lender Cassa Depositi e Presititi (CDP) could favor Vodafone, which has also set its sight on the broadband firm.

Google rolls out new U.S. wireless service

Will be available on only one device and has limited carrier coverage

Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Google Inc on Wednesday launched a new U.S. wireless service that switches between Wi-Fi and cellular networks to curb data use and keep phone bills low.

The service, Google's first entry into the wireless industry, will work only on the company's Nexus 6 phones and be hosted through Sprint Corp and T-Mobile's networks, Google said in a statement.

The service, called Project Fi, will automatically switch between the two networks and more than 1 million open, free Wi-Fi spots, depending on which signal is strongest.

Huawei CEO says Chinese cybersecurity rules could backfire

Xu says policies could hamper free competition and innovation and undermine security in the long term

Reuters

SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) - China can only ensure its information security in the long run if it keeps its market open to the best technology products, be they foreign or domestic, Huawei's rotating chief executive Eric Xu told Reuters on Tuesday.

Xu's remarks are a rare example of a top Chinese CEO openly questioning the direction of Beijing's information security policy, already a source of concern for countries who fear it will limit opportunities for their technology firms.

Swedish mobile operators battle it out in Kazakhstan

Numbers of users is rising Central Asia's biggest economy, which has a population 17 million

Reuters

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A battle being played out in Kazakhstan between Sweden's two leading mobile operators has intensified this year as Tele2 slowly makes up ground on market leader TeliaSonera.

Kazakhstan is Central Asia's biggest economy and while it has a population of just 17 million, the number of mobile users is rising. TeliaSonera has been in the country for more than a decade, while Tele2 entered in 2010 and is investing in its network as it seeks to win market share.

Nokia buys Alcatel to take on Ericsson in telecom equipment

The deal will redefine a sector suffering weak growth prospects

Reuters

HELSINKI/PARIS (Reuters) - Nokia will buy Alcatel-Lucent in an all-share deal that values its smaller French rival at 15.6 billion euros ($16.6 billion), building up its telecom equipment business to compete with market leader Ericsson.

The deal will redefine a sector suffering weak growth prospects and pressure from low-cost Chinese players Huawei and ZTE.

Raytheon to buy cybersecurity firm Websense in $1.9 billion deal

Deal will add more than 20,000 commercial customers to predominantly government portfolio

Reuters

(Reuters) - U.S. arms maker Raytheon Co is buying network security provider Websense Inc from private equity firm Vista Equity Partners LLC in a $1.9 billion deal, the latest in the fast-growing cybersecurity market.

Several companies, including Sony Corp, Staples Inc, Home Depot Inc and Target Corp, have been targets of high-profile data thefts over the past two years.

FCC to open up valuable airwaves for tech and telecom companies

'Citizens Broadband Radio Service' has been under development since 2012

Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Friday voted to open a swath of government-controlled airwaves for commercial use by tech and telecom companies such as Verizon Communications Inc and Google Inc as they seek to meet growing data demands from new wireless devices.

The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to chalk out a process to allow companies free access to the frequencies in the 3.5 gigahertz band.

Those airwaves' ability to carry heavy data across short distances makes them particularly attractive to companies.

Sprint unit launches prepaid cell-phone service to Cuba

Less than 2 million out of Cuba's population of 11 million have cell phones

Reuters

MIAMI (Reuters) - Boost Mobile, part of Sprint Corp, on Thursday launched a prepaid plan for U.S. consumers calling and texting Cuba, taking advantage of new, relaxed U.S. commercial regulations with the Communist-run island nation.

The Obama administration's new Cuban policy regulations approved by the Treasury and Commerce departments have opened the door for U.S.-based telecommunications firms to start potentially lucrative services to Cuba.

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