Shareholders of France Telecom have voted in favor of changing the operator’s name to Orange, the brand it already uses across its commercial operations.
The name change is to come into effect on July 1 and is described by the company as a “natural step in the process towards the simplification and unity of the Group’s activities”.
The former state-owned monopoly says it has been working on simplifying its visual identity in France and other markets since 2006, with fixed, mobile, internet and TV services all now offered under the Orange brand.
Spain’s Telefonica and Russia’s MegaFon have announced details of a new strategic partnership designed to lower operating costs and spur innovation.
The deal brings together Spain’s former state-owned monopoly and the third-biggest mobile-phone operator in Russia, behind MTS (Moscow, Russia) and VimpelCom (Amsterdam, Netherlands), and will see the two companies team up on procurement to lower the cost of equipment purchases and also exchange technological know-how.
Satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp and wireless network provider nTelos Holdings Corp said they would jointly develop a broadband service within nTelos's coverage territory serving parts of Virginia, Maryland and a few other states.
Dish (Meridian, CO, USA) has been trying to diversify beyond its core pay-TV business that has matured and faces tough competition from cable, telecom and Internet video providers.
Sprint Nextel Corp
Clearwire (Bellevue, WA, USA) shares almost immediately traded around the new offer price, having consistently traded well above the old $2.97-per-share bid. Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) announced the revised price just hours before Clearwire was due to hold a special meeting for shareholders to vote on the original offer.
Investment group Crest Financial has made a final plea to Clearwire shareholders not to support Sprint’s takeover of the wireless broadband operator just a day before their vote takes place.
In a letter sent to Clearwire (Bellevue, WA, USA) shareholders, Crest argues that a decision on Clearwire’s future owner should be delayed until Sprint’s own status is resolved.
VimpelCom has reported strong gains in first-quarter profits thanks to cost-cutting measures and a steady top-line performance.
Owned by Mikhail Fridman – the Russian billionaire – and Norwegian telecoms incumbent Telenor, the operator saw net income rise by 28%, to $408 million, compared with the same period last year, with revenues flat at $5.6 billion.
“These results demonstrate further progress on our Value Agenda and we remain on track to achieve our longer-term objectives,” said Jo Lunder, the chief executive of VimpelCom (Amsterdam, Netherlands).
Singaporean telecoms incumbent SingTel has reported a sharp fall in quarterly profits owing to losses booked on the sale of its stake in Pakistani operator Warid.
The operator said net income dropped by 33%, to S$868 million ($696 million), for the three months ending March 2013 due to the loss of S$225 million resulting from the sale of Warid.
Comparison with results in 2012 also looked unfavorable due to an exceptional tax credit of S$270 million booked in the final quarter of the previous financial year.
UK telecoms incumbent BT says it has slowed its sales decline on the back of rising demand for superfast broadband services.
The operator has reported revenues of £4.79 billion ($7.36 billion) for the fourth quarter of 2012, a fall of just 2% since the same period a year earlier.
The figure was boosted by a relatively strong performance at BT Retail amid continuing declines at the operator’s wholesale and IT divisions.
Even so, net profit slid by 6.3% to £591 million.
German telecoms incumbent Deutsche Telekom has heralded signs of a turnaround in its US fortunes, and continued improvements in its domestic market, with net profit up 3.5%, to €564 million ($741 million), for the first three months of the year.
The bottom-line figure was boosted by a fall in depreciation and amortization costs in the USA.
Spain’s Telefonica has reported a 20.6% increase in net income for the first three months of the year, to €902 million ($1.19 billion), but says revenues dropped by 8.8%, to €14.14 billion, largely because of unfavorable exchange-rate movements.
Net profit surged because Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) had reported losses from associates in the prior-year quarter, and the Group’s operating income fell by 17.7%, to €2.07 billion.