German operator group Deutsche Telekom has acquired the remaining 39.23 per cent stake in its Czech subsidiary for €800m. The group said it was a “natural step” to acquire the remaining stake in T-Mobile Czech Republic from a consortium of investors led by private equity group Mid Europa Partners, as it looks to position itself as a Pan-European operator.
While the technological benefits of using software defined networking (SDN) to help operators dynamically provision network applications and services have been well publicised, the economic benefits that the technology could bring are now being articulated.
Telecoms trade body the GSMA has warned that government efforts to share spectrum usage should “complement but in no way replace” the need for exclusive access spectrum when provisioning mobile broadband services. The body issued a report that assesses two potential licensed shared access scenarios; the first being the release of 50MHz in the 2.3GHz band from 2020 in the EU and the second regarding the release of 100MHz in the 3.5GHz band from 2016 in the US.
Canadian operator Telus’ employees will soon be able to access buildings on their premises, log in to secure company networks, and share sensitive data using their smartphones.
The joint venture set up by UK’s mobile operators O2, Vodafone and EE — Weve — has announced a partnership with payment provider MasterCard. The two firms hope to accelerate usage of contactless mobile payments at the point of purchase in physical retail stores in Britain.
French cable operator Numericable has teamed up with IBM to launch a cloud-based service targeted at business customers.
Global mobile traffic is expected to grow nearly 11-fold over the next four years, according to research conducted by networking kit vendor Cisco.
In terms of the benefits Big Data could bring to operators, respondents to the Telecoms.com Intelligence Annual Industry Survey identified customer retention and segmentation/targeting as the clear leaders. Survey respondents were asked to rank a number of potential benefits on a scale of one to seven where seven represented very high potential benefit. Almost 60 per cent of operators and 55 per cent of respondents overall ranked customer retention as six or seven on this scale, with segmentation/targeting drawing the same response from 52.3 per cent of respondents. And so it follows that upselling and internal promotions were seen as the third most beneficial application of Big Data by operator respondents, with 47.3 per cent giving this a high rating.
US operator AT&T has filed a patent to prevent its customers from consuming “an excessive amount of channel bandwidth”.
French operators Bouyges Telecom and SFR have agreed to roll out a shared network covering 57 per cent of the French population. The operators will create a joint venture to manage the shared base station assets and a RAN share covering 2G, 3G and LTE services in the area covered by the network.
The CEO of Telekom Austria, Hannes Ametsreiter, has told Telecoms.com that he expects to see increased investment in the European telecom sector and that some European telcos might see their headquarters shift outside of the region as a result. Telekom Austria is itself part owned by Mexican billionaire and America Movil CEO Carlos Slim, who is reportedly keen to take full ownership of the Austrian incumbent.
French operator group Orange has said it has included roaming services in high-end tariffs for customers travelling across its entire European footprint. The operator has also launched an online portal to enable customers to remotely top up mobile credit for over 350 operators globally.
Swedish equipment vendor Ericsson reported flat sales for the fourth quarter and full year 2013, while net earnings were boosted by the patent licensing agreement with Samsung reported last week.
Chinese hardware maker Lenovo plans to acquire Google’s handset business Motorola Mobility for around $2.91bn. Lenovo said that the acquisition will give it a stronger presence in the North America and Latin America markets, as well as an entry route to the Western Europe market.
Hong Kong-based carrier services firm PCCW Global has banded together with 16 other high profile international network operators, including China Unicom, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat and Ooredoo, to construct a high capacity submarine cable system between Asia, Africa and Europe.
International cable group Liberty Global is to acquire Dutch cable operator Ziggo outright, in a deal that values the firm at €10bn. Last year, the firm acquired British cable firm Virgin Media for $24bn and said at the time that it intends to create the “world’s leading broadband communications company”. Ziggo offers television, internet and telephony services in the Netherlands.
Infrastructure vendor Ericsson has settled with Korean firm Samsung over global essential patent licences relating to GSM, UMTS and LTE standards for both networks and handsets, putting to bed another of the industry’s long running disputes.
Google has been awarded a patent for an advertising service that could see businesses subsidise the cost of autonomous transport systems to get customers to their physical store.
Australian operator Telstra has formed a joint venture with Telkom Indonesia to provide network services in South East Asia. The two have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will see the joint venture be the exclusive provider of network applications and services in Indonesia for the two operators. It will offer managed network and security, cloud and unified communications services.
Further restrictions on European roaming charges are now likely to be introduced in September or October, rather than July as originally planned. In its initial proposals to reform the EU telecoms market, the European Commission intended to ban incoming call charges for roaming citizens within the region by July 1st 2014.