Light Reading

Euronews: Ericsson, Huawei Win Big in Saudi

Paul Rainford

Ericsson AB, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., France Télécom – Orange and BT Group plc lead the charge in today's gallop through the EMEA headlines.

  • Saudi operator Etihad Etisalat Co. (Mobily) has perked up the order books of both Ericsson and Huawei, handing the pair contracts worth a total of US$256 million for a radio access network (RAN) expansion and upgrade project, reports Reuters. Ericsson's contract is believed to be worth about $150 million, while Huawei's is valued at $106 million. Mobily intends to implement 4G within a year, according to Chief Executive Khalid al-Kaf.
  • France Télécom – Orange has been outlining its expansion plans in Africa, reports Reuters, citing Libya, Algeria, Benin, Togo, Burkina and Mauritania as potential growth areas. The operator, which has been shedding European assets as it focuses on emerging markets, already has a presence in 21 Middle East and African countries. (See Euronews: France Telecom to Sell Euro Assets.)
  • Neelie Kroes, the European Commission's vice president for the Digital Agenda, has signaled her intention to create a more level playing field across the European telecom market and encourage industry consolidation, reports Reuters, citing the Financial Times. "We're working on a range of measures to create common and stable conditions across the EU for telecoms competition, investment and growth, which should also make cross-border consolidation more attractive," said the steely one. (See Regulators Reshape Europe's Roaming Market.)
  • BT has launched an iPhone app called SmartTalk that enables BT fixed-line customers to place calls from their smartphone that are then billed to their BT fixed-line accounts as if the calls were being made from their domestic fixed line, even if they are overseas. BT says the app works best over Wi-Fi connections but points out it will also work over mobile broadband connections. (See BT Unveils SmartTalk App.)
  • Cable & Wireless Communications plc has agreed to sell its 51 percent stake in the Macau unit, CTM, to CITIC Telecom for $749.7 million. C&WC says this represents a step in its strategy to "reshape its portfolio, reduce geographic spread and grow its business in the Central American and Caribbean region." The company had already agreed to dispose of its Monaco & Islands operation. (See C&WC to Sell Macau Telecom.)
  • Wholesale telecom market revenues may be holding steady in Europe but carriers need to diversify more into non-voice services if they are going to offset the inevitable slide in voice revenues. That is the conclusion of a new report from Ovum Ltd., which found that the European wholesale market was worth $48.4 billion in 2011, down 0.5 percent on the previous year .
  • Vodafone España S.A. could cut up to 1,000 jobs, about 25 percent of its workforce, according to this Reuters report. — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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