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

Reuters

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.

National broadband plans boost penetration by 2.5%: ITU, Cisco

The adoption of a national broadband plan boosts broadband penetration by 2.5% and mobile broadband penetration by 7.4%, according to new research from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and Cisco.

Researchers from the United Nations (UN) institute and the maker of routers and switches found that the introduction of a national broadband plan led to greater coordination between the industry and the public sector and bolstered the sector by emphasizing the role of broadband as a national priority.

France Telecom becomes Orange

France Telecom has officially dropped its original moniker and taken up the name of Orange, which has served as its brand across most commercial activities for several years.

The change came into effect at the start of this week, having won the approval of the operator’s shareholders in May.

In a statement, the company said that all its products and services in more than 30 countries will henceforth be sold under the Orange brand name, with all commercial, internal and corporate communication grouped under a single brand identity.

SK Telecom claims world's first launch of LTE-Advanced

SK Telecom has stolen a march on domestic and international rivals by claiming to have launched the world’s first network based on LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology.

The launch comes just two years after the South Korean company began providing commercial LTE services, and with many operators around the world yet to begin offering LTE to their customers.

Vodafone agrees $10 billion takeover of Kabel Deutschland

Vodafone has agreed a £6.6 billion ($10.14 billion) takeover of Germany’s Kabel Deutschland aimed at bolstering its presence in the country’s broadband and TV markets.

The deal will create a company with combined revenues of €11.5 billion ($15.1 billion), as well as 32.4 million mobile, five million broadband and 7.6 million TV customers.

Vodafone raises Kabel Deutschland offer after rival bid: report

Reuters

Britain's Vodafone Group Plc has raised its preliminary offer to buy Germany's largest cable operator, Kabel Deutschland Holding AG, a day after U.S. media group Liberty Global Plc made a rival bid, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the bid.

Bloomberg reported that Vodafone (Newbury, UK) told Kabel Deutschland (Unterfoehring, Germany) this week that it would be willing to pay 85 euros a share compared with its initial offer of 80 euros to 82 euros for the German company.

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