In Brief:Conglomerate Elco shows interest in acquiring Golan 

Israeli conglomerate Elco Holdings has joined the race to acquire mobile operator Golan Telecom.Unnamed sources claimed that Elco co-CEO is on close terms with former Pelephone CEO who is also interested in taking over Golan.The two are thought to be considering a joint bid for the company.The other group in the running is led by the owner of fixed-line operator 018 Xfone.Meanwhile,market leader Cellcom confirmed last week that it has given Golan Telecom permission to negotiate a possible sale to either group.

***Vietnamobile, Vietnam’s fourth largest mobile operator by subscribers, plans to expand the coverage of its 3G network nationwide, in order to meet the growing demand for mobile data services.The company’s CEO said that 3G services are currently limited to twelve cities and provinces, but the cellco is working towards rolling out the network to all 63. In areas currently without 3G coverage, customers are still able to access over-the-top (OTT) services, such as Facebook, Viber and Zalo, thanks to a network upgrade to EDGE technology. The acquisition of EVN Telecom by market leader Viettel in early 2012 hampered Vietnamobile’s deployment of 3G, as it previously shared its 3G licence and spectrum resources with EVN. Following the merger of EVN into Viettel, Vietnamobile had to start using lower band frequencies for its 3G rollout.

***The Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL) has signed a deal with ZTE of China to upgrade and extend its fibre-optic transmission networks under a USD2.5 million vendor financing arrangement. The utility firm is to replace infrastructure installed in 2003 with new DWDM equipment, giving a major capacity boost for its wholesale ISP customers. Networks between Kampala, Jinja and Tororo regions and Malaba on the Kenyan border will be the first to be upgraded, improving Uganda’s links to international submarine cables which land on the Kenyan coast. The second phase includes Soroti, Lira, Masaka and the Fort Portal-Hoima area, and will be connected to Rwanda through the Mirama border post. UETCL’s managing director said: ‘Local consumers will eventually benefit from lower user costs charged on data products. We expect this venture to yield strong returns after three-five years of operation.’

***Oracle has presented a range of new cloud services at i, announcing its intent to challenge Amazon in the cloud infrastructure market. The new offering includes the release of the Oracle Database software 'as a service', a range of Bare Metal Cloud Services for hosted server infrastructure and more than 20 new Oracle Cloud Platform and Application services. Oracle also announced Oracle Ravello Cloud Service for provisioning virtual machines, general availability of the Oracle Container Cloud Service and several more enhancements to existing IaaS offerings.

***Montenegrin operator Crnogorski Telekom has introduced the new Magenta 1 Business packages, bringing together all services with easy activation.For example, the Magenta 1 Biznis L package for the mobile segment includes 400 minutes to all national networks, 5,000 minutes and 2,000 SMS on-net and 2 GB internet. In the fixed segment, the deal will include 2,000 minutes on-net, unlimited internet, 1 GB storage space in the Cloud, anti-virus license. Customers will also be able to get 10 MB mobile internet at full speed, at a promotional space for 6 months. The monthly subscription amounts to EUR 49.90.