Bell Canada to buy rest of CTV for CAD 1.3 bln

Bell Canada to buy rest of CTV for CAD 1.3 bln
(Telecompaper) Canadian operator BCE has agreed to buy broadcaster CTV. BCE already owns 15 percent in CTV and will pay CAD 1.3 billion to buy the remaining 85 percent from the Thomson family’s Woodbridge Company, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and Torstar. The deal gives CTV an equity value of CAD 1.5 billion, while it also holds CAD 1.7 billion in debt. In a separate transaction, Woodbridge will acquire the Globe and Mail from CTV, while Bell will continue to 15 percent in the newspaper. BCE said the takeover of CTV will allow it to leverage its fixed and mobile broadband networks with an offering of premium video content, while also optimising its cost structure through 100 percent ownership of the broadcaster. CTV operates Canada’s number one TV network with 27 stations across the country, as well as 30 specialty channels, online properties such as CTV.ca, TSN.ca, RDS.ca, MuchMusic.com, MTV.ca and TheComedyNetwork.ca, and Chum Radio, which operates 34 radio stations throughout Canada. BCE said the deal will add immediately to earnings and free cash flow, and the company has agreed to a CAD 2 billion bank facility and the issue of CAD 750 million shares to Woodbridge to finance the deal. Pro forma net debt is estimated at 2x EBITDA after the deal, and the company expects to maintain its current credit ratings. The acquisition remains subject to approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the Competition Bureau. BCE expects to close the deal by mid-2011.[Lees verder]

Orange Business Services sets 5-year targets
(Telecompaper) In line with the Conquest 2015 plan presented in July by France Telecom-Orange, Vivek Badrinath, executive vice president of Orange Business Services has presented the main priorities of his company’s five-year strategy, including its objectives in four key markets. OBS aims to generate EUR 500 million in cloud computing by 2015 by accelerating its developments in cloud-ready networks, ‘as a service’ infrastructures, ‘as a service’ collaborative solutions and communications, and app stores. It has also set itself the objective of selling 10 million Sim cards by 2015 on the M2M market by leveraging its centre of expertise in Brussels, Belgium, and the development of services beyond connectivity. OBS seeks to become France’s biggest provider of enterprise videoconferencing services and one of the top three around the world, based on terminal and network interoperability, managed and hosted solutions development and simplifying uses through user support. Finally, as part of the parent company’s ambitions in emerging countries, OBS hopes to generate EUR 1 billion in revenues in such markets by supporting international customers’ development of their activities and by strengthening its presence alongside multinationals.[Lees verder]

Apple relaxes app developer rules
(Telecompaper) Apple announced changes to its rules for developers making applications for its iOS devices and App Store. Apple said the changes to the iOS Developer Program licence “relax some restrictions” put in place earlier this year. In particular, developers will now be able to use development tools from outside companies. This opens the way for the use of third-party advertising platforms such as Google’s AdMob, which welcomed Apple’s decision, and Adobe Systems’ Flash software. Adobe said as a result of Apple’s changes, it will resume work on its Packager for iPhone, a feature for developing iOS apps with the Flash Professional CS5 tool. Apple said the use of outside tools was permitted “as long as the resulting apps do not download any code”. This is expected to give developers more flexibility, while preserving the security Apple demands. In addition, Apple published for the first time the App Store Review Guidelines to help developers understand how it reviews submitted apps. The increased transparency is expected to help developers finetune apps and more quickly pass the review stage before listing in the App Store. The two changes come under pressure from the FTC, which is investigating the company’s dominant market position. People familiar with the matter told the Financial Times that the FTC inquiry had been heading toward filing a lawsuit against Apple.[Lees verder]

US broadcasters form Mobile500 Alliance for Mobile DTV
(Telecompaper) A coalition of US television broadcasters have formed the Mobile500 Alliance to accelerate the availability of mobile digital television service to consumers. The Mobile500 Alliance consists of 30 broadcast television companies, which collectively own 346 full-power television stations broadcasting in 167 markets. The Mobile500 Alliance aims to develop a Mobile DTV business model enabling consumers to view broadcast content, as well as non-broadcast content with enhanced features, said chair of the Mobile500 Alliance and Fisher Communications president and CEO Colleen B Brown. The Alliance will work to secure content arrangements with programme suppliers and enhanced consumer device features with electronics manufacturers. As an open, inclusive organisation, the Mobile500 Alliance invites participation and involvement of all commercial broadcasters. The organisation will build on the Mobile DTV standards activities of the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC). In addition to Brown, the initial organising executive committee was led by executives from Capitol Broadcasting Company, Fisher Communications, Lin Media, Schurz Communications, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Titan Broadcast Group. Recently nearly two dozen other broadcasters agreed to join the Mobile500 Alliance, including Cordillera Communications, Freedom Communications, Granite Broadcasting, Gray Television, Hoak Media, Hubbard Broadcasting, Local TV, Max Media, McGraw-Hill Broadcasting Company, New Vision Television, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Pappas Telecasting Companies and Tribune Broadcasting Company.[Lees verder]

Videotron launches HSPA+ network in Quebec
(Telecompaper) Canadian cable operator Videotron has launched its mobile services based on a HSPA+ network in Quebec. Videotron is the latest of the new market entrants that won spectrum licences in 2007. Videotron launches with a full range of voice and data services, including phones and modems from Research In Motion, Huawei, Nokia and Samsung as well as Google’s Nexus One. Customers will be able to roam outside its network in Quebec via an agreement with Rogers. Videotron TV customers will also be able to access some of their video services on their phones, such as watching live TV with the Illico mobile content portal and programming the PVR. Customers can also make free on-net calls to other Videotron mobile or fixed telephony subscribers. Videotron and its parent company Quebecor are investing some CAD 1 billion in the mobile network and plan to eventually scale up the network speeds from the current 21Mbps to 42Mbps using dual-carrier technology. Network coverage of Videotron’s entire existing footprint is expected by the end of 2011.[Lees verder]

Bell Canada to buy rest of CTV for CAD 1.3 bln
(Telecompaper) Canadian operator BCE has agreed to buy broadcaster CTV. BCE already owns 15 percent in CTV and will pay CAD 1.3 billion to buy the remaining 85 percent from the Thomson family’s Woodbridge Company, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and Torstar. The deal gives CTV an equity value of CAD 1.5 billion, while it also holds CAD 1.7 billion in debt. In a separate transaction, Woodbridge will acquire the Globe and Mail from CTV, while Bell will continue to 15 percent in the newspaper. BCE said the takeover of CTV will allow it to leverage its fixed and mobile broadband networks with an offering of premium video content, while also optimising its cost structure through 100 percent ownership of the broadcaster. CTV operates Canada’s number one TV network with 27 stations across the country, as well as 30 specialty channels, online properties such as CTV.ca, TSN.ca, RDS.ca, MuchMusic.com, MTV.ca and TheComedyNetwork.ca, and Chum Radio, which operates 34 radio stations throughout Canada. BCE said the deal will add immediately to earnings and free cash flow, and the company has agreed to a CAD 2 billion bank facility and the issue of CAD 750 million shares to Woodbridge to finance the deal. Pro forma net debt is estimated at 2x EBITDA after the deal, and the company expects to maintain its current credit ratings. The acquisition remains subject to approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the Competition Bureau. BCE expects to close the deal by mid-2011.[Lees verder]

Orange Business Services sets 5-year targets
(Telecompaper) In line with the Conquest 2015 plan presented in July by France Telecom-Orange, Vivek Badrinath, executive vice president of Orange Business Services has presented the main priorities of his company’s five-year strategy, including its objectives in four key markets. OBS aims to generate EUR 500 million in cloud computing by 2015 by accelerating its developments in cloud-ready networks, ‘as a service’ infrastructures, ‘as a service’ collaborative solutions and communications, and app stores. It has also set itself the objective of selling 10 million Sim cards by 2015 on the M2M market by leveraging its centre of expertise in Brussels, Belgium, and the development of services beyond connectivity. OBS seeks to become France’s biggest provider of enterprise videoconferencing services and one of the top three around the world, based on terminal and network interoperability, managed and hosted solutions development and simplifying uses through user support. Finally, as part of the parent company’s ambitions in emerging countries, OBS hopes to generate EUR 1 billion in revenues in such markets by supporting international customers’ development of their activities and by strengthening its presence alongside multinationals.[Lees verder]

Apple relaxes app developer rules
(Telecompaper) Apple announced changes to its rules for developers making applications for its iOS devices and App Store. Apple said the changes to the iOS Developer Program licence “relax some restrictions” put in place earlier this year. In particular, developers will now be able to use development tools from outside companies. This opens the way for the use of third-party advertising platforms such as Google’s AdMob, which welcomed Apple’s decision, and Adobe Systems’ Flash software. Adobe said as a result of Apple’s changes, it will resume work on its Packager for iPhone, a feature for developing iOS apps with the Flash Professional CS5 tool. Apple said the use of outside tools was permitted “as long as the resulting apps do not download any code”. This is expected to give developers more flexibility, while preserving the security Apple demands. In addition, Apple published for the first time the App Store Review Guidelines to help developers understand how it reviews submitted apps. The increased transparency is expected to help developers finetune apps and more quickly pass the review stage before listing in the App Store. The two changes come under pressure from the FTC, which is investigating the company’s dominant market position. People familiar with the matter told the Financial Times that the FTC inquiry had been heading toward filing a lawsuit against Apple.[Lees verder]

US broadcasters form Mobile500 Alliance for Mobile DTV
(Telecompaper) A coalition of US television broadcasters have formed the Mobile500 Alliance to accelerate the availability of mobile digital television service to consumers. The Mobile500 Alliance consists of 30 broadcast television companies, which collectively own 346 full-power television stations broadcasting in 167 markets. The Mobile500 Alliance aims to develop a Mobile DTV business model enabling consumers to view broadcast content, as well as non-broadcast content with enhanced features, said chair of the Mobile500 Alliance and Fisher Communications president and CEO Colleen B Brown. The Alliance will work to secure content arrangements with programme suppliers and enhanced consumer device features with electronics manufacturers. As an open, inclusive organisation, the Mobile500 Alliance invites participation and involvement of all commercial broadcasters. The organisation will build on the Mobile DTV standards activities of the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC). In addition to Brown, the initial organising executive committee was led by executives from Capitol Broadcasting Company, Fisher Communications, Lin Media, Schurz Communications, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Titan Broadcast Group. Recently nearly two dozen other broadcasters agreed to join the Mobile500 Alliance, including Cordillera Communications, Freedom Communications, Granite Broadcasting, Gray Television, Hoak Media, Hubbard Broadcasting, Local TV, Max Media, McGraw-Hill Broadcasting Company, New Vision Television, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Pappas Telecasting Companies and Tribune Broadcasting Company.[Lees verder]

Videotron launches HSPA+ network in Quebec
(Telecompaper) Canadian cable operator Videotron has launched its mobile services based on a HSPA+ network in Quebec. Videotron is the latest of the new market entrants that won spectrum licences in 2007. Videotron launches with a full range of voice and data services, including phones and modems from Research In Motion, Huawei, Nokia and Samsung as well as Google’s Nexus One. Customers will be able to roam outside its network in Quebec via an agreement with Rogers. Videotron TV customers will also be able to access some of their video services on their phones, such as watching live TV with the Illico mobile content portal and programming the PVR. Customers can also make free on-net calls to other Videotron mobile or fixed telephony subscribers. Videotron and its parent company Quebecor are investing some CAD 1 billion in the mobile network and plan to eventually scale up the network speeds from the current 21Mbps to 42Mbps using dual-carrier technology. Network coverage of Videotron’s entire existing footprint is expected by the end of 2011.[Lees verder]