Telecom News

A quick roundup of the news in Telecoms | Week #22

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Telefonica offers IoT, blockchain and AI technology to support start-ups in Spain, Germany and the UK

Telefonica has launched its ‘Activation Programme’, a new initiative designed to help start-ups and SMEs in Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom to accelerate their business via IoT, blockchain and AI technologies. The global telecom giant said it will provide selected start-ups with access to its proprietary technology platforms free of charge for a period of six months. Irene Gomez, director of Connected Open Innovation at Telefonica, said, “Collaboration is more important than ever, which is why at Connected Open Innovation we want to help start-ups scale by giving them access to our technology platforms through the use of APIs, which are free, agile and simple.”


T-Mobile customers can send RCS messages to Android users worldwide

T-Mobile US, one of the largest providers of wireless voice and data communications services in the US, is set to expand its Rich Communications Services (RCS) for T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile Android customers. The operator has partnered with Google to enable the global cross-network service on Android devices with the Google Messages app. According to the statement, T-Mobile has become the first in the world to implement a full standards-based RCS Universal Profile 1.0 interconnect with Google’s Messages service. T-Mobile US said that about 40 devices currently support the protocol out of the box, with more RCS-capable phones to come in the future.


Phoenix expands tower empire to Ireland

Blackstone portfolio company Phoenix Tower International has announced an agreement to acquire 650 wireless towers from Irish telco Eir, expanding its infrastructure footprint to a new European nation. Tim Culver, Executive Chairman of Phoenix Tower International, said, “Ireland represents an important economic hub for Europe and the world, and we are proud to support Eir on their ongoing build-outs across the country. This transaction further expands PTI’s global footprint and we are excited to be a long-term partner of Eir.” This acquisition will further drive Phoenix into the European markets, following a recent agreement with Bouygues Telecom.


Bharti Telecom to sell $1bn stake in Airtel

Bharti Telecom is selling up to USD 1 billion of its shares in its holding company Bharti Airtel through a secondary market block deal. According to the statement, this move will help alleviate the mobile services provider’s debt. With the debt of USD 1 billion, analysts expect Airtel to start making a profit by the end of the year. Although buyers have not yet been reported, it is said that this sale is attracting investors from all over the world, including India, Asia, Europe, and the US. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, Bharti Airtel is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 18 countries across Asia and Africa.


Microsoft promises new Skype features despite Teams for consumers launch

Microsoft has revealed its plans to invest in Skype and add some new features. The company said that Skype had passed 40 million daily active users, up 70% month over month, while Skype to Skype calling minutes were up 220%. Jeff Teper, CVP for Microsoft 365, said, “We’re continuing to invest in Skype. It’s growing through all this. You’ll see some new features. You’ll see Skype and Teams interoperate.” Nonetheless, the daily growth of users may be affected by the fact that Microsoft is also planning to develop a consumer version of Teams in the coming months.


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