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Euronews: France Telecom to Sell Euro Assets

Paul Rainford

Orange (NYSE: FTE) and EE compete with white space in today's EMEA roundup.

  • In an interview with Bloomberg, France Telecom CEO Stéphane Richard reveals that the company is planning to sell its 35 percent stake in Orange Austria Telecommunication GmbH. and its 20 percent slice of Sonaecom (Portugal's smallest mobile operator) as it looks to make further acquisitions in the Middle East and Africa. (See Euronews: France Telecom Outlines Masterplan and FT Looks to Sell Swiss Biz.)

  • In a bid to advance its vision for the use of so-called "white space" technology (which uses the spare TV channels that will be freed up in the 400MHz to 800MHz frequency range after the transition from analog to digital TV), U.K. regulator Ofcom has announced that third-party providers will be able to develop the online databases that will allow the white space routers to function properly. It has also stated that white space devices will be able to operate without an Ofcom license, provided they do not cause harmful interference to existing spectrum users. (See Ofcom Progresses 'White Space' Plan, TV White Space Startup Raises $12.8M, Openreach Trials 'White Space' Broadband and The Battle Rages Over 'White Space'.)

  • A boardroom cull at the Orange UK /T-Mobile (UK) joint venture Everything Everywhere has seen the departure of six senior managers, reports the Daily Telegraph, with CFO Richard Moat perhaps the biggest name amongst those using the exit door. The new broom at work is in the hands of Olaf Swantee, who officially took over from Tom Alexander as the company's CEO on Thursday. He's clearly keen to make his presence felt... (See Everything Everywhere Shrinks in Q2 , CEO Quits Everything Everywhere and Top 20 Terrible Company Names.)
  • Some numbers to chew over: The U.K.'s Office for National Statistics has found that 45 percent of Britain's Internet users have accessed the online wastelands via their mobiles, though in the 16- to 24-year-old age bracket this figure shoots up to 71 percent. More surprising, perhaps, is the finding that over a third of disabled people in the U.K. say they have never been online at all.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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