Mobile commerce

Euronews: Jan. 31

Vodafone Egypt , Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) and VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) stir things up in today's steaming cauldron of telecom news from the EMEA region.

  • The unrest in Egypt shows little sign of abating, but at least the country's mobile phone network is back on, with Vodafone issuing a statement over the weekend attempting to explain why it had agreed to close down its network initially. "It has been clear to us that there were no legal or practical options open to Vodafone, or any of the mobile operators in Egypt, but to comply with the demands of the authorities..." it said. Internet access is still unavailable in the country, however. (See Egypt Unplugs From the Internet.)

  • Norwegian carrier Telenor is resorting to legal action in an attempt to prevent Russian group VimpelCom, in which Telenor holds a major stake, from acquiring Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA , reports Ria Novosti (See Euronews: Jan. 17.)
  • We knew it was big, but this big? DE-CIX Management GmbH , a Frankfurt-based Internet node management company, is predicting that Web data traffic will increase twentyfold in Europe by 2015, according to a report in Deutsche Welle. Streaming of HDTV content will be one of the main culprits, says the company.

  • Rejoice! Facebook has launched its 'Places Deals' location-based mobile advertising thingummybob in Europe. Users of the social networking site can elect to be informed by their mobile when they are within spitting distance of a participating store offering some deal or other. The words "life" and "too short" hang in the air...

  • Due diligence on UAE-based Etisalat 's US$12 billion bid for Kuwait's Zain Group is expected to be completed by the end of February, according to Reuters. (See Euronews: Jan. 17.)

    Elsewhere in Europe:

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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