Chinese Nationals Arrested over Cambodian VoIP Scams

Authorities from Banteay Meanchey Province in western Cambodia  raided two guesthouses this month, arresting over 200 Chinese nationals participating in an Internet phone scam. Laptops, deskphones and online gambling equipment were seized in the raid, led by the Interior Ministry’s immigration department with the help of local police in Poipet. According to Lieutenant General Khun Sambo, the perpetrators used the illegal VoIP service to make calls to China’s southern Hunan province, where they blackmailed women after convincing them to provide explicit photos of themselves. The extortionists used technology to mask the source of the VoIP calls, making them difficult to trace.

New consumer protections proposed for VoIP industry

The FCC is proposing to strengthen and expand US consumer protection laws related to ‘slamming and cramming’ – two of the biggest sources of dissatisfaction for consumers. Slamming involves changing the consumer’s preferred service provider without permission, while cramming refers to adding extra charges to a consumer’s bill without agreement. The FCC intends to ban unauthorized changes and charges in order to deter abuse and make it easier to prosecute violators. The original draft of the NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) did not include VoIP providers, however they were subsequently added to the final version.

Mitel to acquire ShoreTel for $430 Million

Unified communications powerhouse Mitel has announced an agreement to buy telecoms vendor ShoreTel in an all-cash deal worth $430 million. Mitel will acquire all outstanding ShoreTel shares at a cost of $7.50 per share, followed by the merger of the two organizations. The new company, to be named MoreTel, will be the second largest player in the Unified Communications as a Service market, with 4,200 employees and 3,200 channel partners globally. The deal is $110 million less than Mitel offered ShoreTel shareholders three years ago. In 2014, Mitel attempted to purchase ShoreTel for $8.10 per share, however that offer was rejected by the ShoreTel board, which believed the proposal substantially undervalued the business at the time.

Avaya moves closer to bankruptcy escape

Telecoms giant Avaya has been cleared to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy following agreements with senior creditors and the government’s pension insurer, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.  The agreements could halve the $6.3 billion in debt Avaya held when it entered bankruptcy earlier this year. The company had failed to sell its contact center business, and had struggled to transition from a hardware-based model to one centered on services and software. Avaya also faced challenges due to its underfunded pension obligations. Under the plan, debt holders will be compensated with a combination of cash, new debt and stock in the restructured organization.

Global telecoms industry outperforms growth expectations

The global telecommunications industry appears to have turned a corner in Q2 as market giants Verizon, Orange and Telefónica posted better than expected growth figures. Two of the world’s largest equipment makers, Nokia and Huawei, also announced a strong rise in sales. Spanish incumbent Telefónica increased net

profit by 18% to €821 million, and French telecoms firm Orange posted it’s strongest growth in a decade, with revenue increasing to €10.2 billion. Verizon Communications, the largest US telecoms carrier, announced a rise in revenue to $30.5 billion. Nokia’s results were enhanced by a new licensing agreement that allows Apple to incorporate Nokia patents into iPads and iPhones.