Telstra outlines A$8bn share sale

Telstra on Monday released the prospectus which will start the ball rolling towards the Australian carrier’s privatisation. The government plans to sell A$8bn (£3.2bn) of shares or about one third of its 51.8 per cent stake in the company, although the size of the offering could be increased by up to 15 per cent, depending [...]

Pirelli takes 80% of Telecom Italia

Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli paid out Eur1.17bn (£788m) on Wednesday for two 4.77 per cent stakes in Italian holding firm Olimpia, which controls Telecom Italia. Pirelli acquired the holdings under previous option agreements made with Banca Intesa and Unicredito Italiano. Pirelli’s stake in Olimpia now rises to 80 per cent, with the remaining 20 per [...]

Ireland: Smart gets cut off

Around 40,000 customers of Irish telco Smart Telecom had their fixed-line – including emergency calls – and broadband services disconnected Tuesday amid a growing dispute between Smart and infrastructure provider, Eircom. The Irish communications regulator Comreg said Wednesday that an interim arrangement had been reached with Eircom to restore fixed-line services to Smart’s customers within [...]

IPTV sees strong growth but bloody battle ahead

The number of IPTV subscribers worldwide is expected to have almost doubled in 2006 to almost 5 million subscribers. According to a new report from Informa Telecoms & Media, IPTV – A Global Analysis (2nd Edition), released Tuesday, rapid growth in the user base will result in 36 million IPTV homes by 2011. Adam Thomas, [...]

Warrantless wiretapping wins House approval

Warrantless wiretapping in the US got a green light late Thursday, when the House voted through the controversial surveillance measure 232 to 191. House majority leader John Boehner of Ohio’s Eighth Congressional District applauded the passage of the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act (H.R. 5825), which intends to legalise President Bush’s terrorist surveillance program. “A large [...]

NTL goes Quadplay

UK cable player NTL on Wednesday launched its quadplay service in the UK with a promise that it could save consumers up to £400 a year. The offering ’4 for £40′ includes digital TV with video on demand, unlimited broadband, home telephone and a mobile service for £40 per month. While NTL is attempting to [...]

Ex Comverse CEO nabbed in Namibia

The former CEO of telecoms firm Comverse – declared a fugitive by the FBI earlier this year – has according to reports, been caught in Namibia. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Kobi Alexander is being held by Namibian officials pending extradition to the US. Alexander and another Comverse executive were charged earlier this [...]

BT pay phones now 40p a call

Nowadays they are iconic, a symbol of a time passed and used only in emergencies – such as when the batteries on your mobile run out. Yes the humble British phone box, the distinctive landmark that has, sadly, become a rarity in the UK, just got more expensive to use. Starting November, making a call [...]

Global DSL growth shows no signs of slowing

The number of DSL users worldwide topped the 164 million mark at the end of June, driven by increasing penetration of the technology in Europe and strong growth in developing markets. Worldwide, the number of business and residential users signing up to DSL for broadband access has increased by almost 46 million in the past [...]

TI buys AOL’s German broadband arm

Rupert Murdoch’s Time Warner has inked a deal to sell AOL Germany’s internet access business to Telecom Italia (TI) for Eur 675m ($856m) cash. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will make TI Germany’s second largest provider of broadband with around 3.2 million customers after Deutsche Telekom’s T-Online. It will also increase Telecom [...]

BT reveals first corporate Fusion user

British Telecom announced the much awaited version of its fixed mobile convergence solution – BT Fusion – revamped for the enterprise market, Thursday. When the original consumer service launched last year, it only offered a single access point, offering fixed line rates when a handset is communicating over Bluetooth and GSM calling over Vodafone’s network [...]

Update: more details on TI reorganisation

General Electric, Time Warner and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. have all emerged as potential players in Telecom Italia’s proposed spin off of its mobile operation. The news emerged Wednesday, when Prime Minister Romano Prodi’s office released details of a meeting between Telecom Italia head Marco Tronchetti Provera and Prodi. The Italian government is reportedly outraged [...]

Ofcom wants further termination charge cuts

UK telecoms regulator OFCOM, announced Thursday that price controls on the termination charges British mobile operators apply to other networks’ calls are to be maintained beyond March, 2007, when the current regulation expires. The regulator intends to demand further cuts in the termination fees, with a target of “around 5.3 pence per minute” for Vodafone, [...]

Pipex intros new private DSL network

UK ISP, Pipex this week announced the launch of its Secure Private Network product, which it claims is a more secure replacement for VPN tunnels connecting remote offices with corporate LANs. The firm says the product extends the security perimeter, making security services inherent in the network, in order to defeat ‘morphed’ threats. Essentially, the [...]

Tiscali records strong ADSL growth

Italian ISP Tiscali announced the addition of 360,000 new ADSL customers during the first half of 2006 on Thursday, bringing the company’s total broadband customers to over 2 million. More than one quarter of this total is receiving unbundled local loop services. Strong growth in ADSL access services meant that revenues at the company increased [...]

NBC announces video content service

NBC Universal on Tuesday announced that it has created a new company that will distribute video content to internet sites. Dubbed the ‘National Broadband Company’ (NBBC) the new firm will take content from the media giant’s networks and distribute it to chosen partners across the Web. NBC’s move comes as several large media firms announce [...]

Italian PM wants “details” on TI reorganisation

Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said Tuesday that he was “surprised” by the scale of Telecom Italia’s (TI) reorganisation, announced Monday, and warned that the government is seeking more details. According to reports in the Italian press, Prodi said the government wants to know “the details and motivation” of the deal. The reports suggest Prodi [...]

TI splits fixed and mobile, inks Murdoch deal

Telecom Italia (TI) said it has approved a major reorganisation to split its fixed-line and mobile businesses into two new companies. The reorganisation is designed, the company said Monday evening, to help it sharpen its focus on broadband and media activities both at home and across Europe. Speculation has raged around whether the firm would, [...]

Vodafone enters fixed-line broadband, snubs C&W

Mobile operator Vodafone has struck a deal with BT to provide fixed-line broadband to its customers in the UK. The move is a response to O2 and Orange who already offer fixed-line and mobile products to their customers. Vodafone has confirmed that it plans to launch the new service before the end of the year. [...]

Telstra price proposals shot down

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Monday rejected Telstra Corp.’s Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) Originating and Terminating Access Services and Local Carriage Service price proposals. The Australian watchdog said in a statement that Telstra’s proposals were not reasonable and would involve a substantial reduction in the headline LCS prices. It suggests the [...]