Indian market grows to more than 900 million customers

The number of telecoms customers in India crossed the 900 million mark in May, according to new data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), with Reliance Communications boasting the biggest number of mobile additions.

In its latest report, the TRAI says the number of mobile customers rose from about 867 million in April to more than 870 million at the end of May, while the fixed-line base shrank by some 140,000 customers to finish the month with some 29.85 million subscribers overall.

Sprint completes trial of 400Gbps technology

US operator Sprint says it has successfully carried out a trial of 400Gbps technology that could help to support the rising demand for data services on both fixed and mobile networks.

The operator has been working with network equipment vendor Ciena (Hanover, MD, USA) on the deployment of the high-speed technology, and says the two companies completed the 400Gbps trial in the Silicon Valley area in July.

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Dutch foundation threatens to block America Movil bid for KPN

An independent Dutch foundation has expressed concern about the proposed acquisition of KPN by Latin American telecoms giant America Movil, casting doubt over the likelihood of a takeover, reports Reuters.

Owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, America Movil (Mexico City, Mexico) last week announced plans for a €7.2 billion ($9.56 billion) takeover of the Dutch telecoms incumbent, in which it currently holds a 30% share.

Singtel blames Australia for sales decline, but profits grow

Singaporean telecoms incumbent SingTel has seen a healthy rise in net profit for the three months ending June despite reporting a fall in revenues it blamed on a “more cautious business environment” and weakness in the Australian mobile market.

Singtel’s net income was up by 7%, to SGD1.01 billion ($796 million), compared with the same period of 2012, thanks to the operator’s efforts to cut costs and despite ongoing investments in spectrum, networks and its digital businesses.

MTN adds 12 million customers despite first-half challenges

Pan-African operator MTN Group saw profits and revenues for the first half of the year buoyed by continuing subscriber growth despite pricing pressure across most of its markets.

Profits after tax rose by 19%, to ZAR14.55 billion ($1.46 billion), compared with the same period of 2012, while revenues were up by 9.8%, to ZAR65.25 billion.

Meanwhile, the company’s overall subscriber base grew by 6.5%, compared with end-June 2012, to 201.5 million customers.

Slim-backed Telekom Austria and KPN form network pact

Reuters

Telekom Austria and Dutch group KPN, the European rivals in which Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has invested, have joined forces to offer internet-based data services to wholesale and large business customers, they said on Tuesday.

The two companies are combining their infrastructure to create a "backbone" optic fiber network across 35 countries whereby Telekom Austria (Vienna, Austria) can use KPN's (The Hague, Netherlands) network for its customers in western Europe and KPN can use Telekom Austria's network in central and eastern Europe.

EU questions how Italy telecom watchdog set broadband prices

Reuters

The European Commission has questioned the way Italian telecoms watchdog AGCOM arrived at changes planned to wholesale broadband prices, claiming the move could cramp the ability of market players to decide on prices in Italy.

In a statement on Monday, the Commission said it had invoked the EU review mechanism over the move, adding it would discuss with AGCOM how to amend its proposal over the next three months.

Telekom Austria posts earnings decline in "challenging" conditions

Telekom Austria has blamed a fall in earnings for the three months ending June on a mixture of competition, challenging economic conditions and unfavorable regulation.

The Austrian telecoms incumbent saw earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fall by 9.5%, compared with the same period of 2012, to €330.3 million ($439 million), while revenues slipped by 1.9%, to €1.04 billion.

Thanks to a fall in depreciation and amortization charges, plus lower interest payments, the operator was able to report a 54.2% rise in net income, to €52.5 million.

America Movil makes $9.6 billion bid for rest of KPN

Reuters

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil defied arch-rival Telefonica with a 7.2 billion euro ($9.6 billion) bid for the 70 percent of Dutch telecoms group KPN that it does not already own.

Spain's Telefonica (Madrid) made an $11 billion offer last month to buy KPN's (The Hague, Netherlands) crown jewel, Germany's E-Plus, disrupting America Movil's (Mexico City, Mexico) expensive - and on paper money-losing - foray into Europe.

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