Business Health Miscellaneous Mobile Phones Networks News

Dubai to raise $1 billion selling minority network stakes

This minor detail was picked up from a research piece by J.P. Morgan who claimed that the state owned Dubai Holding company could raise up to $1 billion by selling their minority stakes in two phone networks. The conglomerate are currently facing debts of up to $500 billion, largely caused by the property crash in 2009, which they are still struggling to pay off.

Part of the payoff could come in the form of the sales of their network assets, currently believed to be holdings in Axiom and Tunisie Telecom. The Axiom holding is believed to be worth in the region of $350 million, with the Tunisie Telecom holding believe to be worth $650 million. Of course, deals of this size would take some time to complete, with estimates being between 6 and 12 months. There are also fluctuations in currency that must be considered for such a purchase, likely meaning that agreements are difficult to put in place.

Although the sale won’t affect the service that current customers of either network should expect to receive, the stakes are only a drop in the ocean of debt that the EIT are required to pay, leaving the sale of others assets to be expected.

Image source

Business Health Miscellaneous Mobile Phones Networks News

BlackBerry free voice service being blocked in UAE

Can things get any worse for the struggling Canadian telecommunications business? It certainly seems that at every turn Research In Motion have a new fire to fight, and this time it is the fact that both Etisalat and Du are rejecting the free voice service included in the latest BlackBerry software.

The feature itself allows BlackBerry owners to call each other with zero costs. It is essentially a voice version of their popular BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) service, which creates a level of connectedness that all other phones manufacturers have struggled to replicate. The BlackBerry Messenger Voice feature has been successful for the company so far, but the reservations from the networks is understandable. Essentially with users now being able to avoid using minutes to call each other, the networks could potentially lose out because of the feature.

This is why RIM are locked in last minute talks with the popular UAE networks, in a bid to include the feature on their handsets. Currently, this market is one of the largest and most important to BlackBerry, which makes the talks even more critical. The UAE and Persian Gulf is a region where BlackBerry’s market share is higher than their global average, making the feature of vital importance to their customers and future market share.

At the moment, there is no telling if an agreement will be made and the service will be available for customers in the region. RIM have stated that “we continue to work closely with our partners in the United Arab Emirates to bring BlackBerry services to our customers”.