AT&T Inc will buy Leap Wireless International Inc for $1.19 billion, paying almost double the current value of the prepaid mobile service provider as major U.S. carriers scramble to acquire valuable wireless spectrum.
The No. 2 U.S. carrier is offering $15 a share in cash - an 88 percent premium to Leap's (San Diego, CA, USA) Friday close of $7.98 - to seal the latest of a wave of acquisitions to emerge from a telecoms sector struggling to expand network capacity, as use of bandwidth-hungry smartphones and tablets explodes.
India’s government is planning to prohibit spectrum sharing in advance of further frequency auctions, according to a report from the country’s Economic Times newspaper.
Authorities appear to be concerned that spectrum sharing would lead to some form of “cartelization” among operators and lower the value of the frequencies put up for sale. According to the report, however, another regulatory spokesperson has said the situation is under review.
US operator Sprint has announced a series of price cuts and provided a “guarantee” that customers will be able to continue enjoying unlimited data usage for the lifetime of a service.
The announcement comes shortly after Japan’s SoftBank (Tokyo) completed its takeover of the number-three player and quashes speculation that Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) would be forced to abandon its unlimited-usage offers and follow bigger rivals AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) and Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA) into imposing monthly caps on subscribers.
Moroccan authorities have said that Etisalat must partner with a local business as a condition of its deal to acquire a majority stake in incumbent operator Maroc Telecom, according to sources cited by Reuters.
Etisalat (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) is currently in negotiations with Vivendi (Paris, France) about acquiring the French media conglomerate’s majority stake in Maroc Telecom (Rabat, Morocco), but the deal requires the assent of Moroccan regulatory authorities.
Italian phone incumbent Telecom Italia has won support from Italy’s regulator for its plans to spin off its fixed-line business, reports Reuters.
In a speech to the Italian parliament, Angelo Marcello Cardani, the president of regulatory authority AGCOM, is reported to have praised the plans, saying that a broad and deep separation would pay regulatory dividends.
Telecom Italia’s board approved the separation scheme in May and will hope the move helps the operator to slash its substantial debt of more than €28 billion ($35.8 billion).
GE has won a $200 million contract from ComEd to help modernize Chicago’s electricity grid.
Under the deal, GE (Fairfield, CT, USA) is to deploy some four million smart grids in the Chicago area between now and 2021.
ComEd (Chicago, IL, USA), the largest electricity utility in the state of Illinois, says the meters will allow customers to better manage energy usage and help it to more quickly detect power outages and restore service.
M2M module maker Telit expects revenues for the first half of the year to grow to $108.1 million, up from $98.6 million in the first half of 2012.
In a trading update released in advance of its full earnings report, the company says that revenue performance is likely to exceed market expectations of $107.5 million for the first six months of 2013.
The manufacturer is also forecasting a substantial decrease in net debt to just $8.6 million, from $12.7 million at the end of 2012.
Japan’s SoftBank has said it expects to complete its takeover of Sprint on July 10 just days after US regulatory authorities cleared the deal as well as Sprint’s related acquisition of Clearwire shares it does not already own.
SoftBank (Tokyo, Japan) is set to pay $21.6 billion for a 78% stake in Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA), the third-biggest operator in the US, as it looks to capitalize on soaring demand for mobile broadband services.
Norway’s Telenor says it might withdraw from Pakistan’s upcoming auction for 3G spectrum licenses following a government decision to increase taxes imposed on telecom operators in the country, reports The Express Tribune.
In an interview with the publication, Lars Christian Luel, the chief executive of Telenor (Fornebu, Norway), attacked the targeting of the telecoms industry by tax collectors, saying operators are not “money-making machines”.
The UK’s Vodafone has unveiled plans to open two new regional hubs in Africa to support the growing demand for its enterprise services.
Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE), which caters to corporate customers, plans to establish hubs in Nairobi, Kenya and Accra, Ghana to provide greater support for more than 600 of its multinational customers with operations in Africa.
VGE serves some 1,700 customers internationally and says revenues have been growing fast in Africa, exceeding €1 billion ($1.29 billion) in the last financial year.