Verizon Communications is continuing to explore potential acquisition opportunities in the Canadian mobile market, and has tabled an initial buyout offer for Wind Mobile of roughly USD700 million whilst also beginning negotiations with Mobilicity’s owners, according to two sources familiar with the situation quoted by the Globe & Mail. Last week, Verizon’s chief financial officer Fran Shammo confirmed that the US giant was examining the possibility of entering Canada, although noting that ‘regulatory issues’ could present problems. There is no legal obstacle to Verizon buying one of the smaller Canadian cellcos, although potentially the federal government may stipulate conditions attached to an acquisition of two or more companies competing in the same regions when Industry Canada announces further mobile licence transfer policy details in the coming few days. Neither of Wind, Mobilicity or Wind’s majority equity/minority voting share owner Orascom Telecom Holding (part of Vimpelcom Group) have commented publicly on talks with Verizon.
Thanks to TeleGeography for the article.
If you haven’t already heard, there’s a new IT in town. Cloud, Mobility, Big Data, and Security are shaping the way you plan, deploy, and share data in the new age world. Software-Defined Networks, Software-Defined Storage, Software-Defined Servers, Software-Defined Security and Software-Defined Data Centers have simplified the automation of compute, giving you the power of scalability and interoperability with the click of your mouse faster than ever before. However, this simplicity brings infrastructure sprawl – software-defined ‘solutions’ make it easier to deploy more servers and applications which in turn means more copies of sensitive information and a larger attack surface. Breaches to data security may lead to violations of compliance and privacy rules, resulting in potentially multi-million dollar fines and severely tarnishing a well-established brand.
Struggling Canadian cellco Mobilicity has delayed until 3 July the date on which its debtholders will vote on a proposed recapitalisation plan, replacing a previous date of 25 June, to ‘allow stakeholders the opportunity to review Industry Canada guidelines, regarding the transfer of wireless spectrum, prior to the vote.’ Earlier in the month larger rival Telus was blocked from acquiring Mobilicity under a federal policy not to allow the transfer of recent market entrants’ wireless spectrum to national incumbents.
Thanks TeleGeography for the article
The cloud services market is steadily maturing and becoming increasingly competitive, but customer lock-in is still common. To take customers from competitors, cloud providers must offer secure cloud-to-cloud migration.
Providers that lead with security and transparency features may not only differentiate themselves in the crowded market, but could also poach customers that are unhappy with their current provider.
Enterprises often develop a comprehensive cloud migration strategy when they first do business with cloud providers, but they typically lack a plan for leaving that provider if they are unhappy with the service, said Ed Moyle, founding partner of the analyst firm Security Curve.
“In practice, this means there’s a challenge associated with moving services out of a given cloud environment … or [moving to] another provider,” he said.
Providers who engage with unhappy customers of the competition should lead with security — a concern for every cloud customer — and then move into more differentiated offerings that will target a specific segment of customers, said Geoff Webb, director of solution strategy for NetIQ, a Houston-based provider of Disaster Recovery as a Service, security and workload management software for enterprises and cloud service providers.
Securing data at rest is different than securing data as it is transmitted to a provider’s environment or between cloud providers. While on the move, data loss is also a concern.
When switching to a new provider or adopting a multi-cloud strategy, customers are worried about where their data might end up, Webb said. “While a service-level agreement [SLA] is great, more visibility can unlock the potential for adoption of a [provider’s] services if the provider can address those concerns early.”
NetIQ offers software-based security add-on services to help providers differentiate their Infrastructure as a Service offerings. “NetIQ software gives providers the ability to be very specific about where customer data is being held … and makes it very easy for providers to onboard and ramp-up their customers,” said Mike Robinson, senior solution marketing manager for NetIQ.
“The way providers can really compete in the cloud market now is by letting customers move into the cloud in the way they want to,” NetIQ’s Robinson said.
Secure cloud-to-cloud migration is a good appetizer, but customers want a comprehensive security strategy, too, said Mike Chapple, senior director of enterprise support services at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
“Securing data moving between providers is important, but it’s only a short period of time,” he said. “Users want to know that the cloud provider they are switching to is secure and compliant throughout the entire amount of time they will be maintaining their data or running the [provider’s service].”
Even though data exchange to a new cloud provider may not necessarily be any more risky than a customer’s initial move to the cloud, secure cloud-to-cloud migration is still a chance for a provider to differentiate.
The provider should also emphasize open standards so customers can limit the amount of re-engineering they have to do to their applications after a cloud-to-cloud migration. These open standards will make it easier for customers to shop around, so providers will have to stay vigilant, Security Curve’s Moyle said.
Thanks to Tech Target for the article.
Egypt-based Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH), a majority owned subsidiary of Russian-backed, Amsterdam headquartered Vimpelcom Group, issued a statement yesterday withdrawing its previous request to the Canadian government to acquire full control of its part-owned subsidiary in the country, Wind Mobile. The statement reads: ‘Further to its prior announcements on the proposed acquisition of control of Wind Mobile Canada, OTH announces that, after a review process and discussions with the government of Canada, it has decided to withdraw its application for Investment Canada Act approval of its acquisition of control of Wind Mobile. OTH continues to be interested in consolidating its interest in Wind Mobile and in working with the government.’
No further explanation for the move was offered by Vimpelcom, although it has been claimed by commentators that ‘national security concerns’ are behind the Canadian government’s delay in approving the full takeover of Wind, which was proposed in January. Negative factors could, it has been claimed, include the Russian majority ownership of Vimpelcom, and the Chinese-built technology Wind’s network is largely based on, which has recently come under scrutiny for national security reasons regarding other networks in North America. Wind’s CEO Anthony Lacavera reacted to yesterday’s announcement by confirming that he will continue to control two-thirds of the cellco’s voting shares, and added that: ‘Despite this speed bump, I’m going to continue to work with Vimpelcom toward our mutual objectives… It doesn’t change my long-term commitment to competition in the market.’ Quoted by Bloomberg in an interview, Lacavera also commented on the ‘national security’ rumours, saying that ‘Vimpelcom made statements about there never having been a [network security] breach… and I would echo those statements. Cybersecurity threats are by far one of the biggest threats facing our nation. This is an ongoing, iterative process.’ Meanwhile, Industry Minister Christian Paradis – responsible for federal telecoms policy decisions – simply confirmed in a statement that OTH’s application had been withdrawn and that the review process was finished, without elaborating on reasons.
Thanks to TeleGeography for the article.
When it comes to Cisco technology, most of us have wondered if we could do more to get the most out of our investments. Are we aware of all the “hidden gems”—advantages tucked away within the architecture that could put us ahead of the game with relatively little effort?
Five Ways to Say Eureka!
Recently, Sharon Besser delivered a talk at Cisco Live in which he presented the Top Five efficiency gems that can be a real bonanza for your Cisco investment. In this video he shares those configuration and design tips here for using Cisco technology to the utmost in monitoring and security. In addition, he discusses ways to use access switching and built-in Cisco features more effectively. Finally, the video covers key points to consider in relation to data center operation, interconnect and security.
Thanks to NetOptics for the video.
Verizon Communications is examining a plan to acquire a second-tier Canadian mobile operator, and has held ‘exploratory talks’ with investors in Globalive Wireless (Wind Mobile) in recent weeks, while Mobilicity has also been identified as a potential acquisition target for the US group, according to sources familiar with the situation cited by The Globe & Mail. Wind Mobile has been earmarked for a sale or merger by its main financial backer Vimpelcom and CEO/founder Anthony Lacavera, while the Canadian government recently vetoed Mobilicity’s attempt to sell itself to larger Canadian rival Telus, and the two smaller cellcos are viable for purchase by a foreign investor ahead of the 4G licence auction set for January 2014. Verizon was previously a 20% shareholder in Telus, but exited in 2004. Other potential foreign investors rumoured to be eying the opportunities presented by the 700MHz auction include AT&T of the US, UK-based Vodafone (a shareholder in Verizon) and Norway’s Telenor (a shareholder in Russian-controlled Vimpelcom), but the Canadian government reportedly views Verizon as the ‘most likely’ overseas group to help support a federal policy of encouraging a strong fourth mobile competitor in every region of the country.
Despite indicating that it is willing to sell its stake in Wind Mobile, Vimpelcom is currently awaiting closure of a delayed voting share transfer deal that would give it full control of the company following last year’s relaxation of foreign ownership rules by Ottawa. Anthony Lacavera is in the process of transferring his voting stake to Vimpelcom under a deal agreed in January, but with the transaction pending federal approval it was reported in March that Lacavera had proposed a joint offer to buy back Wind from Vimpelcom in collaboration with Wind’s original financial backer Naguib Sawiris’ investment firm Accelero Capital (which in May agreed to purchase Manitoba Telecom Services’ Allstream national long-distance division). Other potential suitors reported to be mulling a bid for Wind include Fairfax Financial Holdings, Canadian device maker BlackBerry’s largest individual shareholder. The Vimpelcom-Lacavera share transfer agreement is set to expire by the end of this month, an industry source with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
‘National security concerns’ are behind the Canadian government’s reluctance to approve the transfer of Wind’s voting share control to Vimpelcom, according to unnamed sources quoted by The Globe & Mail, which claimed that Ottawa is wary of Wind’s infrastructure passing to a majority Russian-owned entity.
CommsUpdate reported in January 2013 that Mr Lacavera agreed to transfer his controlling shares in Globalive Wireless Management Corp (trading as Wind Mobile) to Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) – a majority owned unit of Vimpelcom – and step down from his current posts to continue in a non-operational capacity as Wind’s honorary chair, while retaining a small economic stake in the company. Under the terms of the agreement, OTH would indirectly acquire all of the Globalive Wireless Management Corp shares held by AAL Corp, a holding company majority owned by Anthony Lacavera. As part of the consideration to be paid to AAL Corp (which includes cash consideration and a continuing economic participation in Wind Mobile for AAL Corp), the Globalive group’s fixed line assets (including the Globalive name and trademark) would be transferred to AAL Corp, and upon closure the Vimpelcom division would own an indirect 99.3% stake in Globalive Wireless Management Corp. However, completion is subject to Canadian regulatory approval of the conversion of OTH’s non-voting shares into voting shares, which would result in OTH holding an indirect 65.1% voting and economic interest in Globalive Wireless Management Corp immediately before completion of the aforementioned transactions with AAL Corp. OTH currently holds an indirect 32% voting interest and 65.1% economic interest in Wind Mobile; AAL Corp currently holds an indirect 66.7% voting interest and 34.3% economic interest. Amsterdam-headquartered Vimpelcom – in which the Russian Alfa Group owns a majority equity stake – said in October 2012 that Egypt-based OTH was changing its name to Global Telecom Holding, although the title change is yet to take effect.
Thanks to TeleGeography for the article.