Deutsche Telekom in T-Mobile USA-MetroPCS merger talks


Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) is in talks to merge its T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, USA) unit with MetroPCS (Richardson, USA) and take a majority stake in the combined wireless service provider, the German company said on Tuesday.

Deutsche Telekom, which has been looking for a way to bolster its customer-losing U.S. business, cautioned in a regulatory filing that the transaction was not a done deal because key issues had not yet been finalized.

Clearwire witnessing shareholder exodus

US wireless broadband operator Clearwire (Bellevue, USA) may be witnessing a shareholder exodus, with cable operator Comcast (Philadelphia, USA) becoming the latest investor to sour on the stock.

Comcast has not sold its 6% stake in Clearwire, but it has converted the holding into commonly traded shares, prompting speculation it is on the verge of doing so.

The news comes just days after Time Warner (New York, USA) began selling its 7.8% stake in the business. Other investors, including web giant Google (Mountain View, USA), have also sold their Clearwire shares.

Operators back EU plan for broadband funding

Europe’s biggest telecoms operators have lent support to EU plans to invest in broadband infrastructure and urged political leaders to do the same.

Neelie Kroes, the EU’s digital commissioner, has asked countries to back a plan to provide around €50 billion in funding from the EU Connecting Europe Facility for energy, transport and communications projects, where there is a need for substantial upfront spending.

T-Mobile USA in $2.4 billion tower deal with Crown Castle


T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, USA) is selling the rights to operate 7,200 of its wireless broadcast towers for $2.4 billion to Crown Castle International Corp (Houston, USA) to help fund a network upgrade and reduce debt at its parent Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany).

Crown Castle has the option to pay another $2.4 billion to buy the towers outright from T-Mobile USA at the end of the lease term for each tower - between 2025 and 2048 - under the deal announced on Friday.

Softbank to acquire eAccess for $1.84 billion

Softbank (Tokyo, Japan) is to acquire aAccess (Tokyo, Japan), a smaller competitor, in a deal valued at $1.84 billion and designed to help it close the gap with its chief rivals, according to Reuters.

Under a share swap due to be completed in February, Japan’s third-biggest operator will pay 52,000 yen per eAccess share, a substantial premium given eAccess’s share price of 15,070 yen at the end of last week.

Answering analyst questions on the deal, Softbank said the launch of the iPhone 5 had provided the impetus for the takeover.

Alvarion issues warning on third-quarter profits

Equipment maker Alvarion (Tel Aviv, Israel) has warned investors that its third-quarter revenues are likely to come in at $27 million, significantly below the range of $31–39 million it was previously expecting.

As a result, the vendor is likely to report a net loss per share of approximately $0.15. It had previously forecast that net income would range between a loss of $0.06 and a profit of $0.02.

LightSquared begs FCC to let it use spectrum

Embattled US operator LightSquared (Reston, USA) has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US telecoms regulator, for permission to continue using frequencies that do not interfere with GPS systems while authorities address their concerns about its other spectrum holdings, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Vodafone says it will cost 500 million sterling to fix CWW


Vodafone Group (Newbury, UK) said it would cost about 500 million pounds ($807 million) to fix Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) (London, UK) over the next four years but the payback by 2016 from the acquisition would be bigger than some analysts expected.

RIM buys itself breathing room for BB10

Research In Motion Ltd (Waterloo, Canada) shares jumped on Friday after the embattled BlackBerry maker posted quarterly results that showed it was still able to pull off a surprise as it tackles the formidable task of getting consumers excited over its new smartphone line.

While RIM's performance gave Wall Street a modicum of optimism, analysts stressed RIM has to now prove that the BlackBerry 10 devices, due early next year, can halt its brand's downward spiral. That won't be easy, they said.

Telekom Austria slashes dividends as Slim raises stake

Telekom Austria (Vienna, Austria) has slashed its dividends by 87% in the same week that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim secured a 23% share in the incumbent operator.

In a statement released this week, the company said it would cut its dividend from €0.38 to €0.05 per share this year and maintain that figure throughout 2013.

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