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Altice completes SFR acquisition, gets thumbs up for Virgin buy

Altice is keeping busy in the M&A space

French cable group Altice has completed its acquisition of mobile operator SFR from Vivendi for €13.66 billion. Meanwhile ARCEP, the French telecoms regulator has given the go-ahead for Altice to also acquire Virgin Mobile France.

Vodafone Greece targets multiplay with Hellas Online acquisition

Vodafone converging mobile and fixed with Hellas Online acquisition

Vodafone Greece has moved closer to becoming a multiplay service provider by acquiring 72.7% of Hellas Online (HOL), the country’s second largest broadband and fixed-line services provider. The mobile operator acquired Hellas Online for a total cash sum of €72.7m (£57.56m).

Hutchison preparing to bid for EE or O2 – report

Chinese investor company Hutchison could make a bid for O2 or EE

Following the news earlier this week about BT’s preliminary acquisition talks with EE and O2, it has been reported Hutchison Whampoa is preparing to make an offer of its own for one of the mobile operators.

European Parliament slips Google unbundling into single digital market agenda

Europe is taking on a US tech giant once more

European Parliament has approved a motion stressing among other things the need to unbundle search engines from the other commercial services offered by those companies. Though technically non-binding, largely symbolic and heavily criticised, the move seems largely aimed at pressuring the European Commission to investigate the possible breakup of Google. The move was brushed off by some as “political theatre.”

Europe urges telecoms single market €260 billion opportunity

Andrus Ansep is worried about division on telecoms single market plans

European Commission (EC) VP Andrus Ansip has said creating a digital single market across the 28 EU member states will benefit Europe by €260 billion a year, “potentially more”, as he put it. He claimed it is vital, and crucially depends on forming a telecoms single market first as a basis.

GSMA opposes UK national roaming proposals

UK's rural areas need better coverage

The GSMA has come out in opposition to the UK government’s national roaming proposals. In a statement, issued mere weeks after the news first broke, the mobile industry association’s Chief Regulatory Officer Tom Phillips said the organisation believes compulsory network sharing would be damaging to the industry and service quality.

Vodafone gives mobile health a shot in the arm

Vodafone brings mobile health services to NHS

The London North West Healthcare NHS Trust has announced a partnership with Vodafone, in a deal which further indicates the diversification of business services for telcos, and highlights the growing importance of mobile health.

Karbonn Mobile Sparkle V launches in the UK, £99 Black Friday deal

Karbonn Mobile's Sparkle V

Indian affordable smartphone maker Karbonn Mobile has announced it is launching in the UK with its Sparkle V on Friday exclusively via Amazon. As a Black Friday special offer, the device will be available for £99 for one day only, after which it will be available at £129.

Exclusive: Ericsson CEO Vestberg talks transformation, operators, smartphones, Facebook and SDN

Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg talks transformation

Telecoms.com catches up with Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the Ericsson Business Innovation Forum in Stockholm. Vestberg is keen to focus on the journey Ericsson is on to transform itself into a broad-based ICT company and to detail some of the milestones and challenges that entails.

EE confirms BT talks, industry opinion divided

BT is eyeing up EE as possible return route to mobile

Deutsche Telekom and Orange, the joint shareholders of EE, have confirmed initial discussions with BT over a possible sale of the UK mobile operator. In a statement the German and French giants said they are exploring the possibility as part of their regular market assessment to evaluate different strategic options.

Amazon in Fire sale, other smartphone vendors feeling the heat

Amazon slashes cost of Fire again

Amazon has taken another hit on its faltering Fire phone, by conceding a second price slash on its first smartphone offering. The online retailer has now listed the phone for $199.00 unlocked, which also includes a full year of its Prime service worth $99.

FCC slaps T-Mobile US’s wrists over speed transparency

The FCC wants T-Mobile US to open up

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that T-Mobile US has agreed to be more transparent over speeds its customers experience, particularly when it imposes speed restrictions and reductions.

American Tower Corp buys Airtel’s Nigeria towers

American Tower Corp. is entering the Nigerian market

American Tower Corp has announced it is toacquire Bharti Airtel’s Nigerian towers, marking the firm’s first entrance to the country’s market. Under the deal Airtel will however have a tenancy of the 4,800 towers for at least 10 years.

Telekom Austria raises almost €1 billion through share sale

Telekom Austria has a few more euros in its trolley

Telekom Austria has announced it has completed a capital increase through issuing 221.5 million new shares, bringing the total to 664.5 million. Managing to raise €997 million in net proceeds in the process, the Austrian incumbent almost reached its original target of €1 billion.

Industry downplays Regin after Belgacom hack

Security vendors claim Regin comes from either the US or UK governments

News of an extremely advanced malware attack on Belgacom, members of the European Union and a well-known Belgian cryptographer, has been downplayed by stakeholders in the information security (infosec) industry.

EE top in P3 UK mobile benchmarking test, Vodafone last

EE has been ranked highest on P3's mobile benchmark report

Network testing and consultancy firm P3 has published a UK mobile benchmarking report ranking EE, aided by its strong data service, first. Three came second, although it won in the voice category. O2 was marginally ahead of last-placed Vodafone.

BT confirms discussions with Telefónica to acquire O2 UK

O2 would complement BT's existing assets, including sport content

UK telco giant BT has confirmed it is in discussions to acquire O2, following reports that the CEO of Telefónica has indicated he is open to some kind of strategic alliance with BT in the UK, which could include selling off O2 UK in return for a stake in BT.

Telecom Italia sells Brazilian towers, mulls tie-up with Oi

Brazilian flag

Telecom Italia has announced the sale of its Brazilian towers to American Tower Corp for approximately €900 million, the price tag it set out to achieve in the first place. The telco also confirmed it is weighing up its options overall in the Brazilian market, and that it is considering a tie-up of its subsidiary Tim Participações with local competitor Oi.

EC mulling Google break-up – report

Google's getting tied up by European Commission

A leaked report has fuelled speculation that the European Commission intends to unbundle Google in response to the internet giant’s growing share in multiple markets. According to the FT, a draft motion from the Commission states that “unbundling search engines from other commercial services” is being investigated as a means of curtailing the company’s growing dominance.

UKCTA urges Ofcom to improve BT Openreach performance

UKCTA claims BT's position is still too dominant

The UK Competitive Telecommunications Association (UKCTA) has published a series of reports calling the country’s regulator Ofcom to review the communications market. It claimed there is confusion over the role of BT Openreach, BT’s network division, and businesses feel Openreach is a restrictive force in terms of choice in the market.

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