France's SFR to maintain capex at 1.5-1.6 billion euros in 2013

French mobile-phone operator plans to maintain capital expenditure at a 2012 level of between €1.5 billion and €1.6 billion this year, according to a report in France’s Les Echos newspaper.

The operator reportedly plans to increase spending on mobile networks while reducing investments elsewhere.

Much of the capital expenditure is likely to go towards expanding the reach of SFR’s LTE networks, following the launch of commercial LTE services last November.

Sky strikes Bundesliga deal with Deutsche Telekom

Reuters

Pay-TV operator Sky Deutschland has agreed a deal to make available top-flight German soccer matches to Deutsche Telekom clients, tapping into the telecom operator's subscriber base.

Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) has been showing Bundesliga matches on its Entertain internet TV platform but lost the broadcast rights to Sky (Unterfoehring, Germany) in an auction last year.

Telekom Austria eyes 800 million euro hybrid bond: magazine

Reuters

Telekom Austria is eyeing a hybrid bond issue of up to 800 million euros ($1.06 billion) to help finance major investments, Austrian magazine News reported, citing Chairman Rudolf Kemler.

In an interview published on Thursday, Kemler pointed to an Austrian auction of next-generation radio frequencies due in the second half of this year and the need to prolong existing frequency contracts.

"We presumably don't have (funds for this) in the Telekom group. That does not arise from current liquidity," he was quoted as saying.

TeliaSonera buys WiMax business, backbone stake in Kazakhstan

Swedish telecoms incumbent TeliaSonera has beefed up its business in Kazakhstan with the $170 million acquisition of WiMax operator Alem Communications and purchase of a minority stake in KazTransCom, a backbone network operator, for a fee of $35 million.

The transactions will help to bolster the position of Kcell (Almaty, Kazakhstan), TeliaSonera’s Kazakh subsidiary, which recently completed an IPO in London and Kazakhstan.

Mobile broadband revenues to grow 19.2% annually to 2016: Ovum

Mobile broadband revenues are forecast to grow at an annual rate of 19.2% and generate $122.9 billion in incremental revenue between 2013 and 2016 in new research from Ovum.

Despite these impressive gains, overall operator revenues are forecast to increase little over the next five years from a 2012 estimate of about $2 trillion.

Telenor warns Europe falling behind US in telecoms

Reuters

Europe has fallen behind the United States in mobile telephone network development because its regulatory framework is fragmented and does not provide incentives for investment, the head of Norwegian telecoms group Telenor told Reuters.

European fourth-generation (4G) network frequencies are too expensive, the investment cost is high and operators, particularly in countries affected by drawn out recessions, lack the pricing power to make the investment worthwhile, Chief Executive Jon Fredrik Baksaas said in an interview.

Deutsche Telekom finance chief to replace CEO Obermann

Reuters

Deutsche Telekom chief executive Rene Obermann has unexpectedly announced he will step down at the end of 2013 and be succeeded by finance director Timotheus Hoettges.

Hoettges, 50, said on Thursday he was not planning major changes to strategy and would continue Obermann's drive of investing in the United States and Germany as the firm battles to return to revenue growth against a tough economic backdrop.

"I have worked with Obermann for 12 years, and I don't expect to change a lot in the way that we do things," he told journalists during a conference call.

Clearwire, Sprint set up $120 million breakup fee

Reuters

Sprint Corp promised to pay Clearwire Corp a $120 million breakup fee if its $2.2 billion purchase of roughly half of the smaller wireless service provider does not go ahead.

At the same time, Clearwire (Bellevue, USA) said on Tuesday it agreed to a "no-shop" provision, meaning it cannot seek other offers but could consider unsolicited offers.

Clearwire and Sprint (Overland Park, USA), its majority owner, announced details of their merger agreement in a regulatory filing the day after Sprint agreed buy out the rest of Clearwire for $2.97 per share.

Telenet rejects low offer price from Liberty Global

Belgian cable company Telenet remains opposed to a takeover bid from majority owner Liberty Global (LGI), with independent directors saying the offer price of €35 ($47) per share is too low.

In a statement quoted by Dow Jones Newswires, Telenet’s directors said “the current offer does not sufficiently reflect the value of the company and its prospects”. The statement went on to say the directors “would consider recommending an offer from LGI if it were made at a price between €39 and €40”.

Telefonica transfers shares of Peru unit to LatAm Co

Reuters

Telefonica SA said on Tuesday it transferred about half of the shares of its Peruvian unit to its Latin American holding company in an internal deal worth $1.5 billion.

The move is part of a broader plan, which the Spanish telephony giant said this month it was considering, to list up to 15 percent of the firm that groups together its Latin American assets from a dozen countries.

The potential listing of the company, called Telefonica Latinoamerica Holding SL, could generate cash to pay down $7.8 billion in debt.

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