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Euronews: Jan. 18

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Vodafone Ireland and CableLabs get things moving in today's roundup of Euro telecom news.

  • Ovi and out: Handset giant Nokia is turning off its Ovi music download service in 27 out of the 33 markets where it operates, reports The Financial Times. Launched in 2008 as a rival to Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iTunes, the service has won market share in some developing countries but has failed to take off in Europe. (See LR Mobile's Black Friday Re-Gifting Guide and Is Nokia's Ovi Finnish'd?.)

  • Mobile operator Vodafone Ireland has reduced the size of its board from nine to six following the removal of three non-executive directorships, reports The Irish Times. The company said the the change was part of "streamlining and simplification" process: It will also save Vodafone several hundred thousand euros a year, which can't hurt.

  • CableLabs of the U.S. and Cable Europe Labs of Belgium, which have a history of collaboration on technologies, have signed a memorandum of understanding which in theory commits them to a "closer and more extensive working relationship." The agreement kicks off with a one-year trial program to help find where longer-term cooperation might lead. (See CableLabs, Cable Europe Cosy Up, CableLabs Braces for ITV Data Tsunami and Cable Europe Labs Names Managing Director.)

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) has possibly upset thousands of twenty- and thirtysomethings by announcing that it has launched three new "attractive" mobile subscriptions for "young people" -- and stipulating that you have to be under 26 to be classed as a young person. Want NATEL xtra liberty start, NATEL xtra liberty primo or NATEL xtra liberty medio? Fuggeddaboutit, old-timer. (See Swisscom Unveils Yoof Service.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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