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A quick roundup of the news in Telecoms | Week #1

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UK mobile providers pressured to provide free data during lockdown 

After the UK decided to close schools again, UK telecoms providers were urged to stop charging for data so that underprivileged children could access remote learning facilities. It is concerning that children in such families lack the technological resources to attend schools from home, where a  computer and an Internet connection is required. Although it may be hard to imagine, there are many families that do not have access to the necessary services, especially broadband. The company, Three UK, wasted no time in rushing to announce that it will provide unrestricted data access to disadvantaged children so they could continue their education.

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T-Mobile reaches record connection gains in 2020

T-Mobile US announced that 2020 was the best year in their history for postpaid net additions, showing preliminary results that indicate a  major win, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Net additions in 2020 amounted to $5.6 million, and post-paid accounting to $5.5 million. The carrier ended 2020 with a record breaking 102.1 million connections. CEO Mike Sievert said that they made a profit despite the widespread closure of stores and the smaller number of customers looking to change service providers due to Covid-19. The CEO also presented an update to their network, noting that the company’s mid-band 5G network now covers 106 million people, with a target of  200 million by 2021.

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Alaska Communications to be bought for $332 million

After signing a deal in November 2020, Alaska Communications has attracted a more favourable buyer, who is prepared to pay $332 million for the company. Alaska Communications announced on Monday that it will be acquired by a newly formed entity owned by ATN International and Freedom 3 Capital. The $332 million cash transaction, which includes net debt, exceeds the $300 million all cash agreement previously announced with Macquarie and the GCM subsidiary. Under the terms of the new agreement, the ATN subsidiary will acquire all outstanding shares of Alaska Communications’ common stock for $3.40 per share in cash.

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The NYSE to delist three Chinese telecoms  

The New York Stock Exchange announced the removal of three major Chinese telecommunications companies from its listing. In a report, the NYSE said it has made the decision after receiving new specific guidelines confirming that the federal enforcement order applied to China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom. Therefore, trading of all three companies shares on the stock exchange will be suspended from Monday, January 11, at 4 a.m. Eastern Time. The decision is seen as largely symbolic, as the trading turnover of these companies through the NYSE accounts for only a small portion of the stock changing hands.

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Ericsson signs an agreement with Ooredoo Group

Ericsson has signed a five-year deal with the Ooredoo Group to provide a comprehensive portfolio of telecommunications services in all 10 of the company’s markets. The Swedish equipment manufacturer will supply Ooredoo with 5G radio, core and transport products and solutions. The agreement includes the Ericsson Radio System, Ericsson Cloud Core, Cloud Infrastructure, Ericsson Cloud Communications solutions and support and maintenance services. Ericsson noted that the 5G would speed up the digital transformation of Ooredoo and that its products and solutions will help Ooredoo launch new features into the market faster.

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