Inmarsat says new broadband network offers bright sales prospects

By 2020, the company expects the new network to generate $500 million a year


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Britain's Inmarsat Plc said Friday's expected launch of its third Global Xpress satellite will allow it to offer mobile broadband service to customers in the remotest regions, giving airline passengers the ability to stream movies and update social media on flights worldwide.

AT&T, DirecTV complete merger to form biggest pay-TV company

FCC will require AT&T to establish internal, and independent external, compliance officers


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier AT&T Inc and the biggest satellite-TV provider DirecTV became the country's largest pay-TV company on Friday, completing their $48.5 billion merger after receiving final regulatory approval.

The newly expanded AT&T leapfrogs the biggest U.S. cable company Comcast Corp. The company said it will serve more than 26 million U.S. customers and more than 19 million in Latin America, making it the world's biggest pay-TV company.

France's Technicolor to buy Cisco's set-top box business

Transaction expected to close by the end of Q4 2015 or in Q1 2016


PARIS (Reuters) - French media and entertainment technology group Technicolor will buy Cisco System's home video equipment business for 550 million euros ($602 million), it said on Thursday, sending its shares to a five-year high.

The cash-and-stock deal is part of Technicolor's efforts to expand in the thriving home video market and boost profitability.

It will create the world No. 2 in customer premises equipment (CPE) - phone gear, cable and satellite TV set-top boxes, routers and switches - with total sales of 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) and a 15 percent market share.

U.S. judge says Internet streaming service should be treated like cable

Ruling could have major implications for broadcasters if it is upheld by higher courts


NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge ruled on Thursday that online television service FilmOn X LLC should be treated like a traditional cable system in order to transmit the programs of the nation's broadcasters over the Internet.

The ruling, coming as consumer TV-watching habits are increasingly migrating to the Internet, is the first to first to view a streaming service like a cable provider and could have major implications for broadcasters if it is upheld by higher courts.

OneWeb sets record launch plan after $500 million funding

648 small satellites orbit to provide global broadband and mobile telephone services


MUMBAI/CAPE CANAVERAL (Reuters) - Privately owned OneWeb announced what it called the world's largest commercial rocket deal on Thursday after raising $500 million from a group of global investors to support its plans to bring broadband to billions of people via satellite.

The fund-raising attracted backing from Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Europe’s Airbus Group, which will also build 900 "micro-satellites" designed to extend the reach of the Internet to remote corners of the world.

Networks must improve for Iraq to be Internet transit hub: executive

Refusal to allow private companies to own fixed networks has slowed broadband build-out


(Reuters) - A more reliable terrestrial broadband network could enable Iraq to become a transcontinental transit route for Internet traffic, a senior executive at one of two firms providing submarine connectivity to the war-torn country told Reuters.

Iraq is ideally located to carry Internet traffic between Asia and Europe and built a submarine cable landing station at Al Faw on Iraq’s Gulf coast to do so.

Watchdog proposes price controls for BT's high-speed business lines

Ofcom opens a consultation on what controls would apply to some wholesale leased line prices


LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's telecoms regulator Ofcom has proposed controlling the prices BT can charge for some of its high-speed business lines, following up on a review which recognized the former state monopoly's "significant" market power.

Ofcom said it was opening a consultation on what price controls would apply to some of BT's wholesale leased line prices, which could result in price cuts for customers in the 2 billion pound ($3.10 billion) market.

Court declines to suspend U.S. net neutrality rules

Decision puts suit on expedited schedule, but does not indicate how the court may ultimately rule


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New U.S. Internet traffic regulations, known as net neutrality rules, will go into effect on Friday after a federal appeals court rejected the telecommunications industry's request to partly suspend their implementation while they are being litigated.

The ruling on Thursday marked an early win for the Federal Communications Commission, whose assertion of a broader enforcement authority over Internet service providers is being challenged in court by AT&T Inc and cable and wireless industry groups.

Vodafone in talks with Liberty Global on asset swap, not merger

After weeks of speculation, Vodafone released a statement on Friday saying it was not in merger talks


LONDON (Reuters) - Vodafone, the world's second biggest mobile company, said it is in early talks about exchanging selected assets with Europe's largest cable operator Liberty Global, which could enable each to better compete with rivals.

Analysts and sector bankers said the two most important countries for both firms where they overlap were Britain and Germany. They also both operate in Ireland, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.

Charter-Time Warner Cable deal could spawn an online video service

Would be an unprecedented move in the cable industry


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Charter Communications Inc executives are exploring whether to launch an online video service as part of its combination with larger rival Time Warner Cable Inc, in what would be an unprecedented move in the cable industry.

The $56 billion takeover announced on Tuesday would make Charter the No. 2 U.S. Internet and cable company after Comcast Corp. Charter's top shareholder John Malone, a cable industry pioneer, is on record as being a fan of streaming TV over the Internet.

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