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Comms chips

Euronews: ST-Ericsson Does the Splits

Ericsson AB, STMicroelectronics NV, Everything Everywhere Ltd. (EE) and Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) stir it up in today's cruise through the EMEA headlines.
  • ST-Ericsson, the ailing mobile chip joint venture that was set up by Ericsson and STMicroelectronics, is to be dismembered. Under the terms of the agreement announced today, Ericsson will take on the design, development and sales of the LTE multimode thin modem products, while ST will take on the remaining ST-Ericsson products as well as certain assembly and test facilities. Anything that's left after these bones are picked clean will be closed down. According to a report on Reuters, around 1,600 jobs will be lost as a result of the closures. (See Ericsson, STMicro Split Up ST-Ericsson, Euronews: ST-Ericsson CEO Resigns and ST-Ericsson Revamps, Cuts 1,700 Jobs.)
  • Unnamed sources have revealed that U.K. mobile operator Everything Everywhere (EE) gave away a large chunk of 4G spectrum in the 1800MHz band to much-smaller rival 3 to avoid selling it to Vodafone or O2, The Guardian reports. It is thought EE could have raised as much as £450 million ($680 million) from the sale of the spectrum. (See EE Shares 4G Lessons Learned.)
  • And on the subject of the U.K.'s 4G auction, regulator Ofcom has revealed that said auction could have raised £5.2 billion ($7.8 billion) rather than the relatively paltry £2.3 billion ($3.4 billion) it did raise had the "second price rule" not been applied. As The Guardian explains, under the second price rule, winners are obliged to pay only slightly more than the second-highest bidder. (See UK 4G Auction Falls Short and UK Kicks Off 4G Auction Process.)
  • After less than a year in the job, Saudi Telecom CEO Khaled al-Ghoneim has decided to call it a day, reports Reuters. He is the latest in a string of Saudi Telecom execs to leave in the face of a continuing decline in profits at the operator. — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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