Vodafone Group is moving its global innovation centre from Silicon Valley to London, as it seeks to benefit from a wealth of technology skills and talent in the UK and Europe.
The French and Italian mobile markets could both be on the verge of significant consolidation, according to reports from news agency Reuters. In France incumbent telco Orange has set two investment banks to investigate the potential takeover of rival Bouygues, while talks have resumed between Hutchison and Vimpelcom, which own 3 Italia and Wind respectively, about a potential merger. In both instances Reuteurs cited unnamed sources close to the situation.
The UK communications industry regulator – Ofcom – has announced proposals designed to further reduce mobile termination rates; the wholesale prices mobile operators charge other operators for connecting to their networks.
Global smartphone sales leader Samsung has finally unveiled a smartphone running on Tizen – the new, Linux-based, open-source mobile OS that Samsung has been developing in partnership with Intel ever since Nokia threw the towel in on MeeGo back in 2011.
Mobile communication technologies can play a major role catering to the world’s one billion disabled people, according to an independent study published in the UK today. But that role is not yet being fulfilled.
The ICT solutions arm of Japanese incumbent operator NTT, NTT Com, has launched what it says is the first suite of cloud services that enterprise customers can activate themselves and pay for on a per-usage basis. NTT Com said the new services will enable enterprises to eliminate lengthy contract tie-ins, and establish new offices or short-term project support with minimal fuss.
Software defined networking (SDN) specialist Cyan has announced a collaboration with European carrier Telefónica and Linux developer Red Hat to develop a network functions virtualization (NFV) architecture optimised for communications service providers.
Struggling device vendor Blackberry has announced a new collection of initiatives targeting the Internet of Things, which the firm hopes will enable it to exploit the QNX operating system it bought in 2010. The vendor, which recorded a $5.87bn loss for the 2014 financial year, described the new campaign—dubbed Project Ion— as “a cornerstone of BlackBerry’s vision to offer end-to-end solutions for the Internet of Things.”
Hutchison Whampoa’s 3 group has successfully integrated Google Play direct carrier billing into the network of its Austrian subsidiary, 3 Austria. The company has already rolled out the system in Sweden, Ireland and Hong Kong, allowing apps and other digital goods such as books, music, games as well as the music streaming service Music All Access to be paid for via the mobile bill.
Alcatel-Lucent’s R&D subsidiary Bell Labs said Tuesday it will soon open an office near Tel Aviv, Israel. The office will focus on researching cloud-based networking architectures as a growing number of operators look to virtualise components of their networks.
Australian incumbent Telstra is set to create one of the world’s largest wifi networks under a A$100m plus deal with global hotspot network Fon.
Vodafone has announced a huge leap in profits for the financial year to end March 2014, thanks largely to the sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless, completed earlier this year. Profit for the year stood at £59.42bn, up from £673m for the previous financial year. However, group revenues were down 1.9 per cent to £46.62bn, while service revenue was down 2.4 per cent to £39.53bn.
The South African mobile operator subsidiary of UK-headquartered Vodafone has announced an agreement to acquire the market’s second largest fixed communications provider, Neotel, in a cash deal worth ZAR7.0bn ($673m). Negotiations between Vodacom and Neotel were announced in September last year, when Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub pledged to pump significant investment into the merged entity should talks prove fruitful.
Carphone Warehouse, which earlier this week announced plans to merge with UK high street consumer electronics retailer Dixons, has announced that it is in discussions to sell Omer Telecom, the holding company which owns Virgin Mobile France, to French cable player Numericable. In April this year Numericable’s parent Altice struck a deal to acquire French mobile operator SFR, which it intends to merge with Numericable.
In a move that increases the profile of its CSR activities, Ericsson has promoted vice president and head of sustainability and corporate responsibility, Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, to the firm’s Global Leadership Team. In addition Weidman-Grunewald has been made head of Ericsson Response, the company’s volunteer emergency response organisation.
Sweden’s Ericsson has won a contract from Brazilian operator Vivo that will see the vendor manage the deployment of smart parking and lighting solutions as part of Vivo’s digital city project in São Paolo. Ericsson will partner with specialist providers as the project’s lead systems integrator and will assume responsibility for design, installation and deployment as well as post-deployment managed services, operations and maintenance.
Vivo, the Brazilian subsidiary of Spanish telco Telefónica said Tuesday that it has deployed TOA Technologies’ cloud-based field service management application, which provides end-to-end service tracking for both employees and contractors.
Swedish network equipment provider Ericsson has completed its acquisition of UK media services provider Red Bee Media, following approval of the deal from the UK Competition Commission on March 27th this year. The deal sees 1,500 Red Bee staff absorbed by Ericsson and the UK established as a “major global media hub” for Ericsson, the company said.
IP interconnect provider XConnect and Malaysian and Indonesian ICT specialist Extol this week launched the Asian Interconnect Exchange (AIX), giving local service providers access to an IP hub where they can exchange IP traffic and services.
Telekom Austria Group and América Móvil on Friday unveiled a deal that proposes to create one of the world’s largest fibre networks, with a joint footprint with 200 Points of Presence (PoP) within 47 countries, through the interconnection of networks offering voice, roaming, data and mobile services.