In Brief:Italy gets EU go-ahead on national broadband plan 

The Italian government got the green light from the European Commission to push ahead with plans to invest in ultra broadband rollout in uneconomic areas.The Italian ultra broadband scheme, which carries a budget of around €4 billion, is in line with the EU's state aid rules, the Commission said, noting that it will spread the availability of fast Internet connections, without distorting competition.

***The parent companies of Mobilink and Warid Telecom announced they have completed the transaction that will enable them to merge the two companies, consolidating the former's position as Pakistan's largest mobile operator.A deal announced in November made provision for VimpelCom-owned Mobilink to acquire 100% of Warid's shares, in return for Warid owner the Dhabi Group buying 15% of Mobilink's shares, with Warid then to be merged into Mobilink. The companies did not place a value on the deal.Those share transactions have now taken place, VimpelCom and the Dhabi Group confirmed.

***An agreement signed between Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited TTCL and Bharti Airtel has given the state full ownership of the telco ending 15 years of the public private partnership.Previously Bharti Airtel owned 35 per cent of TTCL while the government’s stake was 65 per cent. The MoU was signed in Dar es Salaam by the Treasury Registrar (TR) and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bharti Airtel Africa.The move now gives the state full ownership of TTCL, owning 100 per cent shares. TTCL's Board Chairman said the repossession of the shares now allows the company to implement its business plan that seeks smoother transformation.

***The prices of roaming services in Serbia,Montenegro,Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia have been reduced by another 20 percent, said Serbia's Minister for Trade,Tourism and Telecommunications.This is the second phase of an agreement signed by the countries in September 2014.Outgoing roaming calls for the four countries cost EUR 0.24 per minute,instead of EUR 0.29,while a one-minute incoming call costs EUR 0.07 instead of EUR 0.08.The price of an individual SMS is EUR 0.08 instead of EUR 0.09,and 1 MB of mobile data costs EUR 0.45 instead of EUR 0.70.

***Nigerian cellco MTN has been awarded a ten-year 2600MHz frequency licence by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), with plans to utilise the spectrum for 4G LTE deployments – initially in Lagos and Abuja. MTN Nigeria CEO said:‘After complying with all the requirements for the 2600MHz auction and making the licence payment of NGN18.96 billion [USD67 million] to the NCC, MTN has been issued a letter of award. With the 2600MHz band, we expect to roll out and provide the full range of LTE services to Nigerians, empowering Nigeria with the latest mobile broadband technology.’