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In today's EMEA roundup: Ericsson's brand man steps down; Swisscom takes $1.3B Fastweb hit; new CEO for set-top leader Pace
December 14, 2011
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) and Pace plc make some noise in today's jog through the EMEA telecom headlines.
Following Monday's announcement of CTO Håkan Eriksson's imminent sidestep comes news that Ericsson's chief brand officer, Cesare Avenia, will be stepping down from his current role on Dec. 21. He will, however, remain in the company as senior advisor to Group Function Communications. So that's two departures from Ericsson's Executive Leadership Team in three days -- are there any others feeling nervous? (See Ericsson's Brand Man Steps Down and Euronews: Ericsson's CTO Steps Down.)
Swisscom may be ruing the day it ventured into Italy, as it announces a 1.2 billion Swiss franc (US$1.3 billion) write-down on Fastweb SpA (Milan: FWB), its fixed-line unit there. (See FastWeb Impairment Hits Swisscom Net Income and Swisscom 9M Net Revenue Falls 4.9%.)
There's a change of personnel at U.K.-based set-top maker Pace as well, which sees Mike Pulli, currently president of Pace Americas, taking over from Neil Gaydon as CEO. (See Pulli Succeeds Gaydon as Pace CEO and Pace Unseats Moto as Set-Top King .)
Velatel Inc. , better known for its activities in China, is set to take majority control of two wireless broadband startups in the Balkans and is working closely with ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) on the expansion of WiMax networks in Croatia and Montenegro. (See Velatel to Provide 4G LTE Network in China.)
The latest survey from U.K. regulator Ofcom has found that despite all the hoo-ha about "super-fast" broadband (greater than 25 Mbit/s downstream), only 4 percent of British households had actually bothered to subscribe to it as of June 2011, even though 59 percent of households had access to it. Maybe there's more mileage in "fast enough" broadband than we thought... (See ISPs Shamed by UK Broadband Speed Tests.)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.
He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.
During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.
Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.
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