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In today's EMEA roundup: "White spaces" spectrum in UK grabs big boys' attention; Telefónica offloads travel agency; Telkom CEO steps down

Euronews: Google, Microsoft Eye UK Wi-Fi

Paul Rainford
11/5/2012
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Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) head up today's register of EMEA-related telecom happenings.

  • Google and Microsoft have both expressed "extreme interest" in using the "white spaces" spectrum that is due to be made available in the U.K. next year for their own Wi-Fi services, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph. (See Microsoft Leads UK White Space Consortium.)

  • Telefónica is continuing the assault on its debt mountain by selling off Rumbo, the online travel agency it held jointly with leisure group Orizonia, reports Reuters. The sale was thought to have raised €74 million (US$94.6 million).

  • Nombulelo Moholi is to step down as the CEO of South Africa's Telkom SA Ltd. (NYSE/Johannesburg: TKG), according to Reuters. Telkom has been struggling to implement a turnaround strategy in the face of declining fixed-line revenues.

  • Hard on the heels of MegaFon 's plan to seek a listing on the London exchange comes news that Kcell , Kazakhstan's largest mobile operator, is to follow suit, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). Kcell, which is 49 percent owned by Sweden's TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN), hopes to raise around £500 million ($798 million) for about a quarter of its equity. (See TeliaSonera Ups Kcell Stake, Preps IPO.)

  • Age UK, a charity serving the needs of the elderly, is to launch a specialist mobile network aimed at senior citizens featuring simplified, personalized phones, reports the Financial Times. Collaborating with the charity on the project are Cognatel, an MVNO, and CyCell, which has designed the specialist handsets.

    In other Euronews:

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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