Eurobites: More Places Set at NokAlu Top Table

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: AlcaLu spreads the cloud in west Africa; Bouygues returns to revenue growth; former competition boss favors Openreach spin-off.

  • The top-table line-up at what we telecom hipsters like to call NokAlu -- the new entity that will be the result of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s immiment takeover of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) -- is becoming clearer by the day. Today Nokia has announced that once the deal is closed Markus Borchert -- currently senior vice president market Europe at Nokia Networks -- will become the head of Europe, while Amr Karim El-Leithy -- currently president for Middle East, Turkey and Africa for Alcatel-Lucent -- will become the head of Middle East and Africa. On Thursday Light Reading exclusively revealed that Marcus Weldon, the current CTO and president at Bell Labs, has landed the Nokia CTO role, despite not appearing in a list of post-acquisition senior executives issued by Nokia a few weeks earlier. (See AlcaLu's Weldon Lands Nokia CTO Role.)

  • And on the subject of NokAlu, the French stock market authority has approved Nokia's public exchange offer for Alcatel-Lucent's securities. Nokia expects the offer will be opened on November 18 and close on December 23.

  • Meanwhile, life goes on at AlcaLu, with the vendor set to provide the government of west African state Burkina Faso with cloud technology that will help it develop new digital public services, relating to government, education and healthcare. Approximately 400 buildings in 13 urban centers will be connected through a 513km IP/MPLS wide area network.

  • French operator Bouygues Telecom has reported improved sales in its third-quarter results, returning to revenue growth for the first time since the second quarter of 2011. Sales hit €978 million (US$1.05 billion), compared with €975 million ($1.04 billion) in the third quarter of 2014, while EBITDA was up €21 million ($22.5 million) to €242 million ($259.9 million).

  • It may prompt no more than a "so what?" response, but the former head of the UK's competition authority has let it be known that he thinks BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) should spin off its Openreach access division, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). John Fingleton, who was in charge of the Office of Fair Trading from 2005 to 2012, described the arrangements regarding fixed lines as one of the UK's "worst bottlenecks." Fingleton's views will be music to the ears of Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), which has been the most vociferous critic of the cozy relationship between BT and its access unit. (See No Case for Openreach Separation – BT.)

  • Another BT rival, Sky , has indicated that it will be looking to increase what it charges for its TV packages in the UK, reports Reuters. At Morgan Stanley's annual conference, Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch told fund managers that after years of investment it was time to seize the pricing opportunity.

  • Telefónica is hoping to bulk up its big data muscle by integrating Spanish consulting firm Synergic Partners into the Telefónica fold. Synergic specializes in big data, data science and data engineering. No financial details of the deal were disclosed.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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