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Euronews: Ericsson Eyes Nortel Patents

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), MegaFon , Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) are up and at 'em in today's regional roundup.

  • Swedish vendor Ericsson is thinking of making an offer for some of the patents being auctioned off by Nortel Networks Ltd. , the bankrupt networking equipment giant, according a report on Bloomberg. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), BlackBerry and RPX Corp. have already expressed an interest in the portfolio of patents. (See Patent Firm Wants In on Nortel Auction, RIM May Also Bid for Nortel Patents and Google Bids $900M for Nortel's Patents.)

  • Russian mobile operator Megafon saw its first-quarter net income decline 1.9 percent year-on-year to 10.09 billion roubles (US$359.2 million), despite an 18 percent growth in revenues over the same period. Depreciation charges were largely to blame, said the company. (See MegaFon Reports Q1 and MegaFon Raises Russian Backhaul Stakes .)

  • U.K. incumbent BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has chosen Alcatel-Lucent's Motive ServiceView software to help its contact center staff cope with customers' queries relating to triple-play packages. (See BT Deploys AlcaLu's Motive and BT's TV Vision Grows.)

  • Following its appointment of Jo Lunder as CEO a couple of days ago, Russian operator VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) has announced a raft of further senior appointments, including: Ahmed Abou Doma as group executive VP and head of the Asia and Africa business unit; Ossama Bessada as group executive VP and head of the Europe and North America Business Unit; and Philip Tohme as group CTO. The appointments come in the wake of VimpelCom's acquisition of Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA . (See VimpelCom Adds to Management Team, VimpelCom Names New CEO and Euronews: March 17.)

  • Telefónica UK Ltd. suffered a network outage on Tuesday after a theft at one of its operations sites in East London. The network was down from just after midnight until about 4:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday and left customers without service in East London, North London, Kent and East Sussex, according to O2's blog. This is the second major network outage of this nature in the U.K. -- equipment was stolen from a Vodafone UK exchange in Basingstoke. (See Burglars Bring Down Vodafone Network.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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