Financial

Australia's Telstra to offload majority stake in struggling Sensis

Reuters

Australia's biggest phone company Telstra Corporation Ltd has agreed to sell 70 percent of its directories unit Sensis, offloading a struggling business challenged by digital transition for less than the market had anticipated.

The sale of Sensis, following Telstra's (Melbourne, Australia) sale of Hong Kong mobile phone business last month, would further boost the telco giant's cash war chest to invest in new growth businesses and expand its mobile network.

France's Montebourg presses Alcatel-Lucent to reduce job cuts

Reuters

France's industry minister pressed struggling telecoms company Alcatel-Lucent on Friday to cut fewer jobs as part of a restructuring aimed at stemming years of losses.

The Franco-American group ran into opposition from President Francois Hollande's Socialist government when it said in October it would lay off 10,000 workers worldwide, including 900 in France.

Operator M2M revenues to hit $44.8 billion in five years: Ovum

Operator revenues from M2M services are forecast to more than treble over the next five years, reaching $44.8 billion by the end of the period, according to a new study from Ovum.

Although M2M is seen as a bright spot in the rapidly maturing mobile industry, Ovum says operators will not be able to realize its full potential unless they form strategic partnerships.

It believes that revenues will increase at a marginally slower pace than connections, reflecting the growing competitiveness of the market and the extension of M2M into lower-value applications.

Toshiba completes $200 million Vijai Electricals acquisition

Japan’s Toshiba says it has completed its acquisition of power transmission and distribution assets previously owned by Indian manufacturer Vijai Electricals.

Toshiba (Tokyo, Japan) had first announced takeover plans regarding Vijai (Hyderabad, India) in September 2013, revealing that it would pay about $200 million for the Indian company’s energy businesses, which include power transformer, distribution transformers and switchgear assets.

PTC announces $112 million takeover of ThingWorx in M2M push

Technology player PTC has announced a $112 million takeover of M2M specialist ThingWorx as it looks to capitalize on growing demand for M2M services.

PTC (Needham, MA, USA) serves manufacturers across a variety of vertical markets and says the takeover of ThingWorx (Exton, PA, USA) – which has developed a platform for the creation and management of M2M applications – will allow it to support customer needs for “smart, connected products”.

Regulatory moves to boost India telecoms sector in 2014: report

Indian telecoms authorities are planning to introduce new rules on mergers and acquisitions in January, aimed at providing a further boost to the country’s telecoms industry.

According to a report from the country’s Business Standard newspaper, the legislation on mergers and acquisitions is to be followed by the publication of a new policy on machine-to-machine communications in the first quarter of the year.

Moves already made by Indian regulatory authorities have led to a considerable improvement in the operating environment in 2013 compared with 2012.

Fortress backs new LightSquared bankruptcy exit plan

Reuters

LightSquared is proposing a new bankruptcy exit plan with financing from Fortress Investment Group and other backers, as the U.S. wireless communications company seeks to avoid a sale to highest bidder Dish Network Corp.

In telecom merger mania, skeptical eye from Obama administration

Reuters

A pair of potentially transformative U.S. telecoms and cable deals could run afoul of Obama administration regulators who worry that mergers among market leaders would hurt consumers.

With both cable and mobile phone operators grappling with slowing growth, speculation has intensified recently about potential takeovers of No. 4 wireless service provider T-Mobile US Inc (Bellevue, WA, USA) and No. 2 cable service provider Time Warner Cable Inc (New York City, NY, USA).

VimpelCom in talks with Hutchison over Wind Italy: report

VimpelCom is mulling a potential sale or merger of its Italian mobile business, according to the UK’s Financial Times newspaper.

The operator – whose biggest market is Russia – is reportedly in discussions with Hutchison Whampoa about the future of Wind (Rome, Italy), its second-biggest subsidiary and Italy’s third-biggest mobile operator.

Ooredoo launches Algeria's first 3G network

Qatari incumbent Ooredoo has launched what it claims is the first 3G network in Algeria, where it is the smallest of the country’s three mobile network operators.

In a statement, Ooredoo (Doha, Qatar) – formerly known as Qtel – said it had switched on its network in the country’s ten biggest cities just hours after getting the final regulatory sign-off.

Although it promises its 3G services will be available “at no additional cost”, the operator requires customers to procure a second 3G-enabled number (which it will supply) and add this to their SIM cards.

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