DEALS: Carrier Merger Mania

Carrier Merger Mania






France Telecom (FT)


FT agreed to buy an 80 percent controlling stake in Spain's third-largest wireless carrier, Amena, in a €6.4B deal.

France Telecom's wireless unit, Orange, will enter the market in Spain with 9.7M subscribers.


Western Wireless, tele.ring

Deutsche Telekom's wireless business, T-Mobile, agreed to acquire Austrian mobile phone carrier tele.ring from US telecom Western Wireless for €1.3B.

T-Mobile beat a lower offer from US venture capital fund Permira.


Flarion Technologies

Qualcomm agreed to acquire Flash OFDM wireless broadband firm Flarion for $600M in cash and stock.

Flarion makes base stations and other equipment that provide broadband wireless data services using Flash OFDM technology. The company is a member of the 2003 FierceWireless Fierce 15, an annual list of the top emerging wireless companies.

Tata Group, Birla Group

Cingular Wireless

India's Tata Group and Birla Group agreed to buy Cingular's stake in Idea Cellular, India's fifth-largest wireless carrier, for $300M.

Once the deal is closed, Tata and Birla will each control half of Idea Cellular. The deal is now pending regulatory approval.



Qualcomm bought UK-based mobile content firm Elata for $57M.

Elata develops applications that let carriers sell content to their subscribers. Qualcomm plans to combine Elata's content delivery system with its Brew platform.

America Online (AOL)


AOL agreed to acquire mobile customization software company Wildseed for an undisclosed sum.

Wildseed will be part of the AOL Wireless Group. Wildseed makes phone-personalization software for device makers, wireless service providers, and content providers.



CSR agreed to buy UbiNetics' software business for $48M.

UbiNetics makes communication protocol software for mobile phone manufacturers. CSR makes solutions for Bluetooth and other wireless technologies. UbiNetics is a member of the 2004 FierceWireless Fierce 15, an annual list of the top emerging wireless companies.



Antenova acquired wireless antenna business gigaAnt from Perlos.

As a part of the deal, Antenova will acquire gigaAnt's global sales channel and technology. GigaAnt develops antennas for short range wireless devices used in Bluetooth, WiFi, and WiMedia applications. Antenova is a member of the 2003 FierceWireless Fierce 15, an annual list of the top emerging wireless companies.



Wireless ISP TowerStream and VoIP service provider Vonage inked a partnership to deliver IP telephony to TowerStream's subscribers.

TowerStream uses pre-WiMax equipment to offer fixed-wireless broadband service to business customers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, and Providence, RI.

Pipeline Data

World Products

Pipeline Data has agreed to buy m-commerce provider World Products for as much as $2.5M.

World Products operates the m-commerce service Aircharge, which allows credit card processing and check conversion over handsets.



Google acquired mobile software startup Android.

Some insiders suggest that Google plans to use Android's software to enhance its mobile search application with location and presence, though nothing has been revealed about the deal that confirms this.



MTV formed a partnership with SMS specialist mBlox to help them develop and launch a mobile messaging and marketing platform.

This system will cover several of Viacom's cable network offerings including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, CMT, Spike, and Logo.