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Euronews: SFR, Numericable Discuss Merger

SFR , Numericable-SFR , Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) start the week in today's run through the EMEA headlines.

  • SFR, the mobile subsidiary of French conglomerate Vivendi , is in talks with market-leading cable operator Numericable over a possible merger, reports Reuters, citing French daily Le Figaro. SFR has been feeling the heat since cut-price operator Free Mobile launched its service earlier this year. (See Iliad Disrupts the French Mobile Scene .)

  • Nokia has completed the sale of its "bling" mobile handset brand Vertu to EQT VI, which will see around 1,000 workers being transferred. The value of the transaction was not disclosed, though what we do know is that Nokia will retain a 10 percent minority shareholding in Vertu. (See Euronews: Nokia to Offload 'Bling' Brand and The Vertu Vanishes .)

  • Alcatel-Lucent is to cut around 1,000 jobs in India, reports the Times of India, as part of a major restructuring process. (See IndiaWatch: Alcatel-Lucent To Cut 1,000 Jobs In India.)

  • Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Mobile Telecoms Ltd. is looking to raise up to US$100 million from investors to roll out the brand in new markets in central Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, according to a report in the Financial Times (subscription required).

  • Liquid Telecom is trumpeting the fact that it has connected Zimbabwe to the WACS subsea cable that runs from South Africa to London. It has also, it says, started building the first urban fiber network in Zimbabwe, providing downlink speeds of up to 20 Mbit/s in a number of urban centers.

  • Millions of customers were hit by an outage on Telefónica UK Ltd. 's O2 service on Friday for several hours, reports the BBC. The latest disruption follows a major outage in July, which cost the operator millions in compensation. (See O2's Payback, Now What, O2? and Outage Strikes O2 UK.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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