Telefonica Germany, which provides fixed and mobile services under the brand O2, is upgrading its UMTS network with Dual Carrier (DC)-HSPA+ technology to increase capacity and double maximum theoretical data rates to 42Mbps. From mid-September the company will begin upgrading its 3.5G network in areas with a high volume of traffic. To experience the faster data rates, customers require a compatible device such as the HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4 and a corresponding data plan. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that E-Plus activated DC-HSPA+ technology over more than half of its UMTS network last month; by the end of the year more than three-quarters of the cellco’s UMTS base stations will be equipped with the dual carrier technology, representing a population coverage of 75%. Spanish giant Telefonica is planning to acquire E-Plus in a deal valued at around EUR8.55 billion (USD11.3 billion); E-Plus’ Dutch owner KPN will receive EUR5 billion in cash and a 20.5% stake in the new company created by the merger of Telefonica Germany and E-Plus. Additionally, KPN will provide a call option to Telefonica allowing the acquisition of a 2.9% stake in the newly enlarged Germany operator, which can only be exercised one year after the deal is completed. Shareholders are due to vote on the proposal on 2 October.
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