Telefónica Deutschland has received final clearance from the European Commission for its €8.6 billion ($11.3 billion) acquisition of German rival E-Plus from KPN, after it was deemed that a mobile wholesale agreement previously announced with German company Drillisch complied with the agreed conditions for the deal.
The European Commission, keeping up the public-relations push to support its continuing passion for 5G, issued a public memo in which it said next-generation networks "will be a leap, not a step, forward."
Industry experts say operators must do more to offset the effect of European Commission mandated cuts to consumer roaming charges for mobile data usage, texts and calls that came into effect on July 1.
Latest data from the European Commission's digital scorecard reveals that the target of "broadband for all" in the European Union has effectively been achieved through a mix of mobile, fixed and satellite technologies including LTE.
Hutchison Whampoa could be on the verge of securing European Union regulatory clearance for its planned €780 million ($1 billion) acquisition of O2 Ireland if it signs a deal soon that would help cable operator UPC launch a mobile virtual network operator to function as a new fourth player, reports say.
Telefónica Deutschland said it remains confident that it will secure regulatory clearance from the European Commission for its planned €8.6 billion ($11.9 billion) acquisition of KPN's German unit E-Plus in the second quarter, and said it would then expect to close the transaction in mid-2014.
The latest draft of the European Union's proposed legislation on the telecoms single market moved a step closer to realising its goals this week, after the European Parliament's Industry Committee backed plans that include bringing an end to roaming charges and the introduction of net neutrality rules.
In the telecoms market, pressure has been placed on France's mobile operators to "buy French", meaning largely "buy Alcatel-Lucent" kit. Now, the "French" card is also being played by Altice, which finds it has to play up its French credentials as it seeks to achieve a merger between SFR and Numericable.
Telefónica Deutschland's planned acquisition of domestic rival E-Plus from KPN will not be scrutinised by German competition authorities, after the European Commission declined to relinquish control of a probe into the effects of the deal on the German market.
EchoStar said it acquired full ownership of Dublin-based mobile satellite services operator Solaris Mobile from former parents Eutelsat and SES and will take over Solaris Mobile's one S-band payload currently in orbit. No financial details were provided for the deal.