Sprint overhauls pricing, guarantees unlimited offers

US operator Sprint has announced a series of price cuts and provided a “guarantee” that customers will be able to continue enjoying unlimited data usage for the lifetime of a service.

The announcement comes shortly after Japan’s SoftBank (Tokyo) completed its takeover of the number-three player and quashes speculation that Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) would be forced to abandon its unlimited-usage offers and follow bigger rivals AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) and Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA) into imposing monthly caps on subscribers.

O2, Virgin Media sign 4G backhaul deal

Telefonica O2 preparations for the summer launch of 4G have received a boost from a deal to use Virgin Media’s high-speed fiber-optic network to support the service.

The two operators have concluded a ten-year agreement that will see Virgin Media Business connect O2’s base stations to its fiber network using a high-capacity Ethernet service.

Virgin Media (Hook, UK) claims each link will provide a 1Gbps connection between cell site and the aggregation network.

Nokia Siemens and CDNetworks partner on content delivery

Nokia Siemens Networks has signed a memorandum of understanding with CDNetworks, a provider of web services, that will see the two companies collaborate on the development of a new content delivery service for mobile broadband operators.

The two companies are to work on improving an existing service from Nokia Siemens Networks (Helsinki, Finland) called Liquid Applications, which allows operators to tailor content and applications depending on a customer’s service preferences and usage profile.

Level 3 says Global Crossing deal with US did not allow for snooping


Fiber optic network provider Level 3 Communications Inc said a 2003 network security agreement signed by its unit Global Crossing did not include any provision for unauthorized surveillance by U.S. government agencies.

The Washington Post reported last week that the deal allowed Team Telecom, a collection of U.S. government agencies, to access data transferred through Global Crossing's (Hamilton, Bermuda) fiber-optic backbone that connects several countries.

Single EU telecoms market to boost economy by $140 billion: Kroes

European Union (EU) commissioner Neelie Kroes has said a single European telecoms market could provide the region’s economy by as much as €110 billion ($140 billion) annually.

In a speech delivered this week to the European Parliament in Brussels, Kroes said that Europe’s telecoms industry is lagging those in other parts of the world because of “border checkpoints” that discourage investment and weaken competitiveness.

Etisalat must find local partner for Maroc Telecom acquisition: report

Moroccan authorities have said that Etisalat must partner with a local business as a condition of its deal to acquire a majority stake in incumbent operator Maroc Telecom, according to sources cited by Reuters.

Etisalat (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) is currently in negotiations with Vivendi (Paris, France) about acquiring the French media conglomerate’s majority stake in Maroc Telecom (Rabat, Morocco), but the deal requires the assent of Moroccan regulatory authorities.

Italian regulator backs Telecom Italia network spin-off

Italian phone incumbent Telecom Italia has won support from Italy’s regulator for its plans to spin off its fixed-line business, reports Reuters.

In a speech to the Italian parliament, Angelo Marcello Cardani, the president of regulatory authority AGCOM, is reported to have praised the plans, saying that a broad and deep separation would pay regulatory dividends.

Telecom Italia’s board approved the separation scheme in May and will hope the move helps the operator to slash its substantial debt of more than €28 billion ($35.8 billion).

UK broadband plan two years behind schedule: report

The UK government’s plan to extend broadband connectivity to rural parts of the country is running almost two years behind schedule, according to a new report from the National Audit Office (NAO).

In a statement that is hugely critical of the broadband plans and their execution, the NAO said the plan to make broadband available to 90% of the country is likely to be completed some 22 months later than its original deadline of May 2015, with only nine out of 44 local projects reaching their coverage targets by that date.

Telekom Austria, AlcaLu achieve 1Gbps over copper

Telekom Austria has been trialling a copper-based broadband technology from Alcatel-Lucent that can support download speeds of more than 1Gbps.

The innovation could be hugely significant, allowing operators to avoid making costly investments in fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in order to provide superfast services.

The product from Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) combines VDSL2 and vectoring – are already in commercial use – with a new transmission technology called G.fast, which uses a wide frequency band to boost connection speeds on copper lines over short distances.

Bahrain to study restrictions on VoIP services


Bahrain is to study whether to restrict Internet-based telecom services, the communications minister of the restive Arab state told Reuters, although no final decision was imminent.

Internet-based communications including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), instant messaging and social media helped activists launch and nurture the uprisings that toppled long-standing rulers in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in 2011.

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