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


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.

Hungary's operators say taxes threaten broadband development

Hungary’s operators have lashed out at moves by the country’s government to impose yet another tax on the telecoms industry, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires.

Earlier this week, authorities served notice of plans to introduce a new telecoms-specific tax they say cannot be passed on to consumers.

Set to come into force on August 1, the new rules would require operators to pay a tax on phone calls by business customers of HUF3 ($0.014) per minute, up from a current per-minute rate of HUF2 per minute.

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.

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