Operator group Bharti Airtel, which focuses on emerging markets in Asia and Africa, has divested 3,100 telecom towers to Helios Towers Africa for an undisclosed sum. Local reports suggest the deal could raise as much as $2bn.
Emerging markets-focused satellite operator O3b Networks has announced the successful launch of its latest constellation of satellites. Four satellites were launched from the Space Center in French Guiana at the end of last week.
African telecoms tower specialist Helios Towers has raised $630m in new investment, supporting its claims that there is huge potential in the African market for tower sharing and management.
Towards the end of last week, Google quietly dropped $500m on a satellite company that specialises in super high quality imaging. Now that the market has had a few days to digest the purchase, it seems the possibilities for Google are several – including connected car applications and connectivity for remote regions.
French incumbent telco Orange has announced that it is to sell its 53 per cent stake in Orange Uganda to Africell, an aspiring pan-regional operator that currently provides services in the DRC, Gambia and Sierra Leone. The deal awaits approval from the relevant authorities, Orange said.
Amsterdam-headquartered operator Vimpelcom, which has operations in Russia, the CIS as well as Algeria, Bangladesh, Italy and Pakistan, has reported a 90 per cent year-on-year dive in net profit for the first quarter of 2014. Revenue was down ten per cent to $5.02bn, while profit for the quarter sat at $39m, down from $408m for the first quarter of 2013.
Algerian incumbent operator Algérie Télécom has launched North Africa’s first LTE network, to boost its broadband offering as well as offer VoLTE services. Swedish vendor Ericsson, which supplied the network, said it would help alleviate problems caused by demand for fixed broadband services among Algérie Télécom’s user base.
Emirates-based Etisalat has signed an agreement to sell its holdings in Benin, the Central African Republic, Gabon, the Ivory Coast, Niger and Togo, to Maroc Telecom for $650m. The units all operate under the Moov brand but the agreement also covers Ivory Coast-based IT services provider Prestige Telecom.
African operator group MTN has sold all of its 1,269 mobile network towers in Rwanda and Zambia to independent mobile infrastructure provider IHS Holding for an undisclosed amount. IHS subsidiaries will own and manage 550 towers in Rwanda and 719 towers in Zambia.
French conglomerate Vivendi looks set to continue its offloading of telecom interests after Emirates-based Etisalat announced that it has secured funding to buy the French firm out of Maroc Telecom. Etisalat signed a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of Vivendi’s 53 per cent stake in the Moroccan operator back in November.
Developing markets operator Millicom said Thursday that Tigo customers in Tanzania will be the first consumers in East Africa to get free access to Facebook on their mobile handsets. On the back of a similar service which launched in Latin America in December 2013, Millicom and Facebook have now extended the partnership to East Africa.
South African mobile service reseller Nashua Mobile, which trades in subscriptions for the country’s main operators, is to close operations and sell its 750,000 users to Vodacom and MTN. The company is also looking to offload its Cell C customer base to a third party.
Operator group Millicom has announced the appointment of a general manager for its Tigo subsidiary in Ghana as well as a VP for TV services in Latin America.
Operator groups Millicom and Orange have announced start up incubator projects as they look to promote technological innovation in the markets they operate in.
Global voice and data services provider Glocall Telecoms, through its Somali operator subsidiary Sahal Telecoms, has announced it will deploy LTE services in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
Mobile operator groups serving the Middle East and Africa have agreed to cooperate on network infrastructure sharing initiatives in an effort to provide mobile broadband access to unserved rural communities in the region. The operators also intend to drive down the cost of mobile services for consumers across the regions.
Infrastructure vendor Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) has appointed Deon Geyser as head of the Southern African sub-region, who has rejoined the firm from international operator group Millicom Cellular International, which is parent to the Tigo brand in Africa and Latin America.
Finnish handset maker Nokia, in the process of being acquired by Microsoft, told Telecoms.com it intends to use its fresh line of Android handsets as a platform to entice users onto Windows-based smartphones.
African operator group MTN has signed a five-year managed services deal with Swedish kit vendor Ericsson relating to its Nigerian business. Ericsson will take full responsibility for MTN Nigeria’s network management, optimisation and field maintenance in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Asaba, which represents 75 per cent of the Nigerian network.
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.