in Brief:Deutsche Telekom calls for fixed, mobile network convergence 

Deutsche Telekom's 5G Executive Program Manager,Antje Williams, has used the latest quarterly meeting of the Broadband Forum in Berlin to call for true convergence between fixed and mobile networks so that consumers can be supplied with a seamless experience. Williams said more collaboration was needed between different standards bodies, including open source communities, to deliver access-agnostic networks and help realise the full potential of 5G.

***On 29 January 2016 Malaysian-backed Robi and Indian-owned Airtel signed an agreement to merge in Bangladesh under the name of Robi, which would create the second largest cellco in the country. Parent groups Bharti Airtel and Axiata subsequently deferred the deadline for the merger to 26 September 2016. Under the agreement, Axiata will take a 68.3% controlling stake in the combined entity, while Bharti will hold 25%, and the remaining 6.7% will be held by Robi’s existing minority shareholder NTT DOCOMO of Japan.

***Croatian broadband operator Optima Telekom has unveiled plans to merge with rival ISP H1 Telekom in a move which the companies say will achieve positive synergies, increase efficiency and reduce costs. Local press reports suggest that the deal has been arranged by Croatian state-run bank and H1 shareholder Hrvatska Postanska Banka (HPB). The firms have submitted their merger plan to regulators for approval and are hoping to complete their tie up by the start of 2017.

*** Ghana's National Communications Authority (NCA) has welcomed a delegation from Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications de Cote D'Ivoire(ARTCI)to discuss reducing roaming costs,mobile number portability (MNP) and billing feedback messages. A statement from NCA said ARTCI requested the meeting to learn more about some industry topics including the possibility of reducing roaming costs with the aim of a possible model on regional roaming, MNP, emergency calls and the billing feedback message feature.

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