Euronews: Ericsson Could Quit Handsets

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) and Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) take us into the weekend in today's smorgasbord of EMEA headlines.

  • According to a Reuters source, Ericsson is in talks with Sony over the possibility of the Japanese giant buying out Ericsson's share of their Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications handsets joint venture. Sony has been losing ground to rival handset vendors, and was hurt by a parts shortage following the earthquake in Japan. (See Sony Ericsson Blames Quake for Q2 Slump and Handset Vendors' Q2 Scorecard .)

  • There's mobile-network mayhem in Nigeria for Airtel, where a labor dispute has resulted in millions of subscribers suffering an outage, reports Reuters. The dispute is focused on a row over pay at contact centers operated for Airtel by Tech Mahindra Ltd. and Spanco Telesystems and Solutions Ltd. .

  • Telegeography reports that the government of Slovakia is considering an auction in the first quarter of 2012 for LTE services operating in the so-called "white space" 700MHz-800MHz band vacated by analogue TV broadcasting (as well as 2600MHz frequencies). (See Pyramid: 3G Key to Slovakian Growth.)

  • More than 570 workers are to lose their jobs following the decision of U.K. broadband provider TalkTalk to close its contact center in Waterford, Ireland, reports the Irish Times. Considering the company's wobbly record on complaints, eyebrows may be raised at this news. (See Ofcom Counts the Complaints.)

  • Openreach , the access network division of U.K. incumbent BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), has issued revised prices for pole and duct access following lengthy discussions with regulator Ofcom . In some cases, they are 60 percent lower than the draft prices released in January. (See BT Openreach Prices Poles and Ducts and BT Ramps Up Its FTTX Speeds.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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