Euronews: Google Plays Nice With Telenor

Google, Telenor ASA and France Télécom – Orange head up today's trawl of the EMEA headlines.
  • Telenor's Android smartphone customers in Norway are now able to pay for Google Play apps (of which there are more than 700,000) using their mobile subscriptions following 'direct carrier billing' developments by the Norwegian operator's Digital Services division. This is an important development for a number of reasons: Find out more in today's Euroblog, How Telcos Can Deal With OTT. It's been a busy week at Telenor: In addition to playing nice with Google, it has suffered a major security breach and is also replacing its multimedia voice messaging platform with Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) technology from value-added applications specialist Tecnotree Corp. (See Euronews: Telenor Suffers Hack Attack and Telenor Bills for Google Apps.)
  • France Telecom – Orange has had what it calls a "tightening" (ouch!) of its executive team in a bid, it says, to simplify its "innovation structure." Among other appointments, Vivek Badrinath is appointed deputy CEO in charge of the group's "innovation, technology and customer experience resources" and Thierry Bonhomme is appointed senior executive VP in charge of Orange Business Services. (See Is Orange Really Innovating?)
  • Vivendi, the French media conglomerate, is giving some serious thought to spinning off its SFR mobile subsidiary, according to this Bloomberg report. SFR has been up against it since the entry of cut-price operator Free Mobile into the French market. (See Euronews: SFR Drags Vivendi Down and Iliad Disrupts the French Mobile Scene.)
  • Vodafone Group plc has formed a partner market agreement with Polish operator Polkomtel. Under the terms of the deal, Vodafone's multinational customers will benefit from the addition of Poland to their existing contracts for international managed services. (See Vodafone, Polkomtel Team in Poland.)
  • Deutsche Telekom AG has signed an M2M (machine-to-machine) deal with Swiss freight company Arviem. The pair will jointly offer their customers a real-time monitoring system for freight consignments.
  • And yet another partnership: Swisscom Hospitality Services (the hotel communications arm of the Swiss incumbent) has teamed up with NEC Unified Solutions to offer next-generation voice and data services to the EMEA hospitality market.
  • "It's me! I'm on top of a mountain!" Everything Everywhere Ltd. (EE) is launching 4G services in the beautiful though often soggy U.K. region of Cumbria, an area as yet largely unserved by fixed fiber-based broadband.
  • And several hundred miles further south, BT Group plc has signed a deal with Hampshire County Council to bring super-fast broadband to more than 57,000 business and residential premises. The contract forms part of the government-funded BDUK program. — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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