In Brief: 

Zain considering Egyptian 4G licence bid
Kuwait’s Zain has reached out to Egypt’s telecommunications regulator to register a preliminary interest in obtaining a 4G mobile concession, according to a report from Reuters, which cites a bourse filing made by the operator. In this, the Kuwaiti company confirmed it ‘is studying a number of investment opportunities available in the region, one of which is the Egyptian telecommunications market as a strategic market in the Middle East and Africa’. It is understood that the approach by Zain to the Egyptian authorities has been made through one of its subsidiaries.

***Japan's Softbank agreed a £24 billion (€28.8 billion) acquisition of mobile chip designer ARM.Under the terms of the transaction, Softbank will pay £17 (€20) per share for the entire issued and to-be-issued share capital of ARM. The offer represents a 43% premium on ARM's Friday closing price. At least 75% of ARM shareholders need to vote in favour of the deal for it to become effective.

***Algerian mobile operators Mobilis and Djezzy have applied for extensions of their GSM licences, according to the annual report of regulator ARTP. Mobilis' licence will expire 04 August, and Djezzy's on 31 July of this year, Agence Ecofin reports. Both have asked to renew their licences for 15 years. The ARTP said that their applications are in line with the requirements for renewal and it has started work on a recommendation for extension, in line with the laws and decrees of 2000 and 2001.

***Virgin Mobile Latin America (VMLA) has been given an MVNO licence covering Argentina. The development follows on from reports that the co-founder and chairman of VMLA had staged meetings with President Mauricio Macri and communications minister Oscar Aguad on 24 June. Movistar Argentina is expected to be announced as the MVNO’s network partner in due course, replicating the arrangement that has served VMLA in Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru. Virgin has made no secret of its desire to enter Argentina in recent years, initially raising the possibility of a licence back in February 2012.

***Zimbabwean telecoms start-up Viva Mobile has finally been given the thumbs up to launch its new resale service and hopes to go live in August 2016. The newcomer had hoped to kick off its operations in March this year but has been awaiting final clearance from the telecoms regulator, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ). Viva Mobile founder and CEO Dzidzai Chidumba also confirmed that the company’s new service will be hosted by CDMA fixed-wireless operator Africom. It must be noted that the Africom network lacks scope when compared to the more extensive footprints of the country’s three established mobile network operators (MNOs), Econet, NetOne and Telecel, even in the capital Harare.