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France Telecom pulls plug on ‘bad idea’

Monday morning saw France Telecom abandon its controversial proposed hook up with Nordic carrier TeliaSonera. The announcement confirmed what many already believed, that such a pairing would be unlikely. With recent acquisitions in Niger and Kenya, and a renewed interest in Ghana, it’s clear that the French operator has its eyes on emerging markets, which, [...]

MTN buys Verizon South Africa

South African operator MTN said this week that it has entered into an agreement with Verizon Business, to acquire the US carrier’s South African operation, Verizon Business South Africa. MTN said the transaction is in line with its strategy to provide integrated communications in all of its markets and follows similar acquisitions by MTN subsidiaries [...]

Bright Idea to control Spice

Indian operator Idea Cellular has announced plans to acquire a sizeable stake in rival operator Spice Communications for around $509m and merge the two companies. Under the deal, Idea will snap up 40.8 per cent of Spice and will also make an offer for an additional 20 per cent. Altogether, the deal could cost $800m. [...]

O2 gives free data access with prepay iPhone

UK mobile operator and exclusive iPhone carrier O2 UK has inadvertently revealed the pricing for the prepay version of the 3G Apple device. The interesting thing here is that O2 is giving prepay users free, unlimited wifi and data access for six months, which is something of a first. After the first six months is [...]

Industry bodies push next gen. security agenda

Two operator led industry bodies announced plans to work together on Wednesday to increase the industry’s awareness of device and network security in next generation mobile networks. The Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP) alliance, an operator led community that recommends mobile terminal requirements, will collaborate with the Next Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) forum, an eclectic [...]

Virgin Mobile pitches ‘unlimited’ tariff to prepay users

US MVNO Virgin Mobile USA is going toe to toe with the incumbent operators by introducing a flat rate calling plan for prepay subscribers. The Totally Unlimited calling plan, which debuts for $79.99 per month on July 1, claims to be the first unlimited nationwide calling plan without roaming charges or an annual contract. The [...]

Clearwire: Unwired or unhinged?

The new Clearwire

A nationwide WiMAX network for the US is now a strong likelihood. The new, improved Clearwire has the money, the partners and the will to make it happen. But will it be a wireless breakthrough or a white elephant?

T-Mo cuts European data roaming charges

In a bid to avoid the regulatory eye of European telecoms commissioner, Vivian Reding, German mobile operator T-Mobile said Friday that it is cutting the cost of data roaming within Europe by as much as 80 per cent. From July 1, T-Mobile said it will reduce the price of a text message sent while roaming [...]

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Arun Sarin

Arun Sarin is stepping down from the top job at Vodafone five years after taking the helm. It’s been a bumpy ride, but he’s coming out smiling.

T-Mobile gets friendly with Bebo, Piczo

Mobile operator T-Mobile UK said Wednesday it has struck a deal with mobile social networking platform Intercasting, to bring the Bebo and Piczo sites to the mobile. T-Mobile said it would integrate the two social networking sites into its My Social Sites service, a mobile application that provides users with a single interface for managing [...]

TDF flies WiMAX flag in France

European network service provider TDF has tapped Motorola to design and deploy 802.16e WiMAX networks for several regions in France. The network will be operated by TDF subsidiary HDRR, which provides network services to broadcasters and telecom operators throughout Europe. The three year frame agreement, announced at the WiMAX Forum Global Congress yesterday, follows an [...]

O2 has its bubble burst by 3

Mobile operator O2 UK has been left blowing bubbles after losing a four year battle against rival 3 over the usage of bubbles in its advertising. On Thursday, the European Court of Justice ruled that “O2 cannot rely on its trade mark rights” to prevent the use of bubble imagery in a comparative advertisement for [...]

Telefonica extends iPhone agreement to Latin America

Following a drought of telecoms news on Monday, when Apple made some sort of announcement, things are just starting to get back to normal, although there is still a veritable flood of iPhone related news coming in. Spanish carrier Telefonica for one, said Wednesday that it has extended its original contract with Apple and will [...]

From town to country

From town to country

Netia has switched its WiMAX focus from urban to rural areas as the regulator forces the incumbent to open up its broadband network to competitors.

REDtone waits for green light on price

REDtone, Malaysia

Malaysian operator is pushing for much cheaper WiMAX kit ahead of commercial launch.

WiMAX home run for Vodafone Malta

Joseph Cuschieri, Vodafone Malta

The Vodafone Group is conducting WiMAX trials in different parts of the world but it was in Malta where it launched commercial services first. Joseph Cuschieri, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Vodafone Malta, explains to Ken Wieland why the Vodafone subsidiary believes WiMAX is a perfect fit for delivering broadband to the home

Safaricom IPO kicks off

East Africa’s biggest ever initial public offering (IPO) kicked off on Monday, as Kenyan operator Safaricom began trading on the Nairobi stock exchange. The government’s sale of a 25 per cent stake in the carrier has proved popular, with the listing more than 400 per cent oversubscribed. Local reports suggest around 800,000 domestic and foreign [...]

French connections: France country profile

French connections

The French market is facing an inevitable slowdown as it reaches saturation point. According to Informa Telecoms & Media’s World Cellular Information Service, France had a market penetration of 90.72 per cent in March 2008, up from 84.58 per cent for the same period last year.

T-Mobile lands deal with Tony Hawk

Mobile operator T-Mobile USA has signed up skateboarding legend Tony Hawk to promote a limited edition Sidekick device. The Sidekick LX incorporates a ‘skateboard look’ with grip tape texture and graphics, as well as a customised Tony Hawk theme for the interface. The LX will also be the first Sidekick to ship with a function [...]

New chief shakes up Orange

Newly installed chief executive Tom Alexander outlined plans on Wednesday to refresh the brand of mobile operator Orange in the UK. Alexander, who is something of an industry veteran, having co-founded Virgin Mobile, unveiled a three pronged strategy, which will put the company’s focus back on the customer. The main operation will be divided into [...]

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