Euronews: Feb. 16

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Telefónica UK Ltd. are just some of the heavy-hitters in today's roundup of telecom news from the EMEA region.

  • Norwegian carrier Telenor plans to run a pilot of Ericsson's WAC (Wholesale Applications Community)-integrated white-label application store in Serbia. According to the vendor, it will be the first app store to have this WAC connection, though Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. might have something to say about that, as it has just announced the launch of a WAC-enabled app store for Smart Communications Inc. , a carrier in the Philippines. (See Telenor to Use Ericsson's eStore.)

  • Elsewhere at Ericsson central, the vendor has looked to strengthen its position in the M2M (machine-to-machine) marketplace with the launch of the Device Connection Platform, which it hopes will pave the way for "50 billion connected devices by 2020." The platform is being offered to operators as a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) option. The vendor's CEO Hans Vestberg talked about this new offer during a Light Reading TV interview recorded earlier this week. (See Ericsson Launches M2M Service and MWC 2011: Ericsson CEO on Akamai Deal.)

  • On the EMEA beat, UAE operator Etisalat has signed up Alcatel-Lucent to help it roll out what the vendor says is the Middle East's first commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. Among other things, AlaLu will be supplying LTE base stations (eNodeBs) and an all-IP Evolved Packet Core (EPC).

  • Telefónica UK Ltd. , the Telefónica-owned mobile operator, plans to preload eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY)'s mobile shopping app onto some of its smartphones, reports Reuters. This is the first preload deal of its kind, according to the online auction behemoth.

  • Has Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) been caught offside? The Financial Times reports that the German incumbent is being investigated by the state prosecutor's office in Stuttgart for an alleged attempt to win contracts worth hundreds of millions of euros from carmaker Volkswagen by offering to extend a sponsorship deal between DT and soccer club VfL Wolfsburg, which Volkswagen largely owns. Two former managers and a former consultant at T-Systems International GmbH , a DT subsidiary, are in the hotseat.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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