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Euronews: French Pave Way for Mobile Payments

Orange France , Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) pop up in today's run through the EMEA headlines.

  • A consortium of interested parties that counts Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom among its number has launched the dreadfully named "Buyster" Internet payment platform in France. The platform enables the user to associate his or her bank card with a particular mobile phone number and makes it possible to make an online payment using a fixed or mobile phone without ever releasing bank details to the retailer. (See Buyster Launches Payment Platform, German Operators Team on Mobile Money and UK Operators Form Mobile Money JV.)

  • Mobile services giant Vodafone has forsaken Europe for Silicon Valley as it seeks exciting new service development partners for its Xone R&D center. (See Vodafone Reaches Out to Silicon Valley and Vodafone Opens Xone R&D Center.)

  • French regulator Arcep has launched a public consultation into wholesale voice call termination rates for Free Free , LycaMobile and Oméa Telecom, which are entering the wholesale market between now and early 2012. Free Mobile is France's fourth-largest mobile network operator, while LycaMobile and Oméa are MVNOs hosted by Bouygues Telecom and SFR respectively. (See Arcep Consults on Termination Rates and ARCEP Sets Termination Rate Target.)

  • India's Bharti Airtel continues its expansion in Africa with the award of a license to operate 2G and 3G services in Rwanda, reports Reuters. The operator says it plans to invest US$100 million in the impoverished country during the next three years. (See Scrambling for Africa, M&A-Style.)

  • Edinburgh-based test and measurement systems specialist Calnex Solutions Ltd. says its Paragon-X product was used to test and validate the Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) backhaul platform being deployed by Virgin Media Business Ltd. across the U.K. (See Calnex Tests SyncE and UK Operators Opt for SyncE Backhaul.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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