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Euronews: Jan. 14

Polkomtel SA , eir , Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) and VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) top the bill in today's roundup of telecom headlines from the EMEA region.

  • Senior lenders are losing patience with Irish carrier eircom, which appears to have done little to deal with its crippling level of debt, according to information shared with Light Reading by the team at CapitalStructure Ltd. (See Lenders to Lean on Eircom.)

  • There's bags of interest in the sale of Polish mobile operator Polkomtel SA , reports Warsaw Business Journal, citing daily Puls Biznesu. Apparently 50 companies have already picked up the "teaser" documents sent as part of the sale process. (See Euronews: Jan. 13.)

  • The Russian government's communications and press minister, Igor Shchyogolev, has said that tenders for LTE frequencies could be announced in the second half of this year, reports The Moscow Times. Apparently it all depends on the big four operators -- namely MTS, Vimpelcom, MegaFon and Rostelecom -- being able to convert military frequencies for civilian use.

  • Still in Russia, the country's anti-monopoly service has made it known -- to judo-fiend Prime Minister Putin no less -- that it believes international and long-distance roaming prices are still too high, reports Ria Novosti. MTS, MegaFon and Vimpelcom have already dropped their prices by as much as 50 percent following a similar accusation last year, but it looks like further cuts could be on the cards.

  • On the EMEA front, the CEO of Telkom SA Ltd. (NYSE/Johannesburg: TKG), Africa's largest fixed-line operator, is to step down at the end of March, reports Reuters. Jeffery Hedberg is thought to have decided to leave because the South African government, Telkom's largest shareholder, will not allow him make the radical changes he had in mind for the operator.

  • And on it goes... U.K. regulator the Ofcom has said that News Corp. (NYSE: NWS)'s bid for the part of broadcaster and broadband provider Sky that it doesn't already own should be referred back to the Competition Commission, reports the BBC. The European Commission has already given the green light to the deal, which many of BSkyB's rivals say will restrict choice for British viewers.

    Elsewhere in Europe:

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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