Euronews: Feb. 2

Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) are the heavy-hitters in today's roundup of telecom news headlines from the EMEA region.

  • It seems the rumors were right: Gerald Kleisterlee, currently president/CEO of Dutch electronics giant Philips, will be succeeding Sir John Bond as chairman of mobile group Vodafone. Sir John, who had come faced some flak for what were seen in some quarters as unwise acquisitions, will officially step down at the company's AGM in July. (See Vodafone Appoints New Chairman and Euronews: Jan. 25.)

  • The Financial Times reports (subscription required) that beleaguered handset giant Nokia could be facing a credit downgrade after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s followed Moody's Investors Service 's lead in putting the company's credit rating under review. (See Android Dethrones Symbian Globally and Elop Promises Nokia Will Change Faster.)

  • Does Alcatel-Lucent have a new recruitment policy that means it can now only hire people that have worked for BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)? (See BT Pals Reunited.)

  • Talking of BT, the U.K. incumbent is to undertake a series of interoperability tests involving next-generation mobile packet-core architectures, with Stoke Inc. as one of the vendors involved in the research. BT is a major supplier of wholesale service to the U.K.’s mobile operators, so is checking out the capabilities it needs to support the British mobile carriers once they transition to Long Term Evolution (LTE). (See BT Checks Out LTE With Stoke .)

  • Venice may be sinking into the lagoon but at least it's going to get the chance to try out 100Mbit/s broadband before it finally disappears from view, courtesy of Telecom Italia (TIM) 's ongoing program of fiber investment. Italy's number one operator has also been eyeing fiber network owner Metroweb SpA , according to The Wall Street Journal. (See Venice Tries 100Mbit/s Broadband.)

  • Some analysts are predicting that the ongoing unrest in Egypt could cost the telcos operating there millions of dollars, reports ArabianBusiness.com. The country's government effectively shut down the Internet and mobile networks last week in a bid to stop the spread of dissent, though since then some of the networks have been reinstated. (See Egypt Unplugs From the Internet and Euronews: Jan. 31.)

    Elsewhere in Europe:

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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