British prime minister David Cameron has announced a £45 million ($75 million) funding boost for the development of M2M technologies, including services aimed at reducing energy consumption, according to press reports.
Speaking at this week’s CeBIT IT tradeshow in Hannover, Germany, Cameron is reported to have said the UK government will double public-sector funding for companies addressing opportunities in the fast-growing M2M sector.
French telecoms player Bouygues has agreed a €1.8 billion ($2.5 billion) sale of its mobile-phone network to rival Iliad on the condition that French competition authorities approve its €14.5 billion takeover of SFR, the country’s second-biggest mobile operator.
Announced at the weekend, the deal would see Bouygues (Paris, France) transfer ownership of its mobile network and a batch of frequencies to Iliad (Paris, France), which currently rents capacity on the network of Orange (Paris, France) to provide mobile-phone services under the Free brand.
Deutsche Telekom has slashed its free cash flow target for 2015 from €6 billion ($8.33 billion) to little more than €4.2 billion owing to the investment demands of its T-Mobile US subsidiary.
Reporting full year results, the operator said it would increase spending on the rollout of its LTE network using the 700MHz frequencies it recently acquired from Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA).
Its goal is to extend coverage to about 250 million people, up from 225 million at the end of 2013.
M2M player Sierra Wireless says it has completed its $21 million takeover of Canada’s In Motion Technology.
The deal was announced as recently as January and is aimed at bolstering the position of Sierra Wireless (Richmond, Canada) in the transit and commercial fleet markets.
In Motion (New Westminster, Canada) provides so-called ‘rugged’ in-vehicle mobile routers that can be tightly integrated with security systems and management and application platforms.
M2M managed-services player Wyless has agreed a takeover of Aspider M2M, a mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE) based in the Netherlands.
Aspider (Woerden, Netherlands) provides a range of M2M services to customers, mainly in the Benelux and German-speaking markets, and the acquisition by Wyless (Lawrence, MA, USA) – the terms of which were not disclosed – will give Wyless a stronger presence in Europe.
In a statement, Wyless said the Aspider business would be integrated with its UK division.
Private-equity group Warburg Pincus has made a $32 million investment in Specialists on Call aimed at funding future growth initiatives.
The telemedicine player provides on-call coverage to suburban and urban acute-care hospitals using videoconferencing technology – describing this as a “$3 billion addressable market”.
It claims that its teleconsultations service has already helped to address a shortage of specialty physicians for traditional on-call coverage, as well as challenges that many hospitals face in securing specialty physician services.
Italian phone incumbent Telecom Italia has denied it is involved in talks to merge Brazilian subsidiary TIM Brasil with Vivendi-owned GVT, according to a report from Reuters.
The news comes after Brazilian daily O Estado de S. Paolo is said to have reported that Telecom Italia (Milan, Italy) recently met with Vivendi (Paris, France) managers to hold preliminary talks about a merger of the two businesses.
“(There are) no ongoing talks over a possible GVT [Curitiba, Brazil] deal,” a Telecom Italia spokesman is quoted as saying by Reuters.
Deutsche Telekom has bought the remaining parts of its T-Mobile Czech Republic division for about 800 million euros ($1.09 billion) to take full control of the unit, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Sunday.
Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) is acquiring the 40-percent stake in T-Mobile Czech Republic (Prague, Czech Republic) from investors Mid Europa Partners (MEP) and Al Ain, the source said on condition that he not be identified because the matter is confidential, confirming a report in Germany's Manager Magazin Online.
Deutsche Telekom declined to comment.
Britain's Vodafone said it was finally seeing early signs of a turnaround due to a growing number of customers and the take-up of more expensive 4G services, following yet another torrid quarter hit by fierce competition in Europe.
The world's second-largest mobile operator has reported record falls in underlying revenue in the last 18 months, due also to regulator-imposed price cuts and European consumers reducing the number of calls they made during the recession.
Alcatel-Lucent almost halved its net loss for 2013 as cost-cutting, a tweaked product offering and asset sales under Chief Executive Michel Combes began to take effect.
The telecoms equipment maker, which competes with Sweden's Ericsson (Stockholm), China's Huawei (Beijing) and Nokia's (Helsinki, Finland) NSN unit, said its gross margin was 34 percent and operating profit 307 million euros - both better than expected.