Euronews: French Fury at AlcaLu Layoffs

Also in today's EMEA roundup: Vectoring developments; Rostelecom goes with Infinera; Viatel relaunched; European telco bosses still cross with Kroes.

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has been warned by the French President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault that it must do right by the workers and save as many jobs as possible, or risk not having its cost-cutting plan approved, reports Reuters. France's Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg, meanwhile, condemned the French job losses as "excessive." The vendor announced Tuesday that it was cutting around 10,000 jobs worldwide, 900 of them in France. (See Alcatel-Lucent to Cut 10,000 Jobs.)

  • Chip firm Lantiq Semiconductor and access equipment vendor Keymile AG are boasting of their involvement in a major system-level VDSL vectoring deployment, with 1.5 million vectored lines set to be deployed this year by the unidentified "major telecommunications carrier." The deployment of vectoring technology is becoming increasingly popular among capex-constrained fixed-broadband network operators, especially in Europe, as it enables faster downstream and upstream speeds (up to 100 Mbit/s and 40 Mbit/s respectively) over existing copper connections to homes and offices. Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), for example, has stated that deploying vectored VDSL lines is, on average, 70 percent cheaper than deploying fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). And Deutsche Telekom, which was given the regulatory green light for vectored services in April this year, seems to be a relevant example to cite in this instance… (See Heavy Reading: Copper Networks Not Dead Yet, Don’t Forget Opex in Copper vs. Fiber Debate, Lantiq Pushes 200M VDSL, and Keymile Unveils 48-Port VDSL2 Cards.)

  • Russian operator Rostelecom has chosen Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN)'s DTN-X platform, based on 500Gbit/s Coherent super-channel technology, to extend the reach of its IP/MPLS transport network. Rostelecom counts more than 100 million subscribers across 80 regions of Russia. Gulp.

  • Pan-European network operator Viatel has been relaunched in the enterprise market following its acquisition in May by Dublin-based Digiweb Ltd. Under the new company branding structure, larger business customers, government agencies and wholesale customers will be served by Viatel (previously known as VTL Wavenet), while Digiweb will target small businesses and residential customers in Ireland and Belgium, where Digiweb recently acquired Mondial Telecom. As part of the relaunch, Viatel is now offering a range of network and managed services in Ireland. (See VTLWaveNet Upgrades to 100G With Huawei.)

  • European telecom bosses have been grumbling again about the European Commission 's proposed package of "single market" reforms for the industry. As Reuters reports, a conference held by ETNO heard the likes of Stephane Richard, chief executive of Orange (NYSE: FTE), and Timotheus Hoettges, Deutsche Telekom's chief financial officer, picking various holes in Neelie Kroes's plan. The phrase "water off a duck's back" springs to mind. (See Euronews: 'Single Market' Plan Rolls Into Action.)

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is launching a collection of new services in the unified communications sphere. Among the services is HD Voice, which the operator is developing in conjunction with Dolby Laboratories and which will, it promises, transform conference calls from the familiar talking-to-someone-deep-down-a-well vibe into a model of audio clarity. Where's the fun in that?

  • The BBC reports that the bosses of four Kenyan mobile phone operators have been questioned by police following reports that unregistered mobile phones were used by Islamist militants in the Westgate shopping mall atrocity last month. In Kenya all SIM cards must, by law, be registered, a measure that was introduced in 2010 to help reduce crime and acts of terrorism.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • PaulERainford 10/9/2013 | 9:43:27 AM
    C'est la guerre! France's labour unions are famously feisty - think protesting French farmers roasting their own livestock in the streets - so AlcaLu could be in for a rough ride on this one.
    mendyk 10/9/2013 | 9:32:53 AM
    Re: France's Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg Government functionaries obviously have little if anything to contribute when the discussion topic is business efficiency. That said, it does get tiresome when gross misjudgments at the executive level are paid for by people in the lower echelons of the organization. The people who screwed up got paid handsomely for it.
    pdonegan67 10/9/2013 | 9:09:28 AM
    France's Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg The Reuters report is really worth reading.

    Get this from Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg: "We have asked management to revise the restructuring plan downwards....we can't keep on paying the price of their errors."

    And what errors would they be, Monsieur Le Ministre? Failing to ensure that the rise of Huawei had zero impact on Alcatel-Lucent's market position? Failing to resist the will of the French government over many years in denying the company full freedom to take tough decisions like the ones they've just announced (provided the government lets them)?

    Oh la la. Quel twerp extraordinaire.

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