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Euronews: Virgin's Big Fat Broadband Boost

Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), EE and Nokia Networks are the leading pack in today's charge through the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • British cable operator Virgin Media says it will double the downlink speeds currently enjoyed by more than 4 million U.K. households over the next 18 months, while the lucky few who are already signed up for Virgin's 100Mbit/s broadband service will see their top speeds reach 120 Mbit/s. Uplink speeds will be increased "proportionately," the operator added in its statement. (See Virgin Speeds Up UK Broadband, Virgin Media Posts Q3, Virgin Gives Birth to Cloud Strategy, Virgin Widens 100-Meg Footprint, Tests 1.5-Gig and Virgin Gives 1.5-Gig Wideband a Whirl.)

  • The Financial Times reports (subscription required) that Everything Everywhere, the joint venture between Orange UK and T-Mobile (UK) , could be in line to raise around £400 million (US$617 million) from its European Commission -mandated auction of 1800MHz spectrum. The operator is said to be in talks with the Royal Bank of Scotland to oversee the whole shebang, which is expected to kick off during the next month or so. (See Everything Everywhere Invests £1.5B for LTE, Everything Everywhere Shrinks in Q2 , Euro Giants Demand LTE Device Support and CEO Quits Everything Everywhere.)

  • Meanwhile, T-Hrvatski Telekom , the Croatian unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), has announced plans to lay off 450 employees this quarter. The usual suspects -- increased competition, tough economic times and regulatory changes -- are cited in a company statement. (See T-Hrvatski Telekom to Lay Off 450.)

  • Russian operator MegaFon has chosen Nokia Siemens Networks to upgrade its GSM network in Moscow and the capital's environs, and pave the way for Long Term Evolution (LTE). MegaFon is one of the Russian operators that will be sharing LTE network resources. (See MegaFon Upgrades Moscow With NSN and Russian Into LTE.)

  • French cable operator Numericable-SFR is to collaborate with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) on creating "multi-screen experiences" based on Cisco's Videoscape platform. Videoscape aims to combine digital TV and online video content with social media and communications applications. (See Numericable Uses Cisco's Videoscape and Cisco's Videoscape Stresses Cloud Control.)

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has fired a warning shot across the bows of those telcos offering enterprise managed services with the signing of deal with Spanish bank BBVA to switch its 110,000 staff to Google's cloud-based enterprise software, reports the BBC. The bank stresses that the contract relates purely to its internal communications needs, meaning that customer security shouldn't be compromised. (See Trusted Cloud Services Will Be Big in 2012.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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