Competition time for the Middle East

Some of the most innovative operators from the Middle East & Gulf region this week called for regulators to either maintain or adopt a “light touch” approach to telecoms regulation in the fast growing market. Speaking at this week’s panel discussion, Examining the MEG Regional Telecoms Pricing Environment and Determining the Right Balance between Regulation […]

Middle East prepaid subs hit 100 mil.

The number of prepaid mobile subscriptions in the Middle East crossed the 100 million mark in the second quarter, reaching 101.7 million at the end of June. Prepaid services continued to dominate in both the Middle East and Africa, with a combined 321.55 million subscriptions at the end of June, accounting for 84.46 per cent […]

Arabian knights defend Saudi mobile users

The popularity of Bluetooth and mobile messaging services in the Middle East is leading to ample opportunities for security and content filtering firms to exploit in the region. This week at the GSM>3G Middle East & Gulf conference in Duabi, Saudi Arabia’s leading carrier, Saudi Telecom Company (STC), tapped mobile security firm AdaptiveMobile to defend […]

Vodafone UK moves to HSPA

From Monday September 3rd, Vodafone’s UK customers will be able to purchase USB modems offering download speeds of up to 7.2Mbit/s, as the carrier switches on its HSPA network. The network will be available first in central London, and Vodafone is rolling the technology out nationwide during the Autumn. experienced some problems with its […]

Ericsson scores service deals in Germany and Mexico

    Swedish vendor Ericsson has announced two managed services deals, which will see it offering support to German incumbent Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica’s Mexican GSM operation.  In Germany, Deutsche Telekom’s fixed and broadband division, T-Com, will transfer its microwave assets and some 200 employees to Ericsson, with the Swedish firm taking control of the […]

Hutch hits back at 3G critics

Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa hit out at the critics on Thursday, saying that industry watchers should look at its business as a whole, rather than focusing on the loss making 3G unit. Frank Sixt, the group’s finance director, basically said that it was unfair for the media and analysts to have the same focus […]

Three European ops to get iPhone

Well it looks like most of the recent speculation on European iPhone distributors was correct, with reports coming in that Apple has signed up three different operators in the region. According to a report in the Financial Times Deutschland, O2 in the UK, Orange in France and T-Mobile in Germany, have all agreed contracts with […]

O2 goes to BBC for laughs

UK mobile operator O2 has struck a deal with the BBC to show clips of popular TV shows on the mobile. Under the deal, O2 will be able to provide BBC Worldwide content from a number of programmes including the Office, Little Britain, Doctor Who, I’m Alan Partridge and League of Gentlemen. The content will […]

KPN buys Tele2’s Belgian ops.

Sweden-based alternative operator Tele2 said Monday that it has sold its Belgian subsidiaries, Versatel Belgium and Tele2 Belgium, to Dutch operator KPN for Eu95m (SKR890m). PN’s rationale is to grow its market share in Belgium through the acquisition and by deploying new and different distribution channels and cross-selling products. At the end of June, Versatel’s […]

Vodafone spends big in India

Vodafone is rumoured to be preparing to award a $1.8bn network contract for its recently acquired Indian operation. The operator paid out $11bn for a controlling stake in Hutchison Essar earlier this year and is keen to expand the coverage of the operator’s GSM network. Local reports suggest that the tender will be split between […]

Three Iraq GSM licences awarded

Iraq’s Ministry of Communications has awarded three 15 year GSM licences, replacing the existing short term contracts and displacing one of the incumbent operators. MTC Atheer and AsiaCell had their existing licences renewed, while Korek Telecom, a small Kurdish operator running GSM services in the north of Iraq, has been awarded a licence, knocking Orascom-owned […]

KPN eyeing up Tele2 Belgium

Netherlands-based operator KPN said Tuesday that it is in discussions to buy Tele2’s Belgian unit, Versatel, for approximately Eur100m. KPN’s rationale is to grow its market share in Belgium through the acquisition and by deploying new and different distribution channels and cross-selling products. The company also moved to quash ongoing speculation over KPN’s intentions to […]

Vodafone joins WiMAX Forum

No doubt there were high fives all round at the WiMAX Forum headquarters Thursday morning, as the disruptive technology won the backing of Vodafone. The industry body, committed to promoting and certifying interoperable WiMAX products, announced that Vodafone has become a principal member of the forum, lending yet more credence to the assertion of the […]

Virgin extends acquisition talks

UK quad play provider, Virgin Media, said Tuesday that it has indefinitely extended the process which may result in the firm being sold off. Virgin revealed last month that it had received an acquisition proposal and that it would consider the offer as a part of its review of strategic alternatives. The unnamed party has […]

Vodafone keeps its slice of Verizon

Vodafone reiterated on Wednesday that it is, under no circumstances, about to get rid of its stake in US cellco Verizon Wireless. Despite months, maybe even years, of speculation that the operator would offload some or all of the 45 per cent holding, a statement released Wednesday said that “Vodafone continues to believe that retaining […]

Verizon buys up Rural Cellular

US mobile operator Verizon Wireless said Monday that it has agreed to buy regional player Rural Cellular for approximately $2.67bn in cash and assumed debt. The acquisition will increase Verizon’s coverage by 4.7 million licensed POPs and will increase its actual customer base by more than 700,000 subs. Rural Cellular uses both CDMA and GSM […]

Altimo vs. Ipoc: it’s all over

The bitter battle for control over a 25.1 per cent chunk of Russia’s smallest mobile operator MegaFon looks to be over, according to reports on Monday. It is believed that Russian conglomerate Altimo, originally known as the Alfa Group, has buried the hatchet with Caribbean-based investment fund Ipoc. Ipoc had contested Alfa’s purchase of the […]

Roaming cuts deadline looms

European mobile operators have until Tuesday to reduce tariffs for calls made and received while roaming by as much as 70 per cent. When European lawmakers voted to introduce caps on mobile roaming charges in Europe in May, operators were given until the end of July to implement the cuts across the board. According to […]

DoCoMo feeling the pinch

Leading Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo said Friday that net profit for the three months to the of June dropped 24.9 per cent year on year to Y122.8bn ($1bn) due to intense competition and ARPU losses. The introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) and aggressive tariffs from KDDI and Softbank have put the squeeze on DoCoMo, […]

Voda rebels voted down

Rebel shareholders in Vodafone received a solid trouncing on Tuesday, when proposals to spin off the holding in Verizon Wireless were defeated by a landslide of votes. At the company’s AGM on Tuesday, 33.4 billion votes were cast against plans to separate out the company’s 45 per cent interest in Verizon Wireless, with only 1.6 […]


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