Telecom Italia overhauls pricing, updates on NGA progress

Telecom Italia has unveiled new pricing plans, including a single rate for landline calls to fixed and mobile numbers, and provided an update on its LTE and fiber deployments during a meeting with Italian consumer associations.

Marco Patuano, the company’s chief operating officer, said a new single rate of €0.05 per minute will come into effect from April 1.

CITIC pays $1.16 billion to C&W and Portugal Telecom for Macau stakes

China’s CITIC Telecom has paid $1.16 billion to acquire a 79% stake in Macau’s largest telecoms operator from Cable & Wireless Communications (C&W) and Portugal Telecom.

State-backed CITIC (Hong Kong) already held a 20% stake in Companhia de Telecomunicacoes de Macau (CTM) but was eager to gain control of the growing business.

Dish Networks aims to outbid Sprint for Clearwire

Satellite television provider Dish Networks has made an offer to buy Clearwire that tops Sprint’s bid to take full control of the beleaguered mobile broadband company.

Dish’s offer values Clearwire (Bellevue, USA) at $3.30 a share, considerably more than the $2.97 that Sprint (Overland Park, USA) has offered for the 50% of Clearwire shares it does not already own.

Dish’s proposal also includes an offer to buy a substantial swathe of Clearwire’s spectrum for about $2.2 billion.

Dish chairman says mobile plans to take time to coalesce

Reuters

Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen said on Monday it could take months to finalize his plans to enter the wireless industry because of regulatory and technology complications, but his company has no intention of selling spectrum it spent billions acquiring.

The cable service provider received regulatory approval to use its spectrum for wireless services in December. But Dish (Meridian, USA) has still not made clear whether it will build a wireless network on its own, or offer a service in partnership with other companies.

Clearwire investor seeks to block sale to Sprint

Reuters

A large Clearwire Corp shareholder on Friday stepped up its campaign against the planned sale of the wireless service provider to its majority owner, Sprint Nextel Corp, saying it plans to ask the U.S. telecoms regulator to block the deal.

Crest Financial's general counsel also said on a call with reporters that it will ask the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to block Sprint's plan to sell 70 percent of itself to Softbank Corp (Tokyo, Japan) of Japan for $20 billion.

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.

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