Euronews: March 24

Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), Telia Company and Etisalat are moving and indeed shaking in today's roundup of telecom news from the EMEA region.

  • ¡Ay, caramba! Spanish giant Telefónica plans to invest US$14.6 billion in its Brazil operations over the next four years, reports Reuters, as it seeks to exploit the potential for growth in Latin America. This investment represents a 52 percent increase on what the carrier funnelled Brazil's way during the previous four-year period. (See At Futurecom: A Peek at Brazil's Potential and Euro Carriers Catch Latino Fever.)

  • Swedish carrier TeliaSonera is taking legal action against mobile operator Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (NYSE: TKC), in which it is a minority shareholder, for what it says is Turkcell's failure to appoint enough independent board members. (See TeliaSonera Challenges Turkcell on Governance, Turkcell Heads to Germany and TeliaSonera, Altimo Combine Assets.)
  • French regulator Arcep has followed in the footsteps of the U.K.'s Ofcom by setting out the reductions in mobile termination rates (what one operator charges another to complete a call on its network) that it would like to see implemented over the next couple of years. It wants to see a phased reduction culminating in a target rate of 0.8c€/minute (1.1 UScents/minute) by Jan. 1, 2013, with the first cut, to 2c€/minute, starting on July 1, 2011. (See ARCEP Sets Termination Rate Target, Euronews: March 15 and EC Acts on Termination Rates.)

  • UAE-based operator Etisalat, which recently abandoned its $12 billion bid to buy 46 percent of rival Zain Group , isn't ruling out having another stab at expansion into potential telecom growth countries in the Middle East such as Iraq, Jordan and Morocco, reports Arabian Business. Ahmed Bin Ali, Etisalat's group senior vice president of corporate communications, said: "We are looking at all opportunities ... If we think it is worth it we are on the same speed of expansion whenever there is a chance to do so." The state-owned carrier no longer benefits from a domestic monopoly. (Euronews: March 21 and The UAE's Fiber-Filled Future.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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