India’s telecoms FDI surges to $4.1B
India’s more stable political and economic environment has led to a surge in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the telecoms sector over the past two years.

From April 2014 to February 2016 FDI more than doubled to $4.1 billion compared with the previous two-year period, when FDI in the sector reached $1.6 billion, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Optus starts VoLTE rollout in major cities
Australia’s second largest operator Optus started rolling out voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) across its 4G Plus network in major capital cities.

Optus postpaid consumer and SMB customers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra central business district metros areas will be among the first to see the rollout of VoLTE, it said.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will be the first devices that support VoLTE, with plans to include more models soon.

XL to raise $657M in rights issue
Indonesian mobile operator XL Axiata will raise IDR8.7 trillion ($657 million) through a rights issue, with the majority of the proceeds going to its parent company, Malaysia-based Axiata Group, to pay off debt.

The Financial Services Authority approved XL’s request to issue 2.75 billion new shares, which will provide the rights for every holder of 100 shares to buy 25 new shares at an offering price of IDR3,150 ($0.50) per unit, the Jakarta Post reported.

Australia updates roaming rules
Australia’s telecoms regulator has updated its rules for international roaming to better protect consumers from bill shock.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) amended its regulations to require operators to give customers more flexibility in how they opt out of mobile roaming services while travelling overseas.

The new rules, which update the original roaming regulations introduced in 2013, require operators to give customers the choice to opt out of receiving roaming usage alerts and allow operators to provide on-arrival roaming information to travellers in a single SMS rather than in several.

The amendments also push back the requirement that mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) provide charging and spend management information from 23 May 2016 until 1 January 2019.

Maxis gives 1M customers free data upgrades
Malaysia’s largest operator Maxis said it has upgraded more than one million customers to larger data plans, with many users receiving five times more data.

The offer covers its MaxisONE and Surfmore50 customers. Users on the MOP98 plan will receive five times more data than their previous allocation, while customers on higher value plans such as MOP188 will receive an extra 13GB in data every month.

Maxis CEO Morten Lundal said its is automatically and permanently upgrading all its MaxisONE plan customers for free. “Our customers don’t have to do anything, except continue to enjoy all their streaming, downloading, surfing and social media. We are not just giving great short-term offers or more data to only new customers.”

Maxis, with a 29 per cent share of the country’s mobile subscribers, has expanded 4G coverage to 74 per cent of the population. It is the 4G leader with 2.2 million connections.