Nytex

In Brief:Two in race for Golan Telecom 

Israeli mobile operator Golan Telecom is looking for a quick sale and has attracted interest from two groups, one led by former Pelephone CEO Gil Sharon, and another that includes Hezi Bezalel, the owner of fixed-line telco 018 Xfone. Local news outlet Globes reported that Golan's rival Hot Mobile has also shown interest but would likely face stiff opposition from competition authorities reluctant to allow the mobile market to consolidate.

***The Zimbabwean Government has impounded the money earmarked to help develop and support telecommunications infrastructure in remote areas, claiming it will now be used for broadcast digitisation The impoverished Zimbabwean Government has impounded the Universal Services Fund (USF) - established to help develop and support telecommunications infrastructure in remote areas – and has declared that it will use this resource to fund the digitalisation program for the state broadcaster.Only US$30 million of the US$172.9 million required has so far been disbursed.

***UK-based telecoms giant Vodafone Group has been formally authorised to provide MVNO services in Chile. The Department of Telecommunications (Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones, Subtel) has issued Vodafone Enterprise Chile with a 30-year operating licence. The document (Extract 16-SP86686) states that the company must launch on a commercial basis within 24 months of receiving its concession. Vodafone is expected to follow the blueprint it currently uses in Brazil, where Vodafone Brasil offers mobile connectivity to corporate clients, and has a big presence in the machine-to-machine (M2M) sector.

***Orange increased its Spanish FTTH coverage target to reach an additional 4 million households by the end of 2020. This new target will allow Orange to reach an additional 4 million households by the end of 2020, on top of the 10 million households the company has already announced for the end of 2016. Orange’s FTTH coverage in Spain is currently 5.2m households.Orange’s fibre network will cover more than 80% of all Spanish cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants by 2020 the company said.Orange is pursuing its €1.5bn investment program in its 4G network,to reach 95% of the Spanish population in 2017.

***Softbank announced plans to roll out a LoRaWAN-based IoT network in Japan during fiscal 2016.Softbank has partnered with IoT platform provider Actility, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry, and LoRa chip maker Semtech in order to offer end-to-end IoT solutions.It has set its sights on a slew of market sectors, including equipment and building monitoring, smart meters, transport, fleet management, agriculture, and natural disasters, among others.

***Movistar Ecuador has announced the launch of a free e-books initiative aimed at helping reduce the stress and anxiety felt by children in earthquake-affected areas and lull them to sleep. Under the Fundacion Telefonica-funded Chatbooks initiative, a short story will be sent every night to any customer sending the word "Cuento" via WhatsApp to the number 0987 987000. The nature-themed bedtime stories are intended to help parents and children alike overcome their fears, said Movistar.