Telecom Sector

China Mobile's ex-vice president gets life sentence

Lu-XiangdongBeijing, Nov 22 : The former vice president of China Mobile, the country's largest telecom operator, was sentenced to life imprisonment for taking bribes, a court in China's Jilin province confirmed Friday.

Lu Xiangdong, 53, stood trial and received the sentence at the Intermediate People's Court of Jilin city last week, Xinhua reported.

Lu was found guilty of taking bribes totalling more than 25 million yuan (around $4.1 million) from 2003 to 2011 when he used his position to seek profits for others and accepted large amounts of bribes.

Vodafone claims £17.67bn in tax losses

Vodafone claims £17.67bn in tax lossesTelecom giant, Vodafone has claimed a massive £17.67 billion in tax losses allowing its first half profit rise significantly.

The company said that most of the tax losses or about £15.83 billion came from its subsidiary in Luxembourg that has been accused of being involved in tax avoidance scams. The company sends of dividends to Luxembourg for taking benefit of tax laws in that country. Vodafone has shifted senior marketing managers to Dublin in order to avoid g UK tax on revenues from global royalties.

Reliance Communications Q2 net profit up 562 percent

Reliance-CommunicationsNew Delhi, Nov 12 : Reliance Communications' second quarter (July-September) consolidated net profit surged by 562 percent on year-on-year basis at Rs. 675 crore, the company said Tuesday.

Excluding write-back provision, the net profit was up by 129.4 percent on year-on-year basis at Rs. 234 crore.

The operating revenue was at Rs. 5,394 crore (excluding provision write-back of Rs. 441 crore), up 3.7 percent from Rs. 5,202 crore in the second quarter of previous year.

Yashwant Sinha alleges another telecom scam, writes to PM

Yashwant-SinhaNew Delhi, Nov 12 : Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha Tuesday alleged another telecom scam was taking place and urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reject TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) recommendations of spectrum reserve price and user charges.

"I would like to draw your attention to another scam which seems to be taking place in the telecom sector," Sinha said in his letter to the prime minister Nov 9.

The letter was released to the media Tuesday.

Telecom M&A rules will be announced this week: Kapil Sibal

Telecom M&A rules will be announced this week: Kapil SibalThe government has cleared the country's first-ever policy on mergers & acquisitions (M&A) for the telecom sector and the new rules could be announced within a week, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said.

Mr. Sibal said that the telecom Commission had cleared the newly crafted M&A guidelines, which could be announced any day now.

Speaking on the topic, he said, "It (Mergers and acquisition guidelines) has been cleared by Telecom Commission. We will announce it any day now, probably in coming week."

UAE telco wins top mobile phone awards

UAE telco wins top mobile phone awardsAbu Dhabi, Nov 7 : Etisalat Group, one of the leading telecom operators in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, has picked up two awards for the roll out of innovative mobile commerce solutions at the Mobile Money Global Awards.

"We are delighted to win these awards, as it is recognition that Etisalat is spreading the benefits of mobile finance to under-banked communities all over the world," Khalifa Al Shamsi, chief digital services officer at Etisalat Group, was quoted Thursday as saying.

Uninor CEO Yogesh Malik resigns

Uninor CEO Yogesh Malik resignsNew Delhi, Nov 7 : Telecom service provider Uninor Thursday announced that its chief executive officer (CEO) Yogesh Malik has resigned his post owing to personal reasons.

The company has already started the process of selecting a new CEO to take up the position. In the interim period Sigve Brekke, who is currently the head of Telenor Group's Asia operations, will take up the position of acting CEO, a company statement here said.

Uninor is a majority-owned subsidiary of Norwegian telecom service provider Telenor Group.

Telecom Commission for upping spectrum base price

Telecom-CommissionNew Delhi, Nov 6 : The Telecom Commission Wednesday recommended raising the reserve price for mobile phone spectrum auctions by 15 percent more than the price suggested by the Telecom Regulator Authority of India (TRAI) in the 1,800 megahertz (MHz) and by 25 percent in the 900 MHz.

The panel has approved the merger and acquisition policy and a senior government official said the merger entity may hold up to 50 percent of market share in each circle. The policy now needs cabinet approval.

The Telecom Commission is the highest decision making agency of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.2b for settlement

Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.2b for settlementJohnson & Johnson has said that it has agreed to pay $2.2 billion to settle civil and criminal allegations relating to off-label, unapproved uses for three prescription drugs.

The Justice Department officials announced on Monday that the company has agreed to pay the settlement amount to settle claims. The case that started in 1990s and went on till the early 2000s included allegations of kickbacks to doctors and pharmacies to promote the antipsychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega, and a heart drug, Natrecor.

Bharti Airtel to acquire Warid's Congo-Brazzaville operations

Bharti-AirtelNew Delhi, Nov 5 : To strengthen its foothold in Africa, telecom service provider Bharti Airtel Tuesday said it has entered into "a definitive agreement" with the Warid Group to fully acquire its Congo operations, a company statement said here.

AT&T might be planning to bid for Vodafone

AT T VodafoneAccording to the latest reports, US giant AT&T might be preparing a bid to acquire rival, Vodafone for the next year aiming to create a global telecom giant.

Some believe that AT&T will launch its bid next year to create a $250 billion global telecom service provider. The deal might also include selling the British group's African and Indian businesses. It is believed that the AT&T was in talks with Vodafone's US partner Verizon but Vodafone decided to sell its stake in the American venture to Verizon Wireless.

Bharti Airtel net profit dips 29 percent in Q2

Bharti Airtel net profit dips 29 percent in Q2New Delhi, Oct 30 - Telecom service provider Bharti Airtel's consolidated net profit for the second quarter (June-September) declined by 29 percent to Rs. 512 crore compared to Rs. 721 crore it logged during the corresponding period last quarter.

Vodafone to raise Indian arm stake to 100 percent

Vodafone-PlcNew Delhi, Oct 29 : British telecom company Vodafone Plc Tuesday sought the Foreign Investment Promotion Board's approval to raise its stake in its Indian arm - which is involved in a Rs. 20,000 crore tax dispute - from 64.38 to 100 percent by investing Rs. 10,141 crore.

"Vodafone confirms it has filed an application with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to increase its holding in Vodafone India Ltd from 64.38 percent to 100 percent," the company said in a statement.

In August, India relaxed foreign direct investment rules in telecom sector, allowing companies like Vodafone to own 100 percent of their Indian businesses.

Vodafone India to invest Rs 4,000-6,000 crore every year

Vodafone India to invest Rs 4,000-6,000 crore every yearThe Indian arm of British telecom giant Vodafone has announced its plans to invest Rs 4,000 crore to Rs 6,000 crore every year on further expanding its capacity in India.

Vodafone India's Managing Director & Chief Executive Marten Pieters said the company would continue making investments in India. But, he added that investments would depend on new spectrum licences and extension of its existing licences.

Bharti Infratel posts 12 percent net profit in Q2

Bharti-InfratelNew Delhi, Oct 28 : Telecommunication tower operator Bharti Infratel Monday posted net profit of 12 percent for the July-September quarter of the current fiscal (2013-14).

It deploys, owns and manages telecom towers and communication structures, for various mobile operators. It mentioned that the net profit went up to Rs. 277 crore during the second quarter of the current fiscal from Rs. 248 crore posted during the corresponding period last fiscal.

Tech Mahindra, UAE's Etisalat announce partnership

Tech-Mahindra-EtisalatDubai, Oct 25 : Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) leading telecom operator, Friday announced that it has forged a partnership with Tech Mahindra, the prominent Indian systems integrator, to offer its clients industry leading end-to-end services.

The partnership was signed during GITEX Technology Week, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region's top ICT exhibition and conference held in Dubai Oct 20-24.

The new deal strengthens Etisalat's capability to act as a single source for complete end-to-end ICT services and support, both in the UAE and around the world.

Idea reports 86% y-o-y jump in quarterly consolidated net profit

Idea reports 86% y-o-y jump in quarterly consolidated net profitIdea Cellular on Thursday announced that it enjoyed an impressive year-on-year increase of 86 per cent in its consolidated net profit for the quarter ended September 30, but also admitted that its `Voice Minute of Use' slipped by nearly 6 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

The mobile phone carrier announced that its consolidated net profit jumped from Rs 241 crore in the July-September quarter of 2012 to Rs 448 crore in the same quarter of this year.

Telecom subscribers increase to 906.18 mn in August

Telecom-subscribersNew Delhi, Oct 25 : The number of telephone subscribers in India rose to 906.18 million at the end of August from 904.46 million in the previous month -- a monthly growth rate of 0.19 percent, data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said Friday.

The share of urban subscribers has declined from 60.69 percent to 60.57 percent whereas share of rural subscribers has increased from 39.31 percent to 39.43 percent in the month of August.

The overall teledensity in India increased from 73.54 at the end of July to 73.60 at the end of August.

Bharti Airtel board approves subsidiary merger

Bharti-AirtelNew Delhi, Oct 24  : Bharti Airtel Thursday said it has obtained board approval for merger of its wholly-owned subsidiary Airtel Broadband Services with itself, the company said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

“The board of directors of the company has approved the Scheme of Amalgamation of Airtel Broadband Services Private Limited (formerly known as Wireless Business Services Private Limited) a wholly-owned subsidiary with the company,” it said.

Bharti Airtel acquired 100 percent equity shares of Wireless Business Services Private Limited (WBSPL) Oct 18, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Spectrum auction will likely take place before 2012’s end, with lower base prices: Sibal

Spectrum auction will likely take place before 2012’s end, with lower base prices: SibalThe next round of spectrum auction would likely take place before the end of this year and the reserve prices for the same would be lower than priced fixed in the previous round of auction, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said.

In a video message, Mr. Sibal said, "Next set of auctions which are going to take place, we are looking by end of December, hopefully. What will be set for floor price on which operators will bid . I think, relatively lower for them to make competitive bids."

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