Overnight Wire: Idea-Vodafone merger may face roadblock

28 Jun 2018
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Idea-Vodafone India merger may face roadblock
The planned merger between Idea Cellular and Vodafone India may be facing a roadblock, with reports that the Department of Telecom plans to demand dues of around 47 billion rupees from Vodafone before approving the merger. The dues, which are related to one-time spectrum charges, are likely to be demanded next week, sources told the Press Trust of India. The department is expected to ask Vodafone to either pay the dues or submit a bank guarantee before allowing the merger to proceed, the sources said. The final amount of the demand is still being worked out, and may include interest on top of the allegedly unpaid charges. The merger had been expected to close on June 30.

3 HK deploying all-cloud core network
3 Hong Kong is deploying an all-cloud core network from Huawei as part of its preparations towards evolving to 5G architecture. The first phase of the telco cloud network focused on connectivity from mobile core network to the internet and is now in service. The second phase will comprise management of radio stations based on open cloudified network infrastructure built on network function virtualization, and is expected to be ready by early 2019. 3 Hong Kong also announced plans to conduct all-outdoor 5G trials in the 3.5-GHz, 26-GHz and 28-GHz bands in the third quarter using 5G new radio equipment from Huawei.

Xiaomi launches IPO in Hong Kong
Chinese smartphone market Xiaomi has launched an IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange, and is reportedly seeking to raise up to $8.3 billion in what could be the biggest tech sector IPO since 2014. A total of 109 million Xiaomi shares are being offered to retail investors over four days. But preliminary reports suggest that the IPO has attracted a cool initial reception from retail investors due to concerns over the money-losing vendor's valuation. But tech billionaire Li Ka-shing has reportedly subscribed to $30 million worth of shares in the vendor, while Tencent founder and Chairman Pony Ma has also subscribed to Xiaomi shares.

Tata Comm to support W-Locate's APAC expansion
Tata Communications has secured a contract to support the international growth of Singapore-based IoT startup W-Locate. Under the agreement, W-Locate will expand its presence to South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and other Asian countries using Tata Communications' MOVE platform and IZO Private Cloud. W-Locate provides SIM based location based services as well as fleet intelligence dynamics services integrating M2M telematics, big data and cloud computing with location intelligence. The company will utilize Tata Communications' relationships with more than 600 mobile operators worldwide to eliminate the need to negotiate separate data connectivity agreements with different local MNOs in each country.

Epsilon enters peering partnership with Softbank's BBIX
Global cloud-centric network service provider Epsilon has teamed up with SoftBank's internet exchange business BBIX to provide on-demand connectivity to internet exchange points across Japan. Epsilon will provide service providers with access to the BBIX IX service in Tokyo via the Infiny by Epsilon on-demand connectivity platform. Epsilon's Global Interconnect Fabric includes over 600 service providers as well as cloud service providers and IXs, allowing customers to remotely peer at IXs globally from a single platform. BBIX provides eight points of presence in Japan, as well as IX services in Hong Kong and Singapore. The company offers direct peering for global operators, ISPs, cloud service providers, data center operators and content providers at locations including SoftBank's Maruyama cable landing station.

Eutelsat considering bid for Inmarsat
French satellite company Eutelsat has confirmed it is considering bidding for rival Inmarsat, potentially laying the groundwork for a bidding war for the company. Inmarsat has this month already rejected a takeover offer from US-based EchoStar, and EchoStar has until July 6 to make a firm offer. Analysts also expect that ViaSat could consider an offer for the company. Inmarsat has a market capitalization of around $3.8 billion and earned revenue of around $1.4 billion in 2017.

Vertel launches mission critical push to talk solution
Australian enterprise, government and wholesale operator Vertel has teamed up with push-to-talk over cellular solution provider TASSTA to develop an enhanced voice, data and video messaging service for mission-critical operations. The new service will integrate key features of land mobile radio (LMR) technology with the capability of mobile networks. The solution provides multiple carrier options as well as Vertel LTE and WLAN integration, as well as standards-based gateways s for existing LMR technologies and networks. It has been developed to the emerging mission critical push to talk (MCPTT) standard.

SD-WAN vendor Silver Peak secures $90m investment from TCV
US-based broadband and hybrid WAN solution provider Silver Peak has received a $90 million strategic investment from capital market company Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV). Silver Peak will use the proceeds to expedite the execution of its expansion plans and seek to augment its SD-WAN and cloud-first WAN edge market share. Silver Peak offers advanced SD-WAN capabilities, routing, security and integrated WAN optimization capabilities in a single device to simplify the WAN edge, boost agility and automation, and improve productivity. JP Morgan served as exclusive placement agent to Silver Peak on the transaction.

EEE adopts OpenFog as official fog computing standard
The IEEE Standards Association has formally adopted the OpenFog Consortium' OpenFog Reference Architecture as an official standard for fog computing. Fog computing is a system-level horizontal architecture designed to distribute resources and services of computing, storage, control and networking anywhere along the connection from the cloud to devices. It supports multiple industry verticals and application domains and enables services and applications to be distributed closer to the data-producing sources. The OpenFog consortium was founded in November 2015 to accelerate the adoption of fog computing and address bandwidth, latency and communications challenges associated with IoT, 5G and AI applications.

Eutelsat rules out making offer for Inmarsat
French satellite company Eutelsat has ruled out making an offer for UK-based rival Inmarsat a day after announcing it was considering making a bid. Eutelsat's interest in Inmarsat had triggered speculation of a bidding war for the satellite company, because Inmarsat had already turned down a takeover approach from US-based EchoStar earlier this month. EchoStar still has until July 6 to make a firm offer for Inmarsat, and there remains speculation that ViaSat could make its own bid for the UK-based company, which has annual revenues of around $1.4 billion.

Huawei releases FDD LTE SPACE network evolution platform
Huawei has released a new solution designed to enable the evolution of FDD LTE networks for the 5G era by improving LTE coverage, capacity, user experience, and service innovation. FDD LTE SPACE offers network evolution along five directions – services, improved coverage, automation, capacity and 5G NR network evolution. It is based on the new 3GPP Release 15 Standalone 5G standards. Huawei's testing indicates that SPACE can allow LTE networks to achieve a speed of 50Mbps with an air interface latency as low as 20ms and a maximum of 50,000 connections per cell. The first complete version of the SPACE platform is expected to launch next year.

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