Euronews: FT Teams Up for FTTH

Orange (NYSE: FTE), Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA) and Sherlock Holmes rub shoulders in today's romp through the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • These are busy times for France Telecom. First up, it has agreed a partnership deal with rival Bouygues Telecom , which sees them sharing fiber-to-the-home networks in France's very densely populated areas. And, according to Reuters, France Telecom is also on the verge of finalizing a deal to sell its 35 percent stake in Orange Austria Telecommunication GmbH. to Hutchison 3G Austria GmbH . (See FT-Orange, Bouygues to Share FTTH and Euronews: France Telecom to Sell Euro Assets.)

  • Private equity firm RPR Privatstiftung has upped its stake (direct and indirect holdings) in Telekom Austria to just more than 20 percent. The man behind RPR, Ronny Pecik, is aiming for a 25 percent stake eventually, according to this Bloomberg report. (See RPR Ups Stake in Telekom Austria and Euronews: Telekom Austria's Revenues Slide.)

  • Separately, Telekom Austria -- along with Turkey's Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (NYSE: TKC) -- has expressed an interest in the sale of Bulgaria's Vivacom , according to reports cited by Novinet.

  • Figures released by the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) relating to its iPlayer catch-up service reveal the growing number of connected TVs in U.K. homes. In December, 7 million programmes were requested on connected TV sets, a year-on-year increase of more than 1,000 percent, while requests from smartphones and tablets were also up significantly. The most-requested show in 2012 so far on iPlayer? Sherlock, the trenchcoat-heavy reimagining of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's deerstalkered sleuth. (See BBC Reveals iPlayer Numbers for 2011.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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