Financial

New Numericable-SFR chief says not planning price war

Altice hires senior telecom specialist from Alcatel-Lucent

Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - Telecoms group Altice has named long-serving sector executive Michel Combes as its chief operating officer and chairman of its Numericable-SFR mobile phone business, saying the appointment would help accelerate the group's expansion.

Combes is joining a company controlled by billionaire Patrick Drahi, who has been on a buying spree including the purchase of Vivendi's SFR, the second-biggest French mobile firm, to create Numericable-SFR. Drahi also made a bid for Bouygues Telecom, which was rejected.

Inmarsat says new broadband network offers bright sales prospects

By 2020, the company expects the new network to generate $500 million a year

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Britain's Inmarsat Plc said Friday's expected launch of its third Global Xpress satellite will allow it to offer mobile broadband service to customers in the remotest regions, giving airline passengers the ability to stream movies and update social media on flights worldwide.

China smartphone sales fall for first time: Gartner

The country accounted for about 30 percent of total smartphones sales during the second quarter

Reuters

(Reuters) - Smartphone sales in China, the world's biggest market for the devices, fell in the second quarter for the first time, market research firm Gartner Inc said on Thursday.

Sales of smartphones in China declined 4 percent in the quarter, the first year-over-year fall, the company said.

"China has reached saturation — its phone market is essentially driven by replacement, with fewer first-time buyers," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.

Samsung Electronics unveils high-end phones in search of sales boost

One expert said he was not sure how well the phones would help Samsung's efforts

Reuters

NEW YORK/SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled a new Galaxy Note phablet and a larger version of its curved-screen S6 edge smartphone on Thursday, marking a fresh bid by the South Korean company to revive momentum in its handset business.

Samsung is the world's top smartphone maker but its market share fell in the second quarter when the company released its critically acclaimed S6 models, squeezed by Apple Inc's upscale iPhones and cheaper offerings from Chinese rivals such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

United Internet eyes city network buys

United Internet is Germany's biggest DSL copper wire broadband provider after Deutsche Telekom

Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's United Internet is seeking to buy urban fiber-optic networks to expand the national grid of Versatel, which it bought last year, its chief executive told Reuters.

Ralph Dommermuth said he was also on the lookout for more acquisitions to bolster its business applications unit, which it may list separately on the stock exchange, following the acquisition of Poland's biggest web hoster home.pl.

AT&T ups revenue, profit forecast after DirecTV buy

As the U.S. wireless market reaches saturation, AT&T hopes to tap into DirecTV's video assets

Reuters

(Reuters) - AT&T Inc said on Wednesday it expects revenue, earnings and free cash flow to grow through 2018 following its DirecTV purchase and investments in Mexico, though it also sees higher capital expenditure.

As the U.S. wireless market reaches saturation, AT&T hopes to tap into DirecTV's video assets and has been expanding its wireless operations in Mexico to grow revenue.

AT&T, which closed its $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV in July, also plans to deliver video content through ad-supported TV streaming and mobile video products to unlock new revenue.

Strong U.S. sales help Cisco beat estimates

Considered a bellwether for the performance of the broader network gear industry

Reuters


(Reuters) - Network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit as strong demand for its products in the United States more than offset weakness elsewhere.

Shares of Cisco, considered a bellwether for the performance of the broader network gear industry, rose nearly 4 percent in extended trading on Wednesday.

Hutchison, Vimpelcom to merge Italian mobile businesses

Regulators are expected to demand concessions to protect consumers from higher prices

Reuters


MILAN/PARIS (Reuters) - Vimpelcom and Hutchison have agreed to combine their Italian mobile operations in a long-awaited deal that would cut the number of players in Europe's fourth-largest telecom market to three from four.

The 50-50 joint venture, if approved by competition regulators, would combine Vimpelcom's WIND Telecommunicazioni, Italy's third-largest mobile network operator, with fourth-placed 3 Italia.

It would reduce the Italian market to three players of roughly the same size, and create a new competitor for Telecom Italia and Vodafone.

SoftBank plans near $1 billion buyback as confidence in Sprint renewed

The share buyback would be SoftBank's biggest ever if carried out in full

Reuters


TOKYO (Reuters) - SoftBank Corp announced a near $1 billion share buyback and a higher quarterly profit as loss-making Sprint Corp fared better than expected, with the Japanese telecoms group forecasting "light at the end of the tunnel" for its U.S. unit.

The share buyback worth up to 120 billion yen ($961.69 million) would be SoftBank's biggest ever if carried out in full. CEO Masayoshi Son attributed the surprise move to its lackluster share price and renewed confidence in Sprint which SoftBank bought for more than $20 billion in 2013 but has struggled to turn around.

Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent post strong results as merger approaches

Facing intense competition in sector, and soft demand from telecom operators

Reuters

PARIS/HELSINKI (Reuters) - Shares in telecom network gear makers Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent jumped on Thursday after both posted strong second-quarter results, giving a positive signal ahead of their pending merger.

Nokia's 15.6 billion euro ($17 billion) acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent announced in mid-April aims to position the company to better compete with market leader Ericsson and low-cost Chinese powerhouse Huawei, by forging a strong number two in mobile with a more complete product line.

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