Telekom Austria buys 2 Bulgarian cable network operators

Telekom Austria buys 2 Bulgarian cable network operators
(Telecompaper) Telekom Austria Group has agreed to acquire 100 percent of two Bulgarian cable network operators Megalan Network and Spectrum Net. The combined debt free value of both entities will amount to a total of EUR 83.0 million. Telekom Austria Group will acquire both companies through its Bulgarian subsidiary Mobiltel and will pay an amount of EUR 72.0 million out of existing cash flow, which includes a performance oriented element of a total of EUR 14.5 million. This portion of the purchase price will be paid by end of 2011 and is subject to the achievement of performance criteria. The acquisitions are subject to the approval by the Bulgarian competition authority. Local management of Megalan and Spectrum Net will remain in place as both companies will operate as separate entities for approximately 18 months. However, product bundles under the M-Tel brand will already be launched during this year. The two companies complement each other through their product offerings and will enable Mobiltel to address both business and residential customers. Megalan is the leading provider of residential broadband in Sofia and offers broadband as well as IPTV services. Spectrum Net offers broadband and voice services to business customers in Bulgaria’s major cities. Combined the two companies had 85,400 connected households in 2009 and generated a total of EUR 25.3 million of revenues and EUR 7 million of EBITDA. For 2010, management expects the two companies to achieve a combined EBITDA of EUR 9.6 million with further growth being anticipated in the future. The planned acquisitions of Megalan and Spectrum Net will have no impact on the dividend floor of EUR 0.75 until 2012.[Lees verder]

Twitter announces redesign, adds photos, video
(Telecompaper) Twitter announced a redesign of its messaging service in an attempt to maker it faster and easier to use. Each tweet now offers a “rich details pane” that offers additional information related to the author or subject, such as replies, other Tweets by that user or a map of where a geotagged Tweet was sent from. In addition, the timeline of tweets now offers “infinite scroll”, with no need to click “more” to view additional tweets. Users can also more easily embed media such as photos and videos in tweets. This is helped by partnerships with sites such as DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube. Users can also quickly access a mini profile without navigating from the page, by clicking on the user name.
These changes will roll out as a preview over the next several weeks starting with a very small percentage of registered accounts. During the preview, users will be able to switch back and forth between the versions.[Lees verder]

Intel unveils netbook apps store AppUp
(Telecompaper) Intel announced the general release of its first netbook application store for consumers at the Intel Developer Forum, including both free and paid apps for entertainment, social networking, gaming and productivity. The Intel AppUp center offers applications optimized for the mobility and screen size of netbooks. To encourage consumers to discover new applications, the Intel AppUp Center features a free 24-hour “try before you buy” period for all paid applications. Products in the store include Adobe AIR applications, as well as apps from companies including Accuweather, Barnes & Noble, Funkitron, Gibson Guitars, iWin, Kaplan, Konami and Lifetime. Intel has reached agreements for Best Buy, UK-based Dixons and India’s Croma to pre-install the AppUp center on netbooks the stores sell, as well as make it available for current netbook owners to download online. Asus will also ship its version of the Intel AppUp center on netbooks, the “asus app store,” starting in October.[Lees verder]

LG unveils Optimus One, Chic Android phones
(Telecompaper) LG Electronics unveiled two new entry-level smartphones launching in the coming months. The LG Optimus One and LG Optimus Chic are both powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo) and offer touch screens, HSPA, 600MHz processors, Outlook sync, portable Wi-Fi hotspots and a full range of Google services. The Optimus One comes with the new LG App Advisor, which recommends 10 highly rated applications every two weeks. The phone also features a camera with face tracking and smile shot, a 3.2-inch HVGA screen and 1500mAh capacity battery. The Optimus Chic features a curvy design and comes in two colours with touch-sensitive buttons. The handset also offers an on-screen phone feature which allows users to remotely control the device from their PCs. Plus, via LG Air Sync, it keeps users up-to-date with its ability to wirelessly sync contacts, photos and other vital information with a computer and cloud database. Compatible with DLNA, multimedia content on the phone can be shared with other DLNA certified devices such as TVs, AV systems and laptop computers. The LG Optimus One will be available in over 90 countries via 120 partners. It will arrive in most of Europe in October followed by other EMEA and Asia-Pacific countries. The LG Optimus Chic will be available in Europe starting in November with other markets in Asia-Pacific to follow soon after.[Lees verder]

Nokia adds 3 phones to smartphone range, updates Ovi Store
(Telecompaper) Nokia unveiled another three phones running the latest version of its smartphone platform, Symbian 3, alongside the upcoming N8 handset and a refresh of its Ovi services at its Nokia World event in London. The phones include the E7 for business users, with a slide-out keyboard and 4-inch touch display; the C7, a sleek social networking phone with 3.5-inch Amoled touch screen; and the C6 consumer smartphone. The phones will sell for respectively EUR 495, 335 and 260, excluding taxes and subsidies, and will all be available before year-end. The new family of Symbian smartphones will include an updated Ovi Store experience, which Nokia says is more user-friendly, as well as access to the latest version of Ovi Maps, with location sharing. Nokia also talked up the release of the N8, which will go on sale this month, saying it has achieved the highest number of online pre-orders in the company’s history. To support the new smartphones, Nokia is also making it easier for developers to create apps for the Symbian platform. The latest version of he Nokia Qt Software Development Kit requires up to 70 percent fewer lines of code and will come with new features such as in-app purchasing, improved revenue share from October and better reporting functions following Nokia’s acquisition of Motally. In addition Nokia announced an SDK for its Series 40 Touch and Type phones.[Lees verder]

Nexit invests in Blyk, India launch planned
(Telecompaper) Mobile media company Blyk secured a EUR 17 million financing round from a consortium of investors led by mobile venture capital firm Nexit Ventures. This investment will help Blyk to accelerate its strategic partnering with mobile operators around the globe. Blyk works with mobile operators to link young people with brands and services. At present, it is a partner of Orange in the UK and Vodafone in the Netherlands. In the UK, where Blyk runs Orange Shots, response rates of 20-40 percent are common and click-through to mobile websites is typically 5-10 percent. In the Netherlands, the first results have shown that more than half of users are responding to the Blyk messages. Several more operator partnerships are currently in the pipeline and Blyk expects to make significant new announcements in this respect during 2010 and 2011. The first of these will be the commercial launch in India.[Lees verder]

Telekom Austria buys 2 Bulgarian cable network operators
(Telecompaper) Telekom Austria Group has agreed to acquire 100 percent of two Bulgarian cable network operators Megalan Network and Spectrum Net. The combined debt free value of both entities will amount to a total of EUR 83.0 million. Telekom Austria Group will acquire both companies through its Bulgarian subsidiary Mobiltel and will pay an amount of EUR 72.0 million out of existing cash flow, which includes a performance oriented element of a total of EUR 14.5 million. This portion of the purchase price will be paid by end of 2011 and is subject to the achievement of performance criteria. The acquisitions are subject to the approval by the Bulgarian competition authority. Local management of Megalan and Spectrum Net will remain in place as both companies will operate as separate entities for approximately 18 months. However, product bundles under the M-Tel brand will already be launched during this year. The two companies complement each other through their product offerings and will enable Mobiltel to address both business and residential customers. Megalan is the leading provider of residential broadband in Sofia and offers broadband as well as IPTV services. Spectrum Net offers broadband and voice services to business customers in Bulgaria’s major cities. Combined the two companies had 85,400 connected households in 2009 and generated a total of EUR 25.3 million of revenues and EUR 7 million of EBITDA. For 2010, management expects the two companies to achieve a combined EBITDA of EUR 9.6 million with further growth being anticipated in the future. The planned acquisitions of Megalan and Spectrum Net will have no impact on the dividend floor of EUR 0.75 until 2012.[Lees verder]

Twitter announces redesign, adds photos, video
(Telecompaper) Twitter announced a redesign of its messaging service in an attempt to maker it faster and easier to use. Each tweet now offers a “rich details pane” that offers additional information related to the author or subject, such as replies, other Tweets by that user or a map of where a geotagged Tweet was sent from. In addition, the timeline of tweets now offers “infinite scroll”, with no need to click “more” to view additional tweets. Users can also more easily embed media such as photos and videos in tweets. This is helped by partnerships with sites such as DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube. Users can also quickly access a mini profile without navigating from the page, by clicking on the user name.
These changes will roll out as a preview over the next several weeks starting with a very small percentage of registered accounts. During the preview, users will be able to switch back and forth between the versions.[Lees verder]

Intel unveils netbook apps store AppUp
(Telecompaper) Intel announced the general release of its first netbook application store for consumers at the Intel Developer Forum, including both free and paid apps for entertainment, social networking, gaming and productivity. The Intel AppUp center offers applications optimized for the mobility and screen size of netbooks. To encourage consumers to discover new applications, the Intel AppUp Center features a free 24-hour “try before you buy” period for all paid applications. Products in the store include Adobe AIR applications, as well as apps from companies including Accuweather, Barnes & Noble, Funkitron, Gibson Guitars, iWin, Kaplan, Konami and Lifetime. Intel has reached agreements for Best Buy, UK-based Dixons and India’s Croma to pre-install the AppUp center on netbooks the stores sell, as well as make it available for current netbook owners to download online. Asus will also ship its version of the Intel AppUp center on netbooks, the “asus app store,” starting in October.[Lees verder]

LG unveils Optimus One, Chic Android phones
(Telecompaper) LG Electronics unveiled two new entry-level smartphones launching in the coming months. The LG Optimus One and LG Optimus Chic are both powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo) and offer touch screens, HSPA, 600MHz processors, Outlook sync, portable Wi-Fi hotspots and a full range of Google services. The Optimus One comes with the new LG App Advisor, which recommends 10 highly rated applications every two weeks. The phone also features a camera with face tracking and smile shot, a 3.2-inch HVGA screen and 1500mAh capacity battery. The Optimus Chic features a curvy design and comes in two colours with touch-sensitive buttons. The handset also offers an on-screen phone feature which allows users to remotely control the device from their PCs. Plus, via LG Air Sync, it keeps users up-to-date with its ability to wirelessly sync contacts, photos and other vital information with a computer and cloud database. Compatible with DLNA, multimedia content on the phone can be shared with other DLNA certified devices such as TVs, AV systems and laptop computers. The LG Optimus One will be available in over 90 countries via 120 partners. It will arrive in most of Europe in October followed by other EMEA and Asia-Pacific countries. The LG Optimus Chic will be available in Europe starting in November with other markets in Asia-Pacific to follow soon after.[Lees verder]

Nokia adds 3 phones to smartphone range, updates Ovi Store
(Telecompaper) Nokia unveiled another three phones running the latest version of its smartphone platform, Symbian 3, alongside the upcoming N8 handset and a refresh of its Ovi services at its Nokia World event in London. The phones include the E7 for business users, with a slide-out keyboard and 4-inch touch display; the C7, a sleek social networking phone with 3.5-inch Amoled touch screen; and the C6 consumer smartphone. The phones will sell for respectively EUR 495, 335 and 260, excluding taxes and subsidies, and will all be available before year-end. The new family of Symbian smartphones will include an updated Ovi Store experience, which Nokia says is more user-friendly, as well as access to the latest version of Ovi Maps, with location sharing. Nokia also talked up the release of the N8, which will go on sale this month, saying it has achieved the highest number of online pre-orders in the company’s history. To support the new smartphones, Nokia is also making it easier for developers to create apps for the Symbian platform. The latest version of he Nokia Qt Software Development Kit requires up to 70 percent fewer lines of code and will come with new features such as in-app purchasing, improved revenue share from October and better reporting functions following Nokia’s acquisition of Motally. In addition Nokia announced an SDK for its Series 40 Touch and Type phones.[Lees verder]

Nexit invests in Blyk, India launch planned
(Telecompaper) Mobile media company Blyk secured a EUR 17 million financing round from a consortium of investors led by mobile venture capital firm Nexit Ventures. This investment will help Blyk to accelerate its strategic partnering with mobile operators around the globe. Blyk works with mobile operators to link young people with brands and services. At present, it is a partner of Orange in the UK and Vodafone in the Netherlands. In the UK, where Blyk runs Orange Shots, response rates of 20-40 percent are common and click-through to mobile websites is typically 5-10 percent. In the Netherlands, the first results have shown that more than half of users are responding to the Blyk messages. Several more operator partnerships are currently in the pipeline and Blyk expects to make significant new announcements in this respect during 2010 and 2011. The first of these will be the commercial launch in India.[Lees verder]

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