PARIS (Reuters) - Telecoms group Altice has named long-serving sector executive Michel Combes as its chief operating officer and chairman of its Numericable-SFR mobile phone business, saying the appointment would help accelerate the group's expansion.
Combes is joining a company controlled by billionaire Patrick Drahi, who has been on a buying spree including the purchase of Vivendi's SFR, the second-biggest French mobile firm, to create Numericable-SFR. Drahi also made a bid for Bouygues Telecom, which was rejected.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Britain's Inmarsat Plc said Friday's expected launch of its third Global Xpress satellite will allow it to offer mobile broadband service to customers in the remotest regions, giving airline passengers the ability to stream movies and update social media on flights worldwide.
(Reuters) - Smartphone sales in China, the world's biggest market for the devices, fell in the second quarter for the first time, market research firm Gartner Inc said on Thursday.
Sales of smartphones in China declined 4 percent in the quarter, the first year-over-year fall, the company said.
"China has reached saturation — its phone market is essentially driven by replacement, with fewer first-time buyers," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.
NEW YORK/SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled a new Galaxy Note phablet and a larger version of its curved-screen S6 edge smartphone on Thursday, marking a fresh bid by the South Korean company to revive momentum in its handset business.
Samsung is the world's top smartphone maker but its market share fell in the second quarter when the company released its critically acclaimed S6 models, squeezed by Apple Inc's upscale iPhones and cheaper offerings from Chinese rivals such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's United Internet is seeking to buy urban fiber-optic networks to expand the national grid of Versatel, which it bought last year, its chief executive told Reuters.
Ralph Dommermuth said he was also on the lookout for more acquisitions to bolster its business applications unit, which it may list separately on the stock exchange, following the acquisition of Poland's biggest web hoster home.pl.
(Reuters) - AT&T Inc said on Wednesday it expects revenue, earnings and free cash flow to grow through 2018 following its DirecTV purchase and investments in Mexico, though it also sees higher capital expenditure.
As the U.S. wireless market reaches saturation, AT&T hopes to tap into DirecTV's video assets and has been expanding its wireless operations in Mexico to grow revenue.
AT&T, which closed its $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV in July, also plans to deliver video content through ad-supported TV streaming and mobile video products to unlock new revenue.
(Reuters) - Network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit as strong demand for its products in the United States more than offset weakness elsewhere.
Shares of Cisco, considered a bellwether for the performance of the broader network gear industry, rose nearly 4 percent in extended trading on Wednesday.
MILAN/PARIS (Reuters) - Vimpelcom and Hutchison have agreed to combine their Italian mobile operations in a long-awaited deal that would cut the number of players in Europe's fourth-largest telecom market to three from four.
The 50-50 joint venture, if approved by competition regulators, would combine Vimpelcom's WIND Telecommunicazioni, Italy's third-largest mobile network operator, with fourth-placed 3 Italia.
It would reduce the Italian market to three players of roughly the same size, and create a new competitor for Telecom Italia and Vodafone.
TOKYO (Reuters) - SoftBank Corp announced a near $1 billion share buyback and a higher quarterly profit as loss-making Sprint Corp fared better than expected, with the Japanese telecoms group forecasting "light at the end of the tunnel" for its U.S. unit.
The share buyback worth up to 120 billion yen ($961.69 million) would be SoftBank's biggest ever if carried out in full. CEO Masayoshi Son attributed the surprise move to its lackluster share price and renewed confidence in Sprint which SoftBank bought for more than $20 billion in 2013 but has struggled to turn around.
PARIS/HELSINKI (Reuters) - Shares in telecom network gear makers Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent jumped on Thursday after both posted strong second-quarter results, giving a positive signal ahead of their pending merger.
Nokia's 15.6 billion euro ($17 billion) acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent announced in mid-April aims to position the company to better compete with market leader Ericsson and low-cost Chinese powerhouse Huawei, by forging a strong number two in mobile with a more complete product line.