Light Reading
In today's EMEA roundup: AlcaLu CEO finds a more secure financial footing; NSN outsources OSS-related jobs; Spanish operators rapped by EC

Euronews: AlcaLu Steps Back From 'Cliff'

Paul Rainford
3/6/2012
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Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Nokia Networks and Spanish mobile operators make it a veritable super Tuesday of EMEA telecom news.

  • Alcatel-Lucent is putting its house in order and has stepped back from the "financial precipice," CEO Ben Verwaayen tells Bloomberg. "We were a company on a cliff. We don't want to be a company on a cliff," says Verwaayen, with admirable clarity. (See AlcaLu CEO Unveils New Vision and AlcaLu Reports €1.1B Annual Profit.)

  • As part of its restructuring programme, NSN is outsourcing part of the maintenance, tech support and R&D for its mobile network OSS and subscriber data management (SDM) platforms to Finnish systems integrator Tieto Corp. About 240 staff, most of whom are currently based in Tampere and Espoo, will transfer to Tieto. NSN will further reduce its Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT)-related headcount if it succeeds in selling its BSS business. (See NSN Outsources Some OSS R&D to Tieto, M&A Interest in NSN's BSS Assets Builds, NSN to Cut 17,000 Staff and NSN Unveils Its Kill List .)

  • Some potential bad news for Spanish mobile operators: The European Commission has told CMT, the Spanish telecom regulator, that it must not delay the introduction of lower mobile termination rates until January 2014, which is what CMT had planned to do. The EC wants the lower rates to be introduced across the EU by the end of this year. Neelie Kroes, vice president for the Digital Agenda, said: "Spanish consumers should not have to pay over the odds for mobile calls, especially when domestic finances are so tight. Industry has already had three years to adapt and a further delay of one year is unjustifiable." (See EC Acts on Termination Rates.)

  • Pre-tax full-year profits at satellite operator Inmarsat plc (London: ISAT) were up 10 percent year-on-year to US$$367 million, though a shadow hangs over the 2012 balance sheet in the form of a missed February payment of $56.25 million from LightSquared . Inmarsat admits in a statement that it "cannot provide any assurance that the outstanding payment or further payments in relation to the Cooperation Agreement will now be received." (See Inmarsat 2011 Profits Up to $367M, LightSquared Statement on Inmarsat Notice and Inmarsat: LightSquared Defaulted on Payment.)

  • It's a busy day for Neelie Kroes: Reuters reports that she's also set to be on the receiving end of a letter from the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA) asking her not to bow to pressure from the major European operators, which are opposing European Commission-mandated lower fees for access to their copper networks. (See EC Tells Spain to Get a Move On, Euronews: Copper Access Row Heats Up and Euronews: Steely Neelie's Copper Clampdown.)

  • Telecom Luxembourg and Dimension Data have announced plans to develop a common platform of services for enterprise customers. It is envisaged that Telecom Luxembourg will supply the connective technology and data centers, while DiData will cover integration services, operational management and cloud computing. (See Telecom Luxembourg, DiData Team Up.)

  • The BBC reports that BT and fellow U.K. broadband provider TalkTalk have lost an appeal against the imposition of the Digital Economy Act, which forces U.K. Internet service providers to send warning letters to illegal file downloaders and ultimately, if they fail to desist, remove their Internet access. The two companies argued that the measures in the Act represented an invasion of privacy and contravened European Union law.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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