Telekom Austria and Dutch group KPN, the European rivals in which Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has invested, have joined forces to offer internet-based data services to wholesale and large business customers, they said on Tuesday.
The two companies are combining their infrastructure to create a "backbone" optic fiber network across 35 countries whereby Telekom Austria (Vienna, Austria) can use KPN's (The Hague, Netherlands) network for its customers in western Europe and KPN can use Telekom Austria's network in central and eastern Europe.
The European Commission has questioned the way Italian telecoms watchdog AGCOM arrived at changes planned to wholesale broadband prices, claiming the move could cramp the ability of market players to decide on prices in Italy.
In a statement on Monday, the Commission said it had invoked the EU review mechanism over the move, adding it would discuss with AGCOM how to amend its proposal over the next three months.
Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd is weighing options that could include an outright sale, it said on Monday, and its largest shareholder is stepping down from its board to avoid any possible conflict of interest.
BlackBerry (Waterloo, Canada), which pioneered mobile email with its first smartphones and email pagers, said on Monday it had set up a committee to review its options, sparking a debate over whether Canada's one-time crown jewel is more valuable as a whole or snapped up piece by piece by competitors or private investors.
Satellite operator and M2M specialist Orbcomm saw second-quarter revenues increase at a double-digit rate thanks to growing subscriber numbers and buoyed by takeover activity.
The operator’s sales rose by 13.7%, compared with the same period last year, to $18.6 million, with the acquisitions of GlobalTrak and MobileNet contributing $500,000 to overall revenues.
Nevertheless, rising costs associated with the takeovers plus investments in product development triggered a 10.4% fall in net income, to $1.67 million.
Module maker Novatel Wireless has reported a fall in profits and revenues on the back of weakening demand for its range of mobile computing products.
Despite growing interest in the company’s M2M business, Novatel’s (San Diego, CA, USA) net loss widened to $7.89 million for the three months ending June from one of $4.52 for the same period last year.
Revenues, meanwhile, fell by 11.1% over the same period, to $91.12m, but showed a 6% improvement over sales recorded for the three months ending March.
M2M player Numerex swung to a net loss of for the three months ending June, owing mainly to impairment charges on discontinued operations, but said it will continue to focus on developing managed services for the asset tracking and security markets, with revenues and subscriptions growing at a healthy clip.
Like various M2M hardware rivals, Numerex (Atlanta, GA, USA) is aiming to grow subscription-based revenues from the sale of managed services – a move that has prompted the company to close some of its legacy operations.
Telekom Austria has blamed a fall in earnings for the three months ending June on a mixture of competition, challenging economic conditions and unfavorable regulation.
The Austrian telecoms incumbent saw earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fall by 9.5%, compared with the same period of 2012, to €330.3 million ($439 million), while revenues slipped by 1.9%, to €1.04 billion.
Thanks to a fall in depreciation and amortization charges, plus lower interest payments, the operator was able to report a 54.2% rise in net income, to €52.5 million.
In a classic sale-and-leaseback arrangement, NII Holdings has agreed the $811 million sale of nearly 4,500 towers in Latin America to infrastructure company American Tower.
The company, which operates mobile businesses under the Nextel brand in Latin America, is to sell 2,790 towers in Brazil, for the sum of $413 million, and another 1,666 in Mexico, for $398 million.
NII Holdings (Reston, VA, USA) will then lease the towers from their new owner for a period of at least 12 years.
Indonesian tower owner and operator Protelindo is to receive a $50 million investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank.
The investment is intended to help Protelindo (Jakarta, Indonesia) build more towers and expand mobile coverage on the islands of Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan, as well as other parts of the country.
MegaFon’s planned takeover of Scartel will put it at the top of a three-tier market for the provision of next-generation mobile services in Russia, according to a statement from ratings agency Fitch.
Scartel (Moscow, Russia) had originally set itself up with the intention of building a 4G LTE network that could be used by all of Russia’s main cellular operators, but it has failed to attract any customer besides MegaFon (Moscow, Russia).