Euronews: Bezeq Upgrades With AlcaLu's Vectoring Tech

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EU legal bigwig slams data retention directive; Telefonica's takeover of German KPN unit to be probed; major Russian mobile merger.

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is to deploy its VDSL2 vectoring technology to upgrade the access network of Bezeq, The Israel Telecommunications Corp. Ltd. (OTC: BZQIF), which will be able to offer downstream speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s to its 1.2 million fixed broadband customers. AlcaLu now has 18 customers and more than 50 trials for its VDSL2 vectoring technology, has been earmarked by AlcaLu as a key part of its "Shift Plan" strategy. (See Bezeq Upgrades Fixed Broadband With AlcaLu and Alcatel-Lucent Enhances VDSL2 Vectoring.)

  • The European Union's advocate general has ruled that the EU data retention directive, which requires telecom operators to retain records of emails and telephone calls for up to two years in a database that can be accessed by police, breaches the "fundamental right of citizens to privacy." As the EU Observer website reports, the advocate general's decision is not legally binding but it is useful ammunition for the data-privacy lobby.

  • Still in Brussels' corridors of power, EU antitrust regulators are to open an investigation into Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF)'s proposed €8.1 billion (US$10.7 billion) takeover of KPN's German mobile unit E-Plus Service GmbH & Co. KG next week, according to a Reuters report. If the deal goes through, the combined business would become Germany's largest mobile service in terms of subscribers, with around 43 million customers. (See Euronews: KPN to Sell E-Plus for €8.1B.)

  • MDNX Group, a UK-based managed network services provider, has acquired hosting and data services company Easynet Ltd. , and will henceforth operate under the latter's brand throughout Europe. No financial details of the deal have been disclosed.

  • The board of Russia's Rostelecom has approved the operator's plan to merge its mobile business with that of Tele2 Russia, reports Reuters. The deal should provide some serious competition for the three dominant players in the Russian mobile market, namely Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT), MegaFon , and VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP).

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s Chennai plant, which was seized by Indian tax authorities as part of an ongoing tax dispute, has been released following an appeal from the Finnish company, reports The Star. This means that the plant can now be sold to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) as part of the €5.4 billion ($7.4 billion) Devices and Services business deal Nokia agreed in September. (See Nokia: It's Really Happening.)

  • Broadband customers of Sky and others in south-west London experienced lengthy outages this week following handiwork by copper thieves that affected networks controlled by BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s Openreach division, reports PC Pro. Some BSkyB customers had been bereft of broadband for more than 40 hours, which is a lot of Christmas online shopping time at this stage in the game.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • DanJones 12/18/2013 | 11:50:58 AM
    Re: BT copper theft Alan

    Copper is worth around $3.37 a pound on the open market right now. Can't speak to the black market.

    Source: http://www.tradeservice.com/copper_pricing/

    Suggests you want to grab a lot if you can.
    albreznick 12/17/2013 | 10:59:38 PM
    Re: BT copper theft An inside job, eh? So what do they do with the copper after they steal it? Is it worth that much on the black market? 
    DOShea 12/15/2013 | 7:14:47 PM
    BT copper theft Sounds from local reports like some BT employees were involved in the copper theft plot. The industry has seen a lot of copper theft, but I don't remember the last time a telco's employees were involved.
    albreznick 12/13/2013 | 4:53:10 PM
    Copper thieves Thanks for the cable/video item, Paul. Now I wonder why the thieves picked on BSkyB rather than Virgin Media. Could the main satellite TV provider be even more disliked than the main cable provider in the UK? Or did the thieves think BSkyB's copper pipes were better than Virgin's? So many questions raised here.
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