China Mobile grows H1 revenues 8%

China Mobile grows H1 revenues 8%
(Telecompaper) China Mobile reported first-half revenues of CNY 229.8 billion, up 7.9 percent from a year earlier. EBITDA rose 6.1 percent to CNY 116.6 billion, giving a margin of 50.7 percent. Net profit increased 4.2 percent year-on-year to CNY 57.6 billion. China Mobile’s customer base was up 12.4 percent over the 12 months 30 June, for a total base of 554.042 million subscribers, while ARPU fell 4.5 percent to CNY 72. The operator spent CNY 61.5 billion on capital equipment in the quarter, and plans a full-year budget down slightly to CNY 123.0 billion. The company’s voice traffic rose 20 percent from a year ago to 1.664 trillion minutes in the first half, and MOU improved to 520 per customer from 490 in H1 2009. Data and value-added services also continued to grow. Data service revenues rose to CNY 30.5 billion from CNY 22.8 billion last year, while SMS revenue slowed to CNY 25.8 billion from CNY 25.5 billion. China Mobile said its 3G network had reached 115,000 base stations and it expects to have 200,000 by year-end.[Lees verder]

Korean launch of iPhone 4 sees 110,000 preorders in 9 hours
(Telecompaper) Preorders for Apple’s iPhone 4 began at 0600 hours in South Korea, prompting Koreans to get online or flock to stores, reports the JoongAng Daily. According to KT, Korea’s exclusive seller of the handset, the number of orders broke the 60,000 mark in 3 hours and 45 minutes. It took the iPhone 3GS five days to surpass that level in Korea late last year. At a KT retail store in Jongno, downtown Seoul, some 32 people visited between 0600 and 1000 hours. By 1500 hours, orders broke the 110,000 mark. It took Samsung Electronics’ latest smartphone, Galaxy S, five days to hit that level when it was launched in June. The volume was so heavy at one point that the KT server crashed temporarily. The news of iPhone 4 orders breaking the 100,000 mark was delivered by KT’s mobile business division president Pyo Hyun-myung through a message he posted on Twitter, which said the company apologises for the server glitch and will do its best in the release and delivery. Customers will have the option to pick up their iPhone 4 at a retail store if they cannot wait for the mail delivery of the smartphone.[Lees verder]

Facebook unveils mobile location check-in, sharing service
(Telecompaper) Facebook has launched a new Places service that enables users to share their location with friends, as well as tell their contacts about their favourite spot in real-time, directly from their mobile devices. Service users can share their location by ‘checking in’ to that place and letting friends know where they are. Customers can also see if any of their friends has also chosen to check in nearby. Customers can also share their check-in information with third-party applications, such as travel planning. To access the service, users should download the most recent version of the Facebook application for iPhone. Customers can also access Places from touch.facebook.com if their mobile browser supports HTML 5 and geolocation. The Places service is currently available exclusively in the US, but Facebook plans to expand it to more countries and on additional mobile platforms soon.[Lees verder]

Lightsquared, Inmarsat start deploying LTE network
(Telecompaper) US wholesale-only integrated wireless broadband and satellite network provider LightSquared has delivered notice to mobile satellite communications services provider Inmarsat triggering Phase 1 of a cooperation agreement originally signed in December 2007. The agreement increases the amount of contiguous spectrum available to both parties and provides LightSquared enhanced operational flexibility for deployment of its LTE integrated terrestrial and satellite network. To implement Phase 1, Inmarsat will immediately begin a process of transition to a modified spectrum plan to increase spectrum contiguity. This process is expected to take eighteen months and will require Inmarsat to incur the cost of certain network modifications. During implementation of Phase 1, LightSquared will make a series of payments to Inmarsat totalling USD 337.5 million. Upon exercise, LightSquared made an initial payment of USD 81.25 million. Following the initial payment LightSquared will pay USD 40 million every three months until the final USD 40 million installment is paid fifteen months from the trigger date. At the Phase 1 completion date, targeted for eighteen months following the trigger date, the company will pay another USD 56.25 million. Additionally, LightSquared has an option to implement Phase 2 which will add further capacity to its network. Phase 2 may be exercised at any time through 1 January 2013 and provides that Inmarsat would make additional spectrum available at an annual cost of USD 115 million per year. The Phase 2 process is expected to take 30 months following the exercise by LightSquared of the Phase 2 option.[Lees verder]

Dutch court overturns wholesale cable TV offer
(Telecompaper) The Dutch corporate appeals court has overturned telecoms regulator Opta’s decisions requiring the country’s leading cable networks to resell their analogue TV packages to competitors. The Opta decisions date from March 2009 and cover the markets for wholesale radio and TV transmission over the networks at UPC Netherlands, Ziggo, Delta and CAIW. While Opta analysed the markets on a regional level, based on each operator’s footprint, the four cable companies argued that the analysis should have looked at the national market. The appeals court ruled that the Opta did not prove a clear variation in competitive conditions in each operator’s footprint area. As a result, the requirement for Ziggo and UPC to provide a wholesale analogue TV package to other operators is no longer valid. UPC, Ziggo, CAIW and Delta will also no longer be required to carry digital broadcasts from alternative TV providers on their networks.[Lees verder]

Windstream to acquire Q-Comm for USD 782 mln
(Telecompaper) US fixed-line operator Windstream has agreed to acquire CLEC and regional fibre transport provider Q-Comm for USD 782 million. The transaction includes Q-Comm’s wholly-owned subsidiaries Kentucky Data Link (KDL), a fibre services provider in 22 states, and Norlight, a local exchange services company primarily serving the Midwest. Windstream will issue 20.6 million shares, valued at USD 237 million based on Windstream’s closing share price of USD 11.49 on 17 August, and pay USD 278 million in cash for the equity interests in Q-Comm. Windstream also will repay Q-Comm debt of USD 267 million. Although Windstream expects to have sufficient liquidity in the form of cash balances and revolving credit capacity to fully finance the cash portion of the purchase price and debt repayment, it may choose to raise debt financing in the future. Prior to closing, Q-Comm will divest certain assets to its shareholders, such that the remaining businesses acquired by Windstream will consist of KDL and Norlight. The boards of both companies have approved the transaction, which is expected to close in Q4, subject to certain conditions, including approvals from federal and state regulators. In order to maximise the long-term business potential and value of the acquired properties, Windstream plans to increase success-based capital expenditure investments in the near term. These investments will be concentrated in the wireless backhaul and enterprise businesses and will be driven in part by the contracts recently awarded to KDL. The increased level of capital spending likely will result in slight adjusted free cash flow dilution to Windstream in the near term and will enhance adjusted free cash flow accretion in the long term. Absent these investments, the transaction would be accretive to adjusted free cash flow per share in year one. Windstream expects to achieve annual operating expense and capital expenditure synergies of approximately USD 25 million. The acquisition will more than double its existing fibre footprint, adding over 30,000 complementary, contiguous fibre route miles in 22 states and expands growth opportunities in the enterprise segment.[Lees verder]

HTC to unveil Vision, Ace in September – report
(Telecompaper) Taiwanese handset maker HTC is expected to unveil its latest mobile phone models in London in mid-September. The firm will release its HTC Vision and HTC Ace, both of which run on Android 2.2, Cens reports citing industry sources. The HTC Vision features Qualcomm’s 800 Mhz chipset, an 8-megapixel camera, 3.7-inch touchscreen and slide-out Qwerty keypad. The HTC Ace will come with a 4.3-inch screen, the Snapdragon chipset with 1 GHz processor and a 8-megapixel camera. HTC has already contracted Vodafone for distribution of the new phones and is in talks with T-Mobile for distribution of the HTC Vision. Monthly shipments of the Vision are expected at 200,000, the sources said. HTC is also expected to launch another high-end Android smartphone with Verizon Wireless in the US in the fourth quarter of this year.[Lees verder]

Sweden scores highest in ccTLD brand strength
(Telecompaper) Sweden’s country code top-level domain (ccTLD) .se has the highest local value in terms of top-level domain awareness, relevance and preference in Europe, according to a study by the organisation that administers the European top-level .eu domain, EURid. EURid’s report shows that Sweden leads in Europe, along with the Czech Republic and Germany, in terms of citizens’ preference towards top-level domains. According to EURid’s ccTLD brand strength classification, .se is first with 234 out of 250 points, ahead of Czech Republic’s .cz with 218, Germany’s .de with 215, .com with 208, Denmark’s .dk with 207, .local with 197, UK’s .co.uk with 191, Spain’s .es with 180 , Italy’s .it with 178, France’s .fr with 171, .org with 115, .net with 112, .eu with 98, .info with 65, and .biz with 55. In Sweden, .se scored nearly 100 percent in awareness, close to 90 percent in terms of relevance (highest in Europe) and 49 percent for preference, compared with 34 percent for the competing top-level .com domain. This means that all respondents know that .se exists and nearly everyone considers it relevant to use the top-level .se domain in Sweden. EURid’s report also shows that nearly 50 percent prefer .se to other top-level domains in the Swedish market. In December 2009, Statistics Sweden stated in a report that the .se domain dominates the Swedish market, while .com is losing ground. EURid suggests this trend is continuing.[Lees verder]

China Mobile grows H1 revenues 8%
(Telecompaper) China Mobile reported first-half revenues of CNY 229.8 billion, up 7.9 percent from a year earlier. EBITDA rose 6.1 percent to CNY 116.6 billion, giving a margin of 50.7 percent. Net profit increased 4.2 percent year-on-year to CNY 57.6 billion. China Mobile’s customer base was up 12.4 percent over the 12 months 30 June, for a total base of 554.042 million subscribers, while ARPU fell 4.5 percent to CNY 72. The operator spent CNY 61.5 billion on capital equipment in the quarter, and plans a full-year budget down slightly to CNY 123.0 billion. The company’s voice traffic rose 20 percent from a year ago to 1.664 trillion minutes in the first half, and MOU improved to 520 per customer from 490 in H1 2009. Data and value-added services also continued to grow. Data service revenues rose to CNY 30.5 billion from CNY 22.8 billion last year, while SMS revenue slowed to CNY 25.8 billion from CNY 25.5 billion. China Mobile said its 3G network had reached 115,000 base stations and it expects to have 200,000 by year-end.[Lees verder]

Korean launch of iPhone 4 sees 110,000 preorders in 9 hours
(Telecompaper) Preorders for Apple’s iPhone 4 began at 0600 hours in South Korea, prompting Koreans to get online or flock to stores, reports the JoongAng Daily. According to KT, Korea’s exclusive seller of the handset, the number of orders broke the 60,000 mark in 3 hours and 45 minutes. It took the iPhone 3GS five days to surpass that level in Korea late last year. At a KT retail store in Jongno, downtown Seoul, some 32 people visited between 0600 and 1000 hours. By 1500 hours, orders broke the 110,000 mark. It took Samsung Electronics’ latest smartphone, Galaxy S, five days to hit that level when it was launched in June. The volume was so heavy at one point that the KT server crashed temporarily. The news of iPhone 4 orders breaking the 100,000 mark was delivered by KT’s mobile business division president Pyo Hyun-myung through a message he posted on Twitter, which said the company apologises for the server glitch and will do its best in the release and delivery. Customers will have the option to pick up their iPhone 4 at a retail store if they cannot wait for the mail delivery of the smartphone.[Lees verder]

Facebook unveils mobile location check-in, sharing service
(Telecompaper) Facebook has launched a new Places service that enables users to share their location with friends, as well as tell their contacts about their favourite spot in real-time, directly from their mobile devices. Service users can share their location by ‘checking in’ to that place and letting friends know where they are. Customers can also see if any of their friends has also chosen to check in nearby. Customers can also share their check-in information with third-party applications, such as travel planning. To access the service, users should download the most recent version of the Facebook application for iPhone. Customers can also access Places from touch.facebook.com if their mobile browser supports HTML 5 and geolocation. The Places service is currently available exclusively in the US, but Facebook plans to expand it to more countries and on additional mobile platforms soon.[Lees verder]

Lightsquared, Inmarsat start deploying LTE network
(Telecompaper) US wholesale-only integrated wireless broadband and satellite network provider LightSquared has delivered notice to mobile satellite communications services provider Inmarsat triggering Phase 1 of a cooperation agreement originally signed in December 2007. The agreement increases the amount of contiguous spectrum available to both parties and provides LightSquared enhanced operational flexibility for deployment of its LTE integrated terrestrial and satellite network. To implement Phase 1, Inmarsat will immediately begin a process of transition to a modified spectrum plan to increase spectrum contiguity. This process is expected to take eighteen months and will require Inmarsat to incur the cost of certain network modifications. During implementation of Phase 1, LightSquared will make a series of payments to Inmarsat totalling USD 337.5 million. Upon exercise, LightSquared made an initial payment of USD 81.25 million. Following the initial payment LightSquared will pay USD 40 million every three months until the final USD 40 million installment is paid fifteen months from the trigger date. At the Phase 1 completion date, targeted for eighteen months following the trigger date, the company will pay another USD 56.25 million. Additionally, LightSquared has an option to implement Phase 2 which will add further capacity to its network. Phase 2 may be exercised at any time through 1 January 2013 and provides that Inmarsat would make additional spectrum available at an annual cost of USD 115 million per year. The Phase 2 process is expected to take 30 months following the exercise by LightSquared of the Phase 2 option.[Lees verder]

Dutch court overturns wholesale cable TV offer
(Telecompaper) The Dutch corporate appeals court has overturned telecoms regulator Opta’s decisions requiring the country’s leading cable networks to resell their analogue TV packages to competitors. The Opta decisions date from March 2009 and cover the markets for wholesale radio and TV transmission over the networks at UPC Netherlands, Ziggo, Delta and CAIW. While Opta analysed the markets on a regional level, based on each operator’s footprint, the four cable companies argued that the analysis should have looked at the national market. The appeals court ruled that the Opta did not prove a clear variation in competitive conditions in each operator’s footprint area. As a result, the requirement for Ziggo and UPC to provide a wholesale analogue TV package to other operators is no longer valid. UPC, Ziggo, CAIW and Delta will also no longer be required to carry digital broadcasts from alternative TV providers on their networks.[Lees verder]

Windstream to acquire Q-Comm for USD 782 mln
(Telecompaper) US fixed-line operator Windstream has agreed to acquire CLEC and regional fibre transport provider Q-Comm for USD 782 million. The transaction includes Q-Comm’s wholly-owned subsidiaries Kentucky Data Link (KDL), a fibre services provider in 22 states, and Norlight, a local exchange services company primarily serving the Midwest. Windstream will issue 20.6 million shares, valued at USD 237 million based on Windstream’s closing share price of USD 11.49 on 17 August, and pay USD 278 million in cash for the equity interests in Q-Comm. Windstream also will repay Q-Comm debt of USD 267 million. Although Windstream expects to have sufficient liquidity in the form of cash balances and revolving credit capacity to fully finance the cash portion of the purchase price and debt repayment, it may choose to raise debt financing in the future. Prior to closing, Q-Comm will divest certain assets to its shareholders, such that the remaining businesses acquired by Windstream will consist of KDL and Norlight. The boards of both companies have approved the transaction, which is expected to close in Q4, subject to certain conditions, including approvals from federal and state regulators. In order to maximise the long-term business potential and value of the acquired properties, Windstream plans to increase success-based capital expenditure investments in the near term. These investments will be concentrated in the wireless backhaul and enterprise businesses and will be driven in part by the contracts recently awarded to KDL. The increased level of capital spending likely will result in slight adjusted free cash flow dilution to Windstream in the near term and will enhance adjusted free cash flow accretion in the long term. Absent these investments, the transaction would be accretive to adjusted free cash flow per share in year one. Windstream expects to achieve annual operating expense and capital expenditure synergies of approximately USD 25 million. The acquisition will more than double its existing fibre footprint, adding over 30,000 complementary, contiguous fibre route miles in 22 states and expands growth opportunities in the enterprise segment.[Lees verder]

HTC to unveil Vision, Ace in September – report
(Telecompaper) Taiwanese handset maker HTC is expected to unveil its latest mobile phone models in London in mid-September. The firm will release its HTC Vision and HTC Ace, both of which run on Android 2.2, Cens reports citing industry sources. The HTC Vision features Qualcomm’s 800 Mhz chipset, an 8-megapixel camera, 3.7-inch touchscreen and slide-out Qwerty keypad. The HTC Ace will come with a 4.3-inch screen, the Snapdragon chipset with 1 GHz processor and a 8-megapixel camera. HTC has already contracted Vodafone for distribution of the new phones and is in talks with T-Mobile for distribution of the HTC Vision. Monthly shipments of the Vision are expected at 200,000, the sources said. HTC is also expected to launch another high-end Android smartphone with Verizon Wireless in the US in the fourth quarter of this year.[Lees verder]

Sweden scores highest in ccTLD brand strength
(Telecompaper) Sweden’s country code top-level domain (ccTLD) .se has the highest local value in terms of top-level domain awareness, relevance and preference in Europe, according to a study by the organisation that administers the European top-level .eu domain, EURid. EURid’s report shows that Sweden leads in Europe, along with the Czech Republic and Germany, in terms of citizens’ preference towards top-level domains. According to EURid’s ccTLD brand strength classification, .se is first with 234 out of 250 points, ahead of Czech Republic’s .cz with 218, Germany’s .de with 215, .com with 208, Denmark’s .dk with 207, .local with 197, UK’s .co.uk with 191, Spain’s .es with 180 , Italy’s .it with 178, France’s .fr with 171, .org with 115, .net with 112, .eu with 98, .info with 65, and .biz with 55. In Sweden, .se scored nearly 100 percent in awareness, close to 90 percent in terms of relevance (highest in Europe) and 49 percent for preference, compared with 34 percent for the competing top-level .com domain. This means that all respondents know that .se exists and nearly everyone considers it relevant to use the top-level .se domain in Sweden. EURid’s report also shows that nearly 50 percent prefer .se to other top-level domains in the Swedish market. In December 2009, Statistics Sweden stated in a report that the .se domain dominates the Swedish market, while .com is losing ground. EURid suggests this trend is continuing.[Lees verder]

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