Vodafone is close to clinching the £1.04 billion ($1.63 billion) takeover of Cable&Wireless Worldwide, after C&WW's biggest shareholder Orbis dropped its opposition to the deal. Orbis had been resisting the offer price as too low, but in a statement revealed that it felt the merger is likely to succeed even if the company opposes it.
Credit ratings agency Moody's has downgraded its outlook for Malaysia's Axiata Group to stable from positive. But the agency also confirmed its Baa2 rating for Axiata's senior, unsecured bonds. Moody's said the new outlook reflects Axiata's higher than expected capex plans and increased shareholder returns, at a time when revenue growth is slowing due to a maturing market.
SingTel's Australian subsidiary, Optus, has completed the A$230 million ($232.8 million) acquisition of Wimax operator Vividwireless. Announcing the closing of the deal, Optus said the company has gained access to up to 98MHz of 2.3GHz spectrum to support its planned national TD-LTE rollout in 2013.
Telecom capex is expected to spike in 2012 as operators roll out LTE, with APAC proving the world's biggest spender. According to Infonetics, total capex grew 3% in 2011 to $301 billion, and will increase even further this year. The analysts expect spending to continue to grow in the years ahead, until leveling out at around $345 billion in 2015 or 2016.
Worldwide M2M connections are primed to grow by a factor of 20 in the next ten years, new research shows. Analysys Mason predicts that M2M revenues will climb from $5.7 billion in 2011 to $50.9 billion in 2021. But ARPU rates for M2M connectivity are also expected to decline from $4.71 per month in 2011, to just $1.98 in 2021.
The global smartphone boom is driving strong growth in the smartphone accessories market, which will be worth an estimated $20 billion this year. ABI Research calculates that smartphone accessories account for more than half of the $36 billion aftermarket handset accessories market. By 2017, smartphone accessories are expected to generate $38 billion in revenues, compared to just $12 billion for feature phones.
China is forecast to account for more than a third of global growth in smartphone shipment volumes this year. Canalys expects China, already the world's largest smartphone market, to increase its lead in 2012 thanks to the growing prevalence affordable smartphones. The research firm expects sub-$200 devices to account for 25% of the Chinese smartphone market this year, and 40% by 2015.