Telefonica turns profitable as revenues shrink

After reporting losses a year earlier, Spain’s Telefonica entered profitable territory last quarter, with net income of €1.38 billion ($1.77 billion), while chipping away at its mountain of debt.

The company had reported losses of €429 million in the third quarter of 2011, largely due to expenses incurred as a result of laying off thousands of workers in its domestic market.

It also managed to lower its net debt by €2.3 billion, to €56 billion, and anticipates a further reduction of €3.2 billion, following several divestments and the IPO of Telefonica Deutschland.

AT&T strikes new agreement with CWA union

AT&T reached a tentative agreement on wage increases and benefits with 22,000 employees in southeast States represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) trade union.

Under a three-year arrangement, the two sides have agreed to wage increases of 2.25% in the first year, 2.75% in the second year and 3% in the third.

For most employees, the contract also includes a 1% pension band increase in each year, while service technicians and outside plant technicians will be upgraded to new wage scales.

Non-telecoms interests boost KT Corp earnings

KT Corp reported healthy gains in net income and revenues for the third quarter thanks to the strong performance of its non-telecoms interests.

The operator, which runs South Korea’s biggest fixed-line network and its second-largest mobile-phone operation, reported a 45.6% year-on-year increase in net income, to 372.3 billion won ($341 million), while revenues grew 30.6% to 6,519.4 billion won.

Vodafone New Zealand completes $690 million TelstraClear takeover

Vodafone New Zealand has completed its NZ$840 million ($690 million) takeover of TelstraClear, giving it a fixed-line business to complement its mobile-phone operation and allowing it to better compete with market leader Telecom New Zealand.

The transaction received regulatory approval earlier this week after authorities judged there would be no lessening of competition in fixed-line and broadband markets as a result of the acquisition.

Hurricane Sandy disrupts Northeast US telecom networks

Reuters

Power outages and flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy disrupted telecommunications services in Northeastern states on Tuesday, resulting in spotty coverage for cellphones, television, home telephones and Internet services.

While all the region's telecom service providers were having problems, Verizon Communications (New York, USA), which serves many of the states in the hurricane's path, may have suffered some of the worst damage from the storm to its wireline network.

Japan's Softbank plans $8.8 billion in capex this fiscal year

Reuters

Japan's Softbank said on Wednesday it plans 700 billion yen ($8.8 billion) in capital expenditure in the year to next March 31.

Softbank (Tokyo, Japan), which announced this month it would buy a 70 percent stake in Sprint Nextel Corp, the third-largest U.S. carrier, said it plans capex of 550 billion yen ($6.9 billion) in following year to March 2014.

(Reporting by Mari Saito; Editing by Michael Watson)

China Telecom profit drops 8% due to iPhone subsidies

China Telecom reported declining profits for the first nine months of the year as higher costs associated with its launch of the iPhone ate into revenues.

The smallest of China’s three network operators, China Telecom (Beijing, China) boasted a 15.1% increase in operating revenues for the first nine months, to 210 billion yuan ($33.6 billion), compared with the corresponding period of 2011, with take-up of smartphone services fuelling top-line growth.

Clearwire to use Huawei equipment in network upgrade

Reuters

Wireless service provider Clearwire Corp said on Friday it will use equipment from China's Huawei in a high-speed network upgrade it starts in 2013, with the blessing of the U.S. government.

Clearwire (Bellevue, USA) said it reviewed its plans "with the technical arms of multiple federal agencies" and that it has "great respect for the U.S. government and their oversight role over the nation's infrastructure."

AT&T revenue, subscriber growth miss Wall Street view

Reuters

AT&T Inc posted third-quarter revenue below Wall Street estimates as it added fewer customers than expected, citing a shortage of the latest Apple Inc iPhone.

The No. 2 U.S. mobile service provider said it had 151,000 net new subscribers in the quarter, compared with the average expectation for 358,000, according to five analysts contacted by Reuters.

Its bigger rival, Verizon Wireless (New York, USA), added 1.5 million subscribers in the quarter.

Britain's first 4G service to start at 36 pounds a month

Reuters

Mobile operator EE said Britain's first 4G service will cost from 36 pounds ($57.72) a month under a pricing strategy designed to lure smartphone customers to its superfast network before rivals are able to launch competing products.

Chief Executive Olaf Swantee said the company's tariffs, which range from 36 pounds for 500MB of data to 56 pounds for 8GB, were about 10-20 percent more than for equivalent 3G plans. He said it was a small premium to pay for up to five times faster connections.

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