The Russian government has decided to withdraw legal claims against Norwegian operator group Telenor, signaling an end to the long-running dispute over the ownership of affiliate firm VimpelCom. The move allows the international operator, headquartered in Amsterdam but of Russian extraction, to distribute dividends to investors including Russian conglomerate Altimo.
The chief executives of Telecom Italia, Telenor, Telefónica, America Movil and Deutsche Telekom were all on hand at a Mozilla press conference on Sunday evening in Barcelona to voice their enthusiasm for the Firefox browser developer’s new HTML5-based smartphone OS.
Norwegian operator group Telenor will cease operating in Mumbai, after being told by India’s Supreme Court to shut down its operations in the city. The operator’s Indian subsidiary, Uninor, will lose around 1.84 million customers as a result.
Norwegian operator group Telenor has seen a three per cent increase in organic revenue, during 3Q12. Revenue stood at NOK25.25bn ($4,39bn), up from NOK24,63bn in the same period a year earlier. Adjusted operating profit also grew year on year, from NOK5.36bn to NOK4.49bn.
Norwegian incumbent Telenor has announced the launch of its LTE network in 11 towns and cities in the country. Telenor said it would continue rollout across the country “at a rapid pace”, pledging to have one third of the Norwegian population covered by its LTE network by the end of the year. The firm aims to have 90 per cent population coverage by 2015, said CEO Berit Svendsen in a statement.
Nordic operator Telenor is attempting to auction off its business in India, as it seeks to cut ties with its JV partner Unitech. The operator owns 67 per cent of Uninor, with the remaining stake owned by Indian real estate firm Unitech. In February this year, the JV lost the 2G licences it won in the country’s 2008 spectrum auction after India’s Supreme Court cancelled the licenses amid allegations of corruption.
Dutch operator group KPN has announced that its net profit for the first half of 2012 has fallen by a staggering 40 per cent. The figure stood at €603m ($729m), compared to the €1.01bn the firm recorded in 1H11. Revenue from the half dropped by 2.2 per cent to €6.38bn compared with the €6.52bn the firm generated in the same quarter a year earlier.
Despite already having closed their services in India, announcing that they will cease doing business in the country and notifying their subscribers to move to a different network, operators S Tel and Etisalat have been told by India’s telecoms regulator that they must continue offering services until the license cancellation date. Loop Telecom has also announced that it will be exiting the market but must continue offering services until June 2, 2012.
India’s 2G spectrum scandal has cast a cloud over the country’s telecoms sector so dark that former Telecoms minister Andimuthu Raja is said to feel safer in prison than he does walking down the street. He has been sat in a cell for over a year, refusing to post bail and stands accused of taking bribes to sell spectrum to firms at discounted rates.
Nordic operator group Telenor has said that it will do what it can to keep Indian subsidiary Uninor operating in the country. Last week, the Supreme Court of India cancelled 122 telecoms licences that were awarded in a 2008 spectrum sale, citing corruption in the sales process of the licences.
Sweden’s mobile operators are the latest carriers to band together and form a mobile payments joint venture. Investment amounts have not been revealed, but Telia, Tele2, Telenor and 3 will each own 25 per cent.
Poland’s second largest carrier, Polkomtel, has been sold to media mogul and Forbes rich-list regular Zygmunt Solorz-Zak for a reported €4.5bn. The sale brings an end to what’s been a fairly lengthy saga; the telco’s multiple shareholders have been looking to sell the company for several years but opportunities for a clean sale were regularly marred by in-fighting and disagreement over how the sale should proceed.
Those who are waiting impatiently for 4G services to arrive in their local market might find it galling to discover that an LTE network is now up and running inside the Arctic Circle. Telenor Norway has launched an LTE site in Svalbard, an archipelago located within the Arctic Circle, making it the northernmost next generation network in the world.
The $6bn Polkomtel sale saga looks set to take an interesting turn this week with reports that last-minute squabbling between shareholders could derail the whole process. When news of the impending sale was first announced, many observers pointed to the fragmented nature of the telco’s ownership as a potential roadblock to achieving a smooth sale. On Tuesday, Reuters reported that sources close to the deal are saying the involvement of state-owned shareholderrs with differing views on how the transaction should go ahead are putting the whole venture at risk.
When 24 of the telecoms world’s biggest players announced the formation of the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) at the Mobile World Congress in February 2010, it’s fair to say the pundits’ response was overwhelmingly sceptical. Peters Suh, WAC CEO, tells Telecoms.com such scepticism was misplaced.