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OTE makes play for Forthnet Greece

Greece's Forthnet is in demand

The battle for control of Greece’s leading alternative fixed line operator continues apace, with OTE joining the fray on Tuesday. The Greek carrier launched a bid of between €250-300m on a debt-free cash-free basis for the pay TV operation, Nova, which is owned by Forthnet.

VimpelCom appoints Telefonica man as COO

Rene Schuster

Amsterdam headquartered carrier VimpelCom, which operates in Russia and the CIS and owns stakes in several other operations around the world, has appointed Rene Schuster as Group Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately.

Telefonica Germany opens network up to competition

Global broadband revenues to continue rising

In a bid to stave off antitrust concerns over its acquisition of E-Plus, Telefonica’s German operation on Wednesday announced plans to open its network up to a local MVNO and IT services firm.

Telekom Austria to acquire Macedonian fixed line player

Vivendi has entered into "exclusive negotiations" with Vivendi over the ownership of French mobile operator SFR

Telekom Austria Group is to acquire 100 per cent of one of the largest cable operators in the Republic of Macedonia. Blizoo Macedonia offers TV services, broadband and fixed voice and will help Telekom flesh out its own offering in Macedonia where it operates under the Vip brand.

3 UK offloads network traffic onto wifi

3 is offloading traffic over wifi

The UK’s smallest and most disruptive mobile operator, 3 UK, is embracing voice over wifi in an apparent effort to offload traffic from it’s cellular network. The company is launching an app, Three inTouch, which will allow customers to talk and text using a wifi connection.

Norwegian state looks to reduce Telenor holding

More state, less speed

Norway’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries released a statement Thursday that said it will propose that the Norwegian Government reduces its stake in leading operator Telenor from 54 per cent to 34 per cent.

Huawei, Vodafone get LTE, GSM to coexist in same spectrum

LTE and GSM can coexist in the same spectrum

Chinese equipment vendor Huawei has showcased what it claims is the world’s first successful implementation of a Dynamic Spectrum Sharing technology trial with Vodafone Spain, that will allow LTE and GSM to coexist in the same spectrum. Although carrier aggregation technologies hold significant promise for maximising spectrum resources, it’s clear that many operators will be wedded to GSM for years to come and this approach leaves both LTE and GSM free to use the same spectrum.

O2UK brings carrier billing to Android

Android users can charge direct to their O2 bill

Telefónica’s UK mobile operation, O2, on Tuesday said that its customers can now pay for items in the Google Play store through direct carrier billing —adding the cost of apps and content into their monthly bill or deducting it from their prepay credit.

Deutsche Telekom reveals government snooping requests

Telekom is shifting pressure to the authorities

In the wake of a far reaching report by Vodafone Group revealing the level of government snooping demanded in 29 countries the company holds an operating licence in, German carrier Deutsche Telekom has published figures on wiretapping in its domestic market.

Bouygues to cut 1,516 jobs as French M&A talks collapse

Bouygues Telecom CEO Olivier Roussat said the firm was cutting jobs to remain competitive in a four-player market

French multi-play operator Bouygues has announced plans to cut more than 1,500 jobs, after CEO Olivier Roussat told a press briefing that consolidation-focused discussions being held with incumbent Orange and fast-growing newcomer Iliad had stalled.

More fibre consolidation in Spain as Cinven buys utility network

spain

The Spanish telecoms market continues to be a hotbed of consolidation, as European private equity firm Cinven on Monday announced plans to acquire a fibre network running through Spain and Latin America, from Spanish natural gas utility, Gas Natural Fenosa, for €510m.

Consolidation close in France and Italy, say reports

agree-deal

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.

Vodafone shifts innovation hub from California to UK

Vodafone is seeking to access a talent pool in Europe

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.

Bouygues jumps on VoLTE bandwagon

There have been several VoLTE announcements of late

In the latest of a rash of VoLTE announcements, French carrier Bouygues Telecom said it would start carrying the first voice and video calls over LTE later this year with a view to commercial launch of the service in 2015.

3 Austria gets Android carrier billing

3 Austria has rolled out carrier billing

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.

Carphone Warehouse and Dixons to merge

Carphone Warehouse and Dixons are to merge

UK mobile phone retailer and service provider Carphone Warehouse has agreed to merge with electronics giant Dixons, marking a push into the high street when many shops are closing down.

Vimpelcom Q1 profit down by 90 per cent

VimpelCom Logo

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.

Telekom Austria, America Movil create international fibre net

The pairing will create the world's largest fibre network

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.

Belgium’s Mobistar trials LTE-A

Global broadband revenues to continue rising

Belgian operator Mobistar claims to have become the nation’s first to successfully test an LTE-A network, claiming mobile data throughput of over 200Mbps.

Telefonica makes move on Spanish pay TV provider

Telefonica is on the acquisition trail

Spanish carrier Telefónica on Tuesday announced that it has made a €725m bid for 56 per cent of Distribuidora de Televisión Digital, a Spanish pay-TV provider that operates under the Digital Plus brand.

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