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Fastweb exits Italy’s broadband tender Fastweb and Metroweb have withdrawn from the Italian government’s tender to select a telco to provide ultra-broadband internet services in underserved areas of six regions. Four firms remain in the bidding: Telec 

Fastweb and Metroweb have withdrawn from the Italian government’s tender to select a telco to provide ultra-broadband internet services in underserved areas of six regions. Four firms remain in the bidding: Telecom Italia (TIM), a consortium which includes ISPs Retelit and EOLO, plus two utility groups, Enel – via its Enel Open Fiber (EOF) unit – and Estra. The Italian government’s broadband vehicle Infratel is looking to offer a number of regional contracts to telcos to roll out high speed infrastructure, kicking off with the regions of Abruzzo, Molise, Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Tuscany and Veneto.While Metroweb has left the race as it is due to be merged into EOF, Fastweb is unhappy with the bidding rules and plans to continue its legal action to have the sale cancelled.

***Liberty Global agreed to acquire Multimedia Polska for 3 billion zlotys (€694.4 million) and merge it with its UPC Poland unit.The all-cash deal brings together the country's largest and third-largest cablecos, creating a company serving 2.2 million unique customers. UPC Poland is the bigger of the two, with a network passing 3.1 million homes. It had 1.4 million unique customers and 2.9 million revenue-generating units (RGUs) as of 30 June. By comparison, Multimedia Polska serves 832,000 unique subscribers, has 1.4 million RGUs, and its network passes 1.6 million homes, of which 1.3 million are covered by its hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network.

***Brazil's Minister of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications, Gilberto Kassab, said that he is against regulating the use of WhatsApp in Brazil. According to the minister, the application has already established a relationship with society and the government should not interfere. Moreover, Kassab said he wants to deregulate telecommunications services in the country so that there is a balance between traditional businesses and applications.

***Vietnam’s smallest mobile network operator GTel Mobile has been licensed by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) as the country’s fourth 4G LTE service provider. The development follows the recent award of concessions to Viettel Telecom, VNPT-Vinaphone and MobiFone Telecommunications Corporation, authorising the establishment and operation of 4G networks using the 1800MHz band. The licensing of GTel, which operates 2G GSM networks under the brand name Gmobile, will enable the cellco to leapfrog 3G technology and jump straight to the deployment of 4G services, although unlike its three larger rivals, GTel has yet to launch trials of LTE technology.

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