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Euronews: Feb. 24

Paul Rainford
2/24/2011

Orange (NYSE: FTE), Magyar Telekom plc , eir and, erm, Vladimir Putin are in the saddle for today's ride across the windblown steppe of Euro telecom news.

  • France Telecom's full-year results show that the carrier's business held up well in 2010, all things considered, with global revenues reaching €45.5 billion (US$62.7 billion), up 0.6 percent from 2009. It does, however, still have a few troubled units that it needs to turn round. (See France Telecom Battles Through 2010 and FT Unveils New Action Plan.)

  • It was a rather bleak 2010 for Hungary's Magyar Telekom, with revenues down by 5 percent year-on-year and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) down 14.5 percent, its full-year results reveal. It didn't help that the Hungarian government tried to address the parlous state of the nation's finances by establishing a telecom tax. (See Magyar Telekom Reports 2010, Euronews: Nov. 30 and Euronews: Oct. 18.)

  • Vladimir Putin, the frequently bare-chested Prime Minister of Russia, is visiting the European Commission in Belgium today. While he is there, reports Reuters, his communications minister, Igor Shchegolev, is expected to announce that Russia intends to slash its mobile data roaming tariffs, bringing them down to EU levels. Since last July, data roaming charges have been capped in the EU at €50 ($68.78) a month. Thanks, Vlad! Now put your vest back on. (See EU Caps Data Roaming Fees and EC Consults on Roaming Charges.)

  • Eircom, the troubled Irish incumbent, has appointed debt restructuring experts Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin , reports The Irish Times, as it looks to extract itself from a mire of outstanding debt. Representatives of Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte. Ltd. (STT) are believed to be in talks with Eircom and other interested parties this week. (See Lenders to Lean on Eircom.)

    Elsewhere in Europe:



    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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