Financial

New CEO begins Alcatel makeover

Reuters

Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent will focus on its high-growth fixed and mobile products and slim down via 1 billion euro in cost cuts by 2015 in a bid to reverse years of losses.

The new plan unveiled on Wednesday by Michel Combes, the company's new chief executive, will also include unspecified asset sales of above 1 billion and 2 billion euros in debt re-financing by 2015, followed by a further 2 billion in debt reduction that could include issuing new shares.

Hungary's operators say taxes threaten broadband development

Hungary’s operators have lashed out at moves by the country’s government to impose yet another tax on the telecoms industry, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires.

Earlier this week, authorities served notice of plans to introduce a new telecoms-specific tax they say cannot be passed on to consumers.

Set to come into force on August 1, the new rules would require operators to pay a tax on phone calls by business customers of HUF3 ($0.014) per minute, up from a current per-minute rate of HUF2 per minute.

France Tel's Richard wins board backing to continue in role

Stephane Richard will continue in his role as chief executive of France Telecom-Orange after winning a vote of confidence from the operator’s board members on Monday.

Richard has been charged with fraud relating to his time at France’s finance ministry five years ago.

Uncertainty over his future at France Telecom (Paris, France) had grown after France’s government, which owns a 27% stake in the operator, said the board would need to consider his position in light of the alleged offences.

Telefonica denies interest from AT&T: report

Spain’s Telefonica has said it has not received an expression of interest from AT&T after the country’s government was reported to have blocked a substantial bid from the US operator, according to Reuters.

Reports from Spanish newspaper El Mundo had earlier indicated that an AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) representative had spoken to Spain’s government about making a €70 billion ($93.3 billion) offer for Telefonica (Madrid, Spain), prompting authorities to halt the sale of what they consider a strategically important asset.

Kabel Deutschland asks Vodafone to raise bid: report

Vodafone may have to increase its bid for Kabel Deutschland to around €11 billion ($14.7 billion) to sway the deal, according to the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper, after the German cable company rebuffed the UK operator’s initial advances last week.

Kabel Deutschland (Unterfoehring, Germany), the largest cable company in Germany, last week turned down Vodafone’s offer of €10 billion and has reportedly said that Vodafone (Newbury, UK) will have to make a higher offer simply to gain access to its books.

TeliaSonera appoints Vodacom's Dennelind as chief executive

Scandinavia’s TeliaSonera has named Johan Dennelind as its new chief executive, saying the current Vodacom executive will take up his new position on September 1.

Dennelind is currently employed as chief executive of South Africa’s Vodacom International (Johannesburg) but has worked in a number of roles in the telecoms industry throughout a 20-year career.

France Tel CEO's future in question after fraud inquiry

Reuters

The future of France Telecom Chief Executive Stephane Richard remained in question on Thursday, after he was put under investigation for conspiracy to commit fraud during his time as a top government aide.

The board of Europe's fourth-largest telecom group, which is 27 percent owned by the state, is set to meet in coming days to discuss Richard's fate.

Cisco sees new product raising core router revenue to $10 billion

Reuters

Cisco Systems Inc predicts that a new product it unveiled on Wednesday will increase its cumulative revenue from core routers, which direct Internet data traffic, by 25 percent - to $10 billion - within the next two years.

The leading network equipment maker expects to cash in on ever increasing demand for Internet services with its new CRS-X router, its third in the CRS product series.

Vodafone moves for Kabel Deutschland in quad-play push

Reuters

Vodafone said on Wednesday it had made an approach to buy Germany's biggest cable company Kabel Deutschland in what could be its largest deal since 2007 and mark a departure from its roots as a pure mobile operator.

Vodafone (Newbury, UK) had been pursuing a possible 10 billion euro ($13.3 billion) bid for the German firm since earlier this year, and hired Goldman Sachs to advise on options in February, sources told Reuters at the time.

"(Vodafone) confirms that it has made a preliminary approach to KD regarding a possible offer for the company," it said.

SFR preparing for initial public offering: report

French mobile phone operator SFR is preparing to hold an initial public offering in late 2014 or early 2015, according to a report from Les Echos.

SFR (Paris, France) chairman Stephane Roussel told the newspaper that SFR must re-organize to be more independent from parent company Vivendi (Paris, France), with an IPO.

Roussel had been chief executive of SFR since June 2012, but relinquished that role in late May to Jean-Yves Charlier – a change in governance that appears to have been motivated by the prospect of “an initial public offering if market conditions permit”.

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