Light Reading
In today's EMEA roundup: German giant considers sale of Everything Everywhere stake; Ericsson's out of handsets; Telenor/VimpelCom latest

Euronews: Deutsche Telekom to Bail Out of UK?

Paul Rainford
2/16/2012
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Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Telenor ASA (Nasdaq: TELN) dominate proceedings in today's look at the EMEA telecom news headlines.

  • Deutsche Telekom is considering selling its T-Mobile (UK) half of the EE mobile joint venture, Bloomberg reports. Rumors to this effect first surfaced following the recent collapse of its sale of T-Mobile US Inc. to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). (See Euronews: T-Mobile Sale Focus Switches to UK, Euronews: DT Preps T-Mobile Plan B and AT&T Drops Bid to Acquire T-Mobile.)

  • Ericsson has completed the sale of its stake in the Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications handsets joint venture to Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE). Ericsson's gain on the transaction will be around 7.5 billion Swedish Kroner (US$1.1 billion). (See Ericsson Completes Handset Stake Sale, Euronews: Nokia, Sony Ericsson Under Pressure, Euronews: Sony Buys Ericsson Out of Handsets and Euronews: Ericsson Could Quit Handsets.)

  • The long-running Norse/Russian saga of Telenor and VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) has taken another twist, reports Reuters, with the Norwegian operator regaining control of the Russian group after buying 234 million shares in it from Weather Investments, thereby upping its voting share to 36.36 percent. VimpelCom had most recently been under the control of Alfa Group, owned by Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman. (See Telenor CEO Joins VimpelCom Board, Telenor Opposes VimpelCom Acquisition of Wind and Telenor, Altimo Make Peace.)

  • Orange France is taking Facebook to Africa, deploying something called USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data), which apparently allows even the most basic non-Internet-connected mobile phone to access the social networking service via a text-based service. Orange launched a version of this service in Egypt (through its Mobinil arm) late last year. (See Orange Takes Facebook to Africa.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    Garci
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    Garci,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:42:24 PM
    re: Euronews: Deutsche Telekom to Bail Out of UK?


    USSD, while not popular in the US, is the sort of codes that allow you to recharge your phone or check your balance without actually sending an SMS or making a call. They are usually in the format of *...#....# (where the dots are numbers) and you identify the service and actions with it. Then press send and the phone gets a response from the network. Its really convenient for prepaid and in my past life, I was part of a mobile payment/cash transfer system that we were implementing in Congo (DRC). You would type *code#dest-phone#dest-amt# and you would send money from your account to someone elses. The system then prompted yo back to be sure of the transfer. 


    So yeah.. it might be a painfully simple experience, but gets facebook down to EVERYONE. pretty cool.

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