The board of Orange (NYSE: FTE) has voted to renew the four-year mandate of CEO Stephane Richard, reports Reuters, offering the operator some stability at a time of considerable upheaval in the French telecom sector. Richard is still dogged by an investigation into his role in a 2008 arbitration case -- he was a government aide at the time -- that resulted in a large payout to businessman Bernard Tapie. Meanwhile, back at the coalface, Orange Business Services has landed a managed M2M deal with mobile payments firm SIA. Under the terms of the contract, OBS will provide technology that enables remote terminals to automatically transmit data to the SIA network infrastructure. (See Free Disrupts French Mobile Market and Orange Business Services Wins Managed M2M Deal.)
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has turned to Genband Inc. 's Diameter signaling controller to enhance its Global IP Exchange connectivity. Genband's offering smooths over the cracks between different LTE networks to ensure that roaming subscribers can easily connect when on the move. BT has also said goodbye to one of the chief architects of its BT TV service, Marc Watson. As the unit's CEO, Watson was heavily involved in negotiations for soccer rights as BT sought to establish itself as a credible rival to BSkyB in the premium sports content market. We're sure there's a "transfer request" gag in here somewhere... (See BT Deploys Genband's Diameter Signaling Controller and BT's Got Balls.)
Norway's Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) is facing antitrust proceedings initiated by the European Free Trade Association, reports Reuters. The authority alleges that the operator infringed competition rules by placing an illegal "margin squeeze" on its competitors, though it has not specified in which market this is supposed to have happened.
Out of the frying pan... Back in the 1990s Marc Watson, a barrister by training, was the legal attack dog/right-hand man of Richard Desmond, the cigar-puffing, ass-kicking porn baron turned almost respectable media mogul. After that job, negotiating soccer rights for BT must have seemed like one long picnic.
Tiscali gets innovative Interesting move by Tiscali -- I guess SPs have no idea how their OTT apps will take off and so want as much flexibility in their core as possible to react to uptake and new aplocation potential. And this is a company somewhat on its uppers, as us Brits say, so it's really gambling - good on it!