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Euronews: Nokia Now a Smartphone 'Other'

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) proffer something for the weekend in today's trot through the EMEA headlines.

  • Nokia has lost its position as one of the top five smartphone makers, according to the latest Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker report from IDC . Its slot has been taken by BlackBerry , which joins Samsung Corp. , Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) and High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) at the smartphone makers' top table. (See Euronews: Nokia Can't Stop Devices Slide and Analyst Labels Latest Lumia Launch as 'Tepid'.)
  • Lower network infrastructure sales -- down 17 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period a year ago -- are putting Ericsson's revenues, margins and share price under pressure currently, but the management team is confident its strategy will pay off in the medium and long term. (See Ericsson Feels Networks Squeeze in Q3 and Ericsson Reports Q3 Profit of SEK2.2B.)

  • Telefónica Digital has added to its communications technology portfolio with the acquisition for an undisclosed sum of San Francisco-based video-calling platform developer TokBox. Telefónica intends to use the platform to develop its own services as well as provide applications and Application Programing Interface (API) code to developers and business that want to build their own services. (See Telefónica Digital Acquires TokBox and Telefónica: Digital Dreamer?)

  • The Financial Times reports that the head of Vodafone UK , Guy Laurence, has been bigging up the quality of his company's network in the face of the imminent launch of EE 's 4G services, comparing Vodafone's offering to a "deep-pan" pizza, as opposed to its "thin and crispy" rivals. Now here at Euronews Central we are all for cuisine-based similes, but frankly our stance is that deep-pan pizzas are an abomination. And, furthermore, if any chicken or sweetcorn is involved, we might all just as well call it a day.

  • Norway's Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) has signed a partnership agreement with Lakshdeep, an Indian finance firm that will contribute an agreed amount of equity into Telewings, Telenor's new wholly owned Indian subsidiary. The plan is that all assets belonging Uninor, Telenor's ill-fated former Indian venture, will be transferred to Telewings once spectrum has been successfully bagged by Telewings in the forthcoming auctions. (See Telenor Names New Partner in India.)

  • Belgacom SA (Euronext: BELG) saw its third-quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) decline 2.7 percent year-on-year to €460 million (US$594 million), but this was better than many expected, leading the Belgian operator to raise its 2012 outlook. It now predicts its 2012 full-year revenues will rise 1 percent, whereas previously it had been forecasting a 1 percent fall.

  • The U.K.'s "Big Four" mobile operators -- Vodafone, Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2), EE and Three UK -- are putting pressure on the government to relax the planning rules on erecting masts in urban conservation areas to help them meet 4G rollout targets, the Daily Telegraph reports. The operators want the amount of time in which the public can raise objections to proposed masts to be limited to 56 days, as it is in "normal" (i.e. non-conservation) urban areas.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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