Light Reading
In today's EMEA roundup: Vodafone feels the heat in Spain and Italy; Apple wants some patents sanity; AlcaLu speeds things up in Luxembourg

Euronews: Vodafone Suffers in Southern Europe

Paul Rainford
2/9/2012
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Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) take center stage in today's trot through the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • The economic downturn in southern Europe is taking its toll on Vodafone's numbers, the mobile giant's fiscal third-quarter interim statement reveals. In Italy, revenue declined 4.9 percent year-on-year, while in Spain, where youth unemployment has soared, sales were down 8.8 percent. Overall, reported group revenue fell by 2.3 percent to £11.6 billion (US$18.3 billion), though on an organic basis group service revenue was up by 3.1 percent. (See Vodafone Reports Fiscal Q3 KPIs, Vodafone Preps LTE Launch in Portugal , Euronews: Vodafone Eyes Spanish M&A, Vodafone Smartens Up for Smartphones and Euronews: Vodafone Upbeat on Full-Year Outlook .)

  • Apple is clearly getting hacked off with all its recent patent battles, and has asked the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to set out some basic principles governing how telcos license their patents, reports the Wall Street Journal. (See EC Hints at Smartphone Patent Probe , Euronews: Samsung/Apple Circus Hits The Hague and Making Sense of the Handset Patent Plays.)

  • Staying with the Cupertino Kid ... Vodafone may be struggling in Spain, but Apple is seemingly going great guns there, currently renovating a prestigious seven-floor building in Madrid's historic main square for use as its flagship Spanish store, reports Bloomberg. "The Apple evangelists will buy these products, with or without an economic crisis," says a local prof.

  • Alcatel-Lucent is to supply P&T Luxembourg , the main operator in that tiny European country (go-ahead official motto: "We want to remain what we are"), with the fiber technology that will enable the introduction of ultra-fast broadband. P&T hopes that the project will enhance Luxembourg's position as an important financial and trade hub. (See P&T Luxembourg Goes Ultra-Fast With AlcaLu.)

  • Reuters reports that Orange (NYSE: FTE) is in talks with Egypt's Orascom Telecom over the future ownership of Mobinil , their Egyptian unit. France Telecom currently owns 71.25 percent of Mobinil, with Orascom holding the remainder. (See FT, Orascom Agree on Mobinil.)

  • U.K. regulator Ofcom is expected to announce measures to make changing broadband providers less of a hassle for consumers, according to the Daily Telegraph. A consultation paper Ofcom produced in 2010 found that nearly half of consumers considered the present system too cumbersome and time-consuming.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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