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In today's EMEA roundup: Nokia in talks to sell Vertu subsidiary; Deutsche Telekom settles pay dispute; UK joint venture's 4G 'campaign'

Euronews: Nokia to Offload 'Bling' Brand

Paul Rainford
4/30/2012
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Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) and EE are the big guns a-blazin' in today's assault on the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • Nokia is in talks to sell its Vertu "luxury" (translation: "more money than sense") handset subsidiary to private equity group Permira , reports the Financial Times. The newspaper suggests the sale could be worth around €200 million (US$264 million) to the beleaguered Finnish giant. (See The Vertu Vanishes and Paltrow's Massive Wedge.)

  • Deutsche Telekom has agreed a pay increase equivalent to 6.5 percent over three years for the 17,000 staff at its Bonn headquarters, reports Reuters.
  • Everything Everywhere, the joint venture between Orange UK and T-Mobile (UK) , has launched a "4G Britain" campaign that it says is to "raise awareness about 4G and its potential benefits for consumers and the economy." Its rivals, however, according to The Guardian at least, claim the campaign is no more than a lobbying vehicle for the joint venture's plan to steal a march on competitors by winning regulator approval for freeing up existing spectrum for Long Term Evolution (LTE) rather than waiting for the U.K.'s much-delayed 4G auction to get underway. (See A 4G Pig's Ear and Britain's Bloomin' LTE .)

  • The European Commission has launched a public consultation on ways to reduce the cost of fiber rollouts -- and in particular the cost of the associated civil engineering works such as digging up the roads prior to laying fiber. The Commission points out that such costs can account for as much as 80 percent of the total bill for fiber rollouts. (See EC Opens FTTH Consultation and Brakes Stuck on Europe's FTTH Ride.)

  • Also emanating from Brussels is an expression of displeasure at the decision of the Polish telecom regulator UKE to allow the incumbent, Telekomunikacja Polska SA , to give alternative operators only limited access to its future fiber-based networks. The Commission has suspended the regulator's plans and begun a three-month investigation into the matter. It's not the first time the Polish regulator has found itself in hot water with Neelie Kroes et al. (See EC Tackles Poland Over FTTH and EC Challenges Poland's Mobile Termination Rate Rules.)

  • Colt Technology Services Group Ltd (London: COLT), the pan-European service provider, is to build its twentieth data center, at an unspecified site in the Netherlands that is "strategically located" somewhere between Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Brussels. (See Colt to Build New Dutch Data Center and Colt Riffs On Its Service Wrap.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    Michelle Donegan
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    Michelle Donegan,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:34:47 PM
    re: Euronews: Nokia to Offload 'Bling' Brand


    And just one more thought -- will this campaign make consumers actually care about 4G and how they might benefit from 4G networks and services? I doubt it. 

    Michelle Donegan
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    Michelle Donegan,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:34:47 PM
    re: Euronews: Nokia to Offload 'Bling' Brand


    2012 in the U.K: The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the London Olympics and 4G Britain. That last one doesn't quite fit... I'm thinking 2012 will be yet another year when the UK did NOT get 4G, with the way things are going.


    But maybe this 4G campaign what it will take to get the government to step in and resolve whatever legal threats that still lurk to prevent the LTE spectrum auction from happening. 


    But it is awkward considering that this campaign was Everything Everywhere's idea -- and they are the only mobile network operator to back it so far -- when EE is trying to get approval  to launch LTE on its 1800Mhz spectrum, ahead of its competitors and ahead of the LTE spectrum auction.


     

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