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Euronews: Is BT After 4G Spectrum?

Paul Rainford

BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Telia Company get up close and personal in today's EMEA news sweep.

  • Has BT thrown its hat into the ring to acquire 4G spectrum in the U.K.'s upcoming auction? A report in the Financial Times (subscription required) suggests so. The paper reports that Ofcom has received applications from at least five operators to participate in the bidding, which is due to start in Jan. 2013. Among the applicants, not surprisingly, are the U.K.'s four mobile operators 3 , EE , Telefónica UK Ltd. and Vodafone UK , but the article also notes that BT has expressed initial interest in acquiring spectrum in the 2.6GHz frequency band. Ofcom has said that it will announce the qualified bidders by the end of this year or early next year. (See UK Kicks Off 4G Auction Process.)

  • BT has completed the sale of its remaining 9.1 percent stake in India's Tech Mahindra for 10.1 billion Indian Rupees (US$186 million). At one time BT held a 23 percent stake in the IT services and network applications specialist. (See Euronews: BT Offloads SPIT Shares.)

  • Ericsson is building its first LTE network in Africa, for MTN South Africa. The LTE market-leader, which has had a hand in more than 50 live LTE networks worldwide, is supplying the Evolved Packet Core, Home Subscriber Server (HSS) for user-data management, OSS, project management and services. (See Ericsson Builds LTE Network in Africa.)

  • Swedish operator TeliaSonera is set for a $525 million windfall from the initial public offering of shares in Kcell, its Kazakh mobile subsidiary, reports Bloomberg. The shares go on sale in London today (Wednesday). (See TeliaSonera's Kcell Proceeds With IPO.)

  • The British government is going to rewrite the Communications Data Bill following widespread disquiet over the initial draft's implications for personal-data security, reports the BBC. The bill, should it become law, will give the police and security services new powers to monitor Internet and mobile phone activity. — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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