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Euronews: Orange Squeezes Its Payout

Paul Rainford

Orange (NYSE: FTE), Maroc Telecom , Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) are in the frame for today's snapshot of EMEA telecom news.

  • France Telecom has cut its dividend projection for this year and the next by up to 41 percent, the carrier revealed in its third-quarter financials. Third-quarter revenues were down 3.5 percent year-on-year to €10.8 billion (US$14 billion), with EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) standing at €3.65 billion, which is slightly more than analysts predicted but still down on last year's equivalent figure. Rivals Telefonica, KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) and Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA) have all cut their dividends in recent months as the challenging economic conditions in Europe take their toll. (See FT-Orange Q3 Earnings Dip, Euronews: FT Commits to 4,000 New French Jobs, Euronews: Telefónica Cancels Dividends, Euronews: FT's Q1 Suffers Free Fall and Iliad Disrupts the French Mobile Scene .)

  • More likely bidders for Vivendi 's controlling stake in Morocco's Maroc Telecom have emerged, reports Reuters. Following the lead of Qatar Telecom QSC (Qtel) , Middle East rivals Etisalat and Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) have also thrown their hats into the ring, as has South Africa's MTN Group Ltd.

  • Telefónica Digital has unveiled a concept for "smart" M2M (machine-to-machine) connectivity called "Thinking Things," which is focused on an affordable and easy-to-manage response to the Internet of Things trend. The Spanish carrier's Digital division has also announced the development, in collaboration with globally-renowned chef Ferran Adrià, of La Bullipedia, an online database and forum dedicated to culinary innovation: Find out more in this blog. (See Telefónica Digital Intros 'Thinking Things'.)

  • Telesis Tanzania, described as a Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator (MVNA) serving various MVNOs, has turned to Alcatel-Lucent for help with the launch of 4G mobile broadband services, initially in the Dar es Salaam and Mtwara regions, to be followed by a phased nationwide rollout. (See AlcaLu Enables LTE in Tanzania.)

  • Still in Africa, MTN has boosted its subscriber numbers by almost 4 percent in the third quarter, reports Reuters, and raised its guidance for the year. Across its 21 operations in Africa and the Middle East, MTN now counts a total of 182.7 million customers.

  • In Germany, Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s T-Systems International GmbH unit has broken turf on what will be the country's biggest data center to date. Located in Saxony-Anhalt, the server shed will cover the area of 30 soccer pitches. If you find that hard to imagine, have a look at this. It probably won't help. (See T-Systems to Build Monster Data Center.)

  • Nokia has found a buyer for part of its former manufacturing plant in Salo, Finland, the closure of which it announced earlier in the year. Drug company Orion will be given the keys, reports Reuters. (See Euronews: Nokia Confirms Salo Job Cuts.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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