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Eurobites: Orange Eyes Spanish Acquisitions

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia's 5G test network; Switzerland's secure mobile login solution; towers joint venture for South Africa.

  • Orange is still interested in acquiring Spanish rivals Jazztel plc and Yoigo , should the opportunity arise, reports Reuters. The finance director of Orange Spain , Federico Colom, told a conference in Santander this week: "If a sale process were reopened formally, we intend to participate." In March, it was reported that Orange had hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch to act as an adviser on its strategy in Spain in general and on the question of acquiring Jazztel in particular. Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD)'s acquisition of Spanish cable operator ONO probably played a part in focusing Orange on its Spanish operation. (See Eurobites: Orange Reviews Spanish Strategy.)

  • The Nokia Networks news hose continues to spew out announcements: Today's dousing sees Rwanda getting its first commercial LTE network, courtesy of Nokia's deployment of its scalable Flexi Multiradio 10 basestation and Evolved Packet Core for Rwanda Networks, a joint venture between KT Corporation and the government; a high-speed 5G data transfer test network being built in Oulu, Finland; and an extension of the vendor's Liquid Applications program -- it has launched a set of, erm, applications to help with the deployment of Liquid Applications.

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) has teamed up with rival operators Sunrise and Orange to offer a mobile authentication solution for the whole of Switzerland. "Mobile ID" allows users to log in to online portals or e-banking via their mobile phones in a secure manner, using a PIN number, provided they have the latest-generation SIM card installed.

  • Vodafone has launched its One Net Enterprise -- Cloud service in the UK, which combines fixed, mobile and desktop communications in a single cloud-based system and is aimed at large enterprises and the public sector.

  • South African operator MTN Group Ltd. is to form a joint venture with towers company IHS that will own and operate MTN's towers in Nigeria, reports Reuters. The deal is thought to be worth around $1.8 billion.

  • The Egyptian government has, for the first time, issued a combined landline and mobile license, reports Reuters, the immediate effect of which is to allow fixed-line monopoly Telecom Egypt to enter the mobile market, challenging existing players Vodafone, Mobinil and Etisalat .

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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