Telecom Sector

Reliance Jio, Bharti Infratel to share tower infra

Bharti-Infratel-Reliance-JioNew Delhi, March 4 : Reliance Jio Infocomm would utilize the telecom tower infrastructure of Bharti Infratel to launch its services across the country, the company said here Tuesday after the two firms signed an agreement in this regard.

Vodafone conciliation only after settlement of transfer pricing dispute

Vodafone conciliation only after settlement of transfer pricing disputeThe Indian Government will review the conciliation process with Vodafone over Rs 20,000-crore tax dispute only after a transfer pricing case pertaining to the telecom operator is settled, a senior finance ministry official said.

Requesting anonymity, the government official said that the Union Cabinet decided to instruct the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) to expeditiously solve the Vodafone transfer pricing case.

TRAI recommends auction of CDMA or 800 MHz spectrum

TRAINew Delhi, Feb 22 : The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Saturday recommended auction of CDMA or 800 MHz band airwaves at Rs. 2,685 crore per megahertz reserve price, an official release said here.

The recommendation said the entire available spectrum with the Department of Telecom (DoT) in the 800 MHz band should be put to auction. "The authority recommends that the reserve price for the forthcoming auction of 800 MHz spectrum should be fixed at 80 percent of the average valuation," the recommendation said.

GSM rural subscribers up 4.14 mn

GSM-rural-subscribersNew Delhi, Feb 22 : All India rural GSM subscribers increased 4.14 million in January 2014, which was 1.5 percent up from previous month, according to data released by the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) here Saturday.

All India GSM Rural subscriber figures as of January 2014 stood at 285.35 million.

Telecom service provider Airtel has the maximum rural subscription at 91.40 million in January 2014 followed by Vodafone, Idea, Aircel and Telewings.

Much-awaited telecom M&A guidelines issued

Department of TelecomIn case of a merger or acquisition (M&A) deal in the telecom sector, the merged entity's market share would not be allowed to exceed 50 per cent, according to new M&A guidelines issued by the Department of Telecom (DoT).

Issued on Thursday, the much-awaited M&A guidelines for the industry stated clearly declared that the merged entity should reduce its market share to the limit of 50 per cent in case it surpasses the limit.

Bharti Airtel to appeal against Nigerian court's Econet order

Bharti-AirtelNew Delhi, Feb 20 : Telecom service provider Bharti Airtel is not satisfied with the Feb 14 judgment of the Lagos Court of Appeal and will lodge an appeal at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, a company statement said here Thursday.

The ruling of the court means Bharti Airtel will now have to pay up $3 billion to the African telecom operator Econet Wireless. The court has said Econet was a bonafide stakeholder in Airtel Nigeria.

2G case: DoT gets more time to reply to Loop's plea

Loop-TelecomNew Delhi, Feb 20 : A court here Thursday posted for March 14 the hearing on a plea filed by Loop Telecom seeking directions for referring the matter to the Lok Adalat.

The court Dec 16 last year issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) seeking their response on the plea.

The DoT did not file the reply and sought time from the court.

CBI Special Judge O. P. Saini granted time to the DoT and posted the matter for March 14.

Vodafone announces more details of payback to shareholders

VodafoneGlobal telecom service provider, Vodafone has announced more details about how it will payback its shareholders following the sale of the group's stake in Verizon Wireless in the US.

The UK company said that it is planning to pay£51 billion back to its shareholders. The company sold its stake in the US venture in a deal valued at about $130 billion. The FTSE 100 telecoms operator said that the shareholders will receive 0.026 Verizon shares for each Vodafone share they owned under the pay out at 8am on 24 February, 2014.

EE to create 1,000 new jobs in the UK

EEEE, a leading communications group, has said that it is planning to create total of 1000 jobs in the UK during the coming two years.

The company said that it will also triple the size of its apprenticeship scheme. The company said that it will offer its customer service jobs in the UK from overseas centres and it is planning to offer 250 posts in Northern Ireland in the coming months. The company will increase the total number of jobs by 1,300 during the next year.

Bharti agrees to acquire Loop Mobile

Bharti agrees to acquire Loop MobileBharti Airtel Ltd, India's top telecommunications carrier, confirmed on Tuesday that it would acquire smaller rival Loop Mobile, which operates only in the country's financial capital - Mumbai.

Confirming the agreement to acquire Loop, Bharti said, "India's a leading global telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, and Loop Mobile today announced a strategic agreement for their operations in Mumbai (India) service area."

Global mobile data traffic to grow exponentially by 2018

Global mobile data traffic to grow exponentially by 2018Washington, Feb 16 : Mobile data traffic is expected to surge in 2018 globally, following reports of 81 percent growth in cell-phone data traffic in 2013.

According to a new report by Cisco, last year's mobile traffic accounted for nearly 18 times the estimated size of the Internet in 2000.

The Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update report stated that the average mobile traffic per user around the world will grow exponentially in the next five years, Mashable reported.

Government concludes 2G spectrum auction

Government concludes 2G spectrum auctionThe government of India has concluded the auction for 2G spectrum for the telecom service providers in the country.

Estimates have shown that the government might have received an estimated Rs. 61,000 crore form the sale of spectrum to telecom service providers in the country. The government will immediately recieve about Rs. 15,296 crore, which is about 25 per cent of the total proceeds for the spectrum. The spectrum auction went on for ten days till Thursday for the 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz bands. The auction included 68 rounds of bidding and counterbidding.

Commercial launch of 3G services may consume a long time

3gThe commercial launch of high-speed mobile broadband (3G) services by carriers like Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel may consume a long time, despite their their winning of new spectrum in the 900 Mhz band.

Bharti Airtel, the biggest mobile phone carrier in India, has won new spectrum in the 900 Mhz band in Mumbai; while Idea Cellular has won new spectrum in the same band Delhi during the recently held spectrum auction.

A chief executive officer (CEO) of a leading telcom firm said the whole process of launching 3G services could consume more than a year.

Telcos should focus more on ICT: Experts

Kapil-SibalNew Delhi, Feb 14 : As the government mopped up over Rs. 61,000 crore from the just concluded 2G spectrum auction, Communications Minister Kapil Sibal said this would bring a smile to the face of the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

But industry experts say it is not the way to improve the fiscal situation and economic growth by bringing in quick money through auctions and licence fees.

Bharti Airtel launches 4G on mobile with Apple in Bangalore

Bharti Airtel launches 4G on mobile with Apple in BangaloreNew Delhi, Feb 14 - Telecom service provider Bharti Airtel along with Apple Friday launched India’s first 4G on mobile, a company statement said here Friday.

The statement said now Airtel customers in Bangalore on Apple iPhone 5s or 5c will be able to experience 4G on their mobile at the current 3G prices.

“Customers have to just change their existing SIM to a 4G SIM to start enjoying 4G on mobile without any need to migrate from their existing data plan,” it said.

Uninor expands network in six circles

Uninor expands network in six circlesNew Delhi, Feb 12 : Mobile service provider Uninor has expanded its network by deploying 5,000 additional sites in six telecom circles to cover more subscribers, the company said here Wednesday.

The circles are UP West, UP East, Bihar (including Jharkhand), Maharashtra and Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. This is a 30 percent expansion of network sites in one go - the largest since launch of operations - and will be completed within the next five months, the statement said.

Vodafone might enter pay-TV market

Vodafone might enter pay-TV marketTelecom giant, Vodafone has indicated that it might be planning to enter into the pay-TV market in the UK as the company is looking to revive its business.

The company is trying to revive its business after its UK revenues fell for the seventh quarter. Chief executive Vittorio Colao said that the company might enter the market in six to seven months. He also said that the company should buy Premier League football rights butit is unlikely totake part in the next auction this autumn.

Govt. receives bids worth over Rs 52K crore by 4th day of spectrum auction

Govt. receives bids worth over Rs 52K crore by 4th day of spectrum auctionTelecom operators has so far collectively offered more than Rs 52,000 crore for 2G spectrum in the 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz bands, officials from the Department of Telecom (DoT) revealed.

DoT officials said yesterday that after 26 rounds of bidding for spectrum, telecom operators' bids for all the 22 regional zones or circles totaled at around Rs 52,500 crore. The auction was kick started on Monday this week.

Bharti Airtel rejigs top team in African operations

Bharti-AirtelNew Delhi, Feb 5 : In pursuit of its growth agenda, telecom service provider Bharti Airtel Wednesday announced a rejig of its top team at Airtel Africa.

V. G. Somasekhar has been appointed executive operations director of the strategic business unit (SBU) clustering Zambia, Congo B, Malawi, Burkina, Niger, Chad, Madagascar and Seychelles. Somasekhar has been managing director for Airtel Uganda since December 2010, a company statement here said.

Bharti Airtel is a telecommunications service provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa.

Bumper bids in 2G spectrum auction paving way for higher phone bills

Bumper bids in 2G spectrum auction paving way for higher phone billsThe government is enjoying mobile phone operators' aggressive bidding for 2G spectrum in the ongoing auctions, but analysts are of the view that bumper bids are paving a way for higher phone bills.

On the very first day of 2G spectrum auction, on Monday, the government received bids of around Rs 41,918 crore, much higher than the initial estimated amount of Rs 11,300 crore. Higher-than-expected bids brought a big respite for the government, which has been struggling to generate money to close its massive fiscal deficit.

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