US carrier AT&T has announced plans to acquire US and Latin American pay TV player DirecTV in a deal valued at $48.5bn. The deal will create a service provider with an offering across mobile, broadband and video that is unprecedented in the market, AT&T said. The transaction, which also involves AT&T assuming $18.6bn in debt, should take a year to complete, the telco said.
Specialist mobile entertainment and streaming music firm Rok Mobile has unveiled plans to launch an LTE MVNO in the US in June bolstered by 20 million on demand audio tracks.
The evolution of voice continues apace as US carriers Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA reveal plans to launch Voice over LTE, with AT&T expected to follow suit on Friday.
ollowing its EU and APAC expansion this summer, ICT and backbone network service provider Telstra Global announced Thursday that the company has expanded its cloud and “connected colocation” services to the US and Japan, and is in the process of upgrading existing facilities in Australia.
US operator AT&T is to sell approximately 600 of its wireless towers to independent infrastructure management firm Crown Castle, and lease the rights to another 9,100 towers, for a combined up-front payment of $4.85bn. AT&T will lease capacity back from Crown Castle, for a minimum of ten years, for $1,900 per month per site, with annual rent increases of two per cent.
US operators will begin trials of an indoor coverage solution provided by Ericsson in Q2 next year, based on a small cell product that weighs just 300 grams. While it has not officially named a first trial partner, a comment provided for the product’s launch release puts AT&T squarely in the frame. Sebastian Tolstoy, head of business development and strategy for Ericsson’s radio division told Telecoms.com: “As you can see from the release the first operators we’ll go to market with are American operators.”
Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC has announced that it will reduce its US workforce as it looks to “streamline and optimise” its operations. The cuts will affect around 30 employees, represent around 20 per cent of HTC’s 150-strong workforce.
Vodafone put a price on the sale of its 45 per cent share in Verizon Wireless to Verizon in another short statement on Sunday, sizing the deal at $130bn (£83.4bn) in cash and common Verizon stock. While the firm described the talks as “advanced”, and despite reports on Sunday and Monday that the deal is all but done, a formal announcement has yet to be made.
Vodafone has confirmed that it is discussing the potential sale of its 45 per cent stake in US operator Verizon Wireless to JV partner Verizon Communications. Verizon’s desire to assume full control of the largest mobile operator in the US is well known and the deal has been the subject of speculation for the better part of a decade.
The UK’s first LTE operator, EE, has announced the availability of shared pricing plans for its LTE customers. The plans, which will become available July 17th, were announced as EE switched on what it is calling “double speed LTE”.
Japanese carrier Softbank’s bid to acquire a 70 per cent stake in US operator Sprint is an audacious deal that could transform or hobble the companies depending on how it plays out. For Softbank it is a huge bet that it’s better to invest $20bn in the third-largest US mobile operator rather than its home market of Japan where it is the third-largest mobile operator behind NTT DoCoMo and KDDI.
Japanese carrier Softbank has announced its intention to acquire a 70 per cent stake in US operator Sprint. Softbank will invest $20.1bn into Sprint; $12.1bn of which will be paid to its shareholders and $8bn will be used as new capital.
A US start-up is aiming to disrupt the wireless broadband market with its commitment to deliver free 4G services to its users. FreedomPop has launched the beta version of its service and will be offering 500MB of free data usage to each of its customers using US wholesale operator Clearwire’s WiMAX network.
US telco Vermont Telephone has selected a range of solutions from Alcatel-Lucent as it prepares to increase the availability of super-fast broadband and deliver IP video services in its service territory in Southern Vermont
Chinese network vendor Huawei has been refused permission by the US government to bid for a contract to work on the nationwide emergency network. A government spokesperson said that permission was refused due to national security concerns. The firm as now asked the government to elaborate on its reasons.
US President Barack Obama has received a letter from 15 lawmakers calling for his administration to approve the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. The letter, put forward by member of congress Heath Shuler and 14 other Democrats, said that the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA would help solve America’s jobs crisis by reducing unemployment, encourage private investment and promote new and innovative technologies that will drive job creation.
The US department of Justice has filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in a bid to block AT&T’s proposed $39bn acquisition of T-Mobile’s US operation, claiming that the deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the US wireless sector. If successful, said Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, the move would result in higher prices and lower quality for consumers.
Verizon’s buy of innovative startup CloudSwitch is a nasty surprise to those who deny the growing power of telcos in the cloud.
Spotify has finally got its prize. News of a US launch today brings to a close a two-year affair, blighted with delays, speculation and a healthy dollop of the now infamous “ongoing negotiations with labels”.
US carrier Verizon is the latest to jump on the mobile payments bandwagon, announcing on Tuesday a partnership with mobile transaction firm Payfone to bring carrier billing to Verizon Wireless users.