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Eurobites: MTS Pays US Authorities $850M to Settle Uzbekistan Bribery Case

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Zain and Nokia WING it for IoT; MTN raises revenue, plans assets sale; Austria's 5G auction results.

Paul Rainford

March 7, 2019

4 Min Read
Eurobites: MTS Pays US Authorities $850M to Settle Uzbekistan Bribery Case

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Zain and Nokia WING it for IoT; MTN raises revenue, plans assets sale; Austria's 5G auction results.

  • Russia's largest mobile operator, MTS, has agreed to pay the US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission a total of $850 million to settle a case brought by those authorities over allegations of bribery at MTS's subsidiary in Uzbekistan. Following the initial allegations, in 2016, MTS sold its mobile business in Uzbekistan to the government.

    • Zain Saudi Arabia and Nokia are teaming up to develop IoT services, drawing on the Finnish vendor's Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) to launch offerings for enterprise customers working in areas such as public safety, aviation and energy.

    • Full-year service revenues at South Africa's MTN Group grew by 10.7% in constant-currency terms in 2018, as its subscriber base increased by 16 million to 233 million customers across 21 markets throughout Africa and the Middle East. It has also announced that it is selling its stake in Botswana's Mascom for $300 million, and has committed to raising 15 billion South African rand ($1 billion) from the sale of assets over the next three years.

    • Austria's communications regulator, RTR, has announced the results of its 5G spectrum auction, the whole exercise raising €187.7 million ($211.4 million) for the government's coffers. For the full breakdown of who got what, see the table below.

      Region

      A1 Telekom

      Hutchison Drei

      T-Mobile

      MASS Response

      LIWEST

      Salzburg AG

      Holding Graz

      A01u (Wien + St. Polten)

      140MHz

      100MHz

      110MHz

      A01r (Niederosterreich + Burgenland)

      140MHz

      100MHz

      110MHz

      30MHz

      A02u (Linz + Wels)

      100MHz

      100MHz

      110MHz

      80MHz

      A02r (Oberosterreich)

      100MHz

      100MHz

      110MHz

      80MHz

      A03u (Salzburg Stadt)

      100MHz

      100MHz

      110MHz

      80MHz

      A03r (Salzburg Land)

      100MHz

      100MHz

      110MHz

      80MHz

      A04u (Innsbruck + Bregenz)

      120MHz

      100MHz

      110MHz

      A04r (Tirol + Vorarlberg)

      120MHz

      100MHz

      110MHz

      A05u (Klagenfurt + Villach)

      120MHz

      100MHz

      110MHz

      A05r (Karnten + Osttirol)

      120MHz

      100MHz

      110MHz

      A06u (Graz)

      120MHz

      100MHz

      110MHz

      50MHz

      A06r (Steiermark)

      100MHz

      100MHz

      110MHz

      40MHz

      40MHz

      Source: RTR

    • Omantel Wholesale, the wholesale arm of the Oman operator, has launched a separate entity, Omantel International (OTI), which will manage Omantel's international voice business. Omantel has investments in 20 subsea cable systems, with landings in more than 120 locations around the world.

    • A proposed EU-wide 3% tax on the revenues of Internet giants doing business in Europe, such as Google and Amazon, looks like being ditched, according to a Reuters report. Instead, the report says that the EU is pinning its hopes on a global tax reform agreement being led by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (See Eurobites: EU Wants 3% of the Tech Titans and Eurobites: EU Wants Tax Transparency From Tech Titans.)

      — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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