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Euronews: Ericsson to Buy Technicolor Service Biz

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), eir and Vodafone Portugal top the bill in today's haul of EMEA telecom headlines.

  • Ericsson is hoping to boost its presence in the broadcast sector with the acquisition of France-based Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH)'s Broadcast Services Division. If it goes ahead, the €19 million (US$24.9 million) deal will bring around 900 employees and several playout operations into the Ericsson fold. (See Ericsson Adds a Touch of Technicolor, MWC 2012: Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg and Ericsson Appoints New CTO.)

  • A possible savior for Ireland's struggling and up-for-sale eircom has appeared in the shape of The Blackstone Group , according to a Reuters report citing the Irish Independent newspaper. Blackstone's asset management business is putting forward a debt restructuring plan this week with a view to a takeover, says the report. (See Lenders to Lean on Eircom.)

  • Vodafone Portugal has begun rolling out its Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in several of the country's major towns and cities. Two tiers of mobile broadband will be offered, one offering downlink speeds of up to (yes, the dreaded "up to") 50 Mbit/s, the other up to 100 Mbit/s. (See Vodafone Launches LTE in Portugal and Vodafone Preps LTE Launch in Portugal .)

  • Hermann Hauser, the serial IT entrepreneur, has joined the board of Dublin-based Intune Networks , the optical burst system specialist. The move follows an initial investment in the business by Hauser in 2008. (See Hermann Hauser Joins Intune's Board and Intune Banks €17.5M.)

  • Telefónica Deutschland GmbH has decided to cease marketing Alice TV, its IPTV offering, reports the IPTV News website. It won't, however, be pulling the plug on those who already subscribe. Changing market conditions were cited as the reason for the decision.

  • The acquisition of Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA hit the fourth-quarter results of Russian giant VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP), with EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) down 3 percent year-on-year, despite revenue being 4 percent higher. (See Vimpelcom Posts $386M Net Loss in Q4 and VimpelCom Board Approves Wind Deal.)

  • Openreach, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s access unit, is to more-or-less double its fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) speeds offered to operators. "Headline" speeds will be 80 Mbit/s downstream, 20 Mbit/s upstream. BT says it has made fiber broadband available to more than 7 million homes and businesses in the U.K. (See BT's Openreach to Launch 80Mbit/s FTTC, BT Ramps Up Its FTTX Speeds and Euronews: BT Preps 300Mbit/s FTTP Offer.)

  • And over in Taste-Lapse Central, the Daily Telegraph reports on the wheeze devised by U.K. ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which thought it would be fun and interesting to use homeless people as pay-as-you-go Wi-Fi hotspots in and around the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Texas. Now if we could just get them to shin up those lampposts a bit to improve reception...

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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