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Euronews: Telecom Italia Boss Thinks Positive

Telecom Italia (TIM) , Telkom SA Ltd. (NYSE/Johannesburg: TKG) and the mouthful that is Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) start the week in today's offering of EMEA telecom tidbits.

  • It may seem odd, considering the rocky state of Italy's finances, but Telecom Italia's CEO is predicting that his company will outperform the market in 2012, reports Reuters. Marco Patuano told La Stampa that a greater emphasis on mobile Internet and cloud services will help the operator keep its end up amid the chaos. (See Telecom Italia EBITDA Up 16.6% in Q3.)

  • Sweden's mobile operators, Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO), Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN), Telia and 3 Group , have combined to form a mobile payments joint venture in the country and plan to launch services in the summer of 2012. According to Telia's press announcement, hundreds of thousands of Swedes already pay for public transport and parking with their mobile phones. Now the joint venture company hopes to add more types of transactions and make the service available to any mobile customer. The joint venture is equally owned by the four operators and it is in the process of recruiting a CEO.

  • Fierce competition and the decline of "traditional telephony" are taking their toll on South African operator Telkom SA, which posted fiscal first-half profits down a scary 36 percent year-on-year, reports Reuters.

  • Net profits were also down year-on-year at Russian operator MTS, with a third-quarter figure of US$362 million this year, down 25 percent on the same period last year. (See MTS Reports Q3 Profit of $362M.)

  • While Western Europe gets itself into a lather over Long Term Evolution (LTE), Europe's eastern fringes still have some catching up to do: Azercell Telecom JV , the Telia Company -owned mobile operator in the Eurasian state of Azerbaijan, is trumpeting the launch of 3G services. This means that TeliaSonera now offers 3G services across all its Eurasian operations. (See TeliaSonera Launches 3G in Azerbaijan .)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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