Optical/IP Networks

Euronews: €300M Boost for Startups

Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), European spectrum, Nokia Networks and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) are in the mix for Tuesday's chew-over of the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • Telefónica's Digital division is pulling together funds from private and public purses to form a €300 million (US$378 million) venture capital fund that will be used to back digital technology startups. Telefónica Digital is already investing in, and incubating, such startups in numerous "academies" in Latin America and Europe. (See Seeking the New Silicon Valley, Telefónica Launches €300M VC Scheme, Why Gonzalo Martin-Villa Is Kissing Frogs and Telefónica: A New Breed of Telco.)

  • As spectrum becomes increasingly scarce for mobile and wireless applications, the European Commission has called for new rules to enable spectrum-sharing in the European Union. Neelie Kroes, the EC's vice president for the Digital Agenda, said that "radio spectrum is economic oxygen," and has urged national regulators to adopt new rules to encourage more spectrum-sharing in a consistent way across the region. (See EC Proposes Spectrum Sharing Rules.)

  • Speculation continues to simmer over the fate of Nokia Siemens Network's business support systems (BSS) assets, with a report on Dow Jones, cited by Reuters, claiming that Ericsson is in "pole position" to snap them up. The proposed sale is part of a restructuring program NSN announced in November 2011. (See Is NSN Close to BSS Sale?)

  • Russian operator Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) has launched LTE services in Moscow, using NSN gear and expertise. Downlink speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s are being touted on what, says MTS, is Russia's first LTE TDD network.

  • T-Mobile (UK) has started a trial of a mobile VoIP application called Clever Connect, which works over Wi-Fi or 3G. The app can be downloaded from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s App Store and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Play store.

  • MegaFon, the Russian mobile operator, is seeking a listing of proxy shares on the London exchange, reports Reuters, as it works towards an IPO. (See Euronews: More 4G for Russia.)

  • Deutsche Telekom has been telling Bloomberg that it has revamped its startup investment strategy, enabling its T-Venture arm to buy majority stakes in startups and make faster decisions. (See Deutsche Telekom Invests in DSL Chipmaker.)

  • We're all doomed, part 94: Ratings agency Moody's has lowered its outlook for the European Union's AAA credit rating to "negative," reports the BBC.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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