Satellite backhaul deal to bring 3G to rural Malaysia

Satellite operator O3b Networks has signed a backhaul deal that will allow Malaysia’s Maju Nusa to provide 3G services in rural and remote parts of the country.

The companies did not disclose details of the financial terms but describe the tie-up as a “multi-million-dollar, multi-year deal”.

That deal comes just days before O3b (St Helier, Jersey) is set to launch its next-generation satellite constellation and will provide “fiber-equivalent capacity” to Maju Nusa (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia), according to O3b’s statement.

France Tel's Richard wins board backing to continue in role

Stephane Richard will continue in his role as chief executive of France Telecom-Orange after winning a vote of confidence from the operator’s board members on Monday.

Richard has been charged with fraud relating to his time at France’s finance ministry five years ago.

Uncertainty over his future at France Telecom (Paris, France) had grown after France’s government, which owns a 27% stake in the operator, said the board would need to consider his position in light of the alleged offences.

Telefonica denies interest from AT&T: report

Spain’s Telefonica has said it has not received an expression of interest from AT&T after the country’s government was reported to have blocked a substantial bid from the US operator, according to Reuters.

Reports from Spanish newspaper El Mundo had earlier indicated that an AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) representative had spoken to Spain’s government about making a €70 billion ($93.3 billion) offer for Telefonica (Madrid, Spain), prompting authorities to halt the sale of what they consider a strategically important asset.

German minister proposes net neutrality rules to rein in Deutsche Telekom: report

Germany’s government is planning to introduce new ‘net neutrality’ legislation that would prevent internet service providers like Deutsche Telekom from treating content providers differently in terms of connection speeds, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires.

The rules have been proposed by Philipp Roesler, Germany’s economy minister, who is set to present them before Germany’s government at the end of the current legislative period, according to Dow Jones, citing a ministry spokesperson.

Kabel Deutschland asks Vodafone to raise bid: report

Vodafone may have to increase its bid for Kabel Deutschland to around €11 billion ($14.7 billion) to sway the deal, according to the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper, after the German cable company rebuffed the UK operator’s initial advances last week.

Kabel Deutschland (Unterfoehring, Germany), the largest cable company in Germany, last week turned down Vodafone’s offer of €10 billion and has reportedly said that Vodafone (Newbury, UK) will have to make a higher offer simply to gain access to its books.

TeliaSonera appoints Vodacom's Dennelind as chief executive

Scandinavia’s TeliaSonera has named Johan Dennelind as its new chief executive, saying the current Vodacom executive will take up his new position on September 1.

Dennelind is currently employed as chief executive of South Africa’s Vodacom International (Johannesburg) but has worked in a number of roles in the telecoms industry throughout a 20-year career.

Obama wants government to free up more wireless spectrum


President Barack Obama is directing federal agencies to look for ways to eventually share more of their radio airwaves with the private sector as the growing use of smartphones and tablets ratchets up the demand for spectrum, according to a memo released on Friday.

With blocks of spectrum reserved by dozens of government agencies for national defense, law enforcement, weather forecasting and other purposes, wireless carriers and Internet providers are urging that more spectrum be opened up for commercial use.

Saudi Arabia plans to block Whatsapp within weeks


Saudi Arabia plans to block Internet-based communication tool WhatsApp within weeks if the U.S.-based firm fails to comply with requirements set by the kingdom's telecom regulator, local newspapers reported this week.

This month the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) banned Viber, another such tool, which like WhatsApp is hard for the state to monitor and deprives telecom companies of revenue from international calls and texts.

France Tel CEO's future in question after fraud inquiry


The future of France Telecom Chief Executive Stephane Richard remained in question on Thursday, after he was put under investigation for conspiracy to commit fraud during his time as a top government aide.

The board of Europe's fourth-largest telecom group, which is 27 percent owned by the state, is set to meet in coming days to discuss Richard's fate.

Vodafone moves for Kabel Deutschland in quad-play push


Vodafone said on Wednesday it had made an approach to buy Germany's biggest cable company Kabel Deutschland in what could be its largest deal since 2007 and mark a departure from its roots as a pure mobile operator.

Vodafone (Newbury, UK) had been pursuing a possible 10 billion euro ($13.3 billion) bid for the German firm since earlier this year, and hired Goldman Sachs to advise on options in February, sources told Reuters at the time.

"(Vodafone) confirms that it has made a preliminary approach to KD regarding a possible offer for the company," it said.

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