Euronews: Dec. 21

Nokia Networks , Orange (NYSE: FTE), and Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) are first in line for today's roundup of Euro telecom news.

  • French operator SFR is upgrading its 3G network to HSPA+ with dual-carrier (or dual-cell) technology from Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) starting in the new year, having just "showcased" downlink speeds of 42 Mbit/s in Lyon using the new technology. Dual-carrier HSPA+ is just one of several technologies that enable mobile operators to squeeze additional capacity from their existing 3G networks and spectrum ahead of mass Long Term Evolution (LTE) deployments. (See SFR Upgrades With NSN and MWC 2010: Dual-Carrier Duel.)

  • And talking of SFR... Offices of France Telecom and its Orange France subsidiary have been raided by French competition authority investigators, reports Telecompaper (subscription required), citing La Tribune. The investigation has apparently been prompted by accusations of alleged anti-competitive practices levelled by rivals SFR and Bouygues Telecom .

  • UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) has turned to Belgian integrator and IT services specialist Telindus Group NV (Euronext: Tel.BR) to help manage its multi-vendor data network, which includes equipment from Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), and Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT). (See Virgin Picks Telindus.)

  • Russia's largest mobile operator, Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT), will not be bidding for JSC Ukrtelecom , Ukraine's fixed-line incumbent, according to a report on Ria Novosti. The auction of a 92.79 percent stake in Ukrtelecom will take place on Dec. 28, for an initial price of around US$1.3 billion.

    Elsewhere in Europe:

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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