BT's announcement this week that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with Deutsche Telekom and Orange over a potential acquisition of EE was generally given the thumbs up by analysts and industry players, although one question now being asked is what a successful deal might mean for rival mobile operator O2 UK and its parent company Telefónica.
Ericsson revealed it achieved data rates of 300 Mbps during trials of FDD LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) carrier aggregation technology conducted with Orange in October and November.
Belgium-based mobile operator Mobistar has taken its first concrete steps towards resuming sales of fixed-line services with tests of its Internet and digital TV services on cable networks and the recruitment of its first external test users in the Charleroi borough.
With a Dutch CEO, and French and German parents, EE today has a more European than British flavour. That could all change if BT acquires the UK operator: the former UK incumbent entered into exclusive negotiations with EE shareholders Orange and Deutsche Telekom on Monday.
BT has entered into exclusive negotiations with Orange and Deutsche Telekom regarding the sale of EE, ending weeks of speculation over whether the former UK incumbent would choose to buy, EE or its rival O2 UK. The purchase price of £12.5 billion (€15.7 billion/$19.6 billion) would be split equally between Orange and Deutsche Telekom.
Safaricom said it has become the first operator in sub-Saharan Africa to launch LTE Advanced (LTE-A) services, with Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya the first cities to get the high-speed mobile data services ahead of a wider rollout in the coming months.
Three UK said 3.1 million customers are now using its LTE services, representing more than a third of its total customer base of 8 million users.
Orange said it will continue to pursue a planned €3.4 billion ($4.2 billion) acquisition of 100 per cent of Spanish fixed-line operator Jazztel despite the European Commission opening an in-depth investigation to assess whether such a deal would be in line with European Union merger regulation.
Speculation about the future structure of the UK telecoms market reached fever pitch this week as some industry watchers placed their bets on whether BT would buy EE or O2 UK while others suggested Hutchison Whampoa could enter the race for one of the two mobile operators.
Altice completed an acquisition of mobile operator SFR on Thursday, marking the launch of a new fixed and mobile powerhouse on France's telecoms market.