Euronews: Telenor Wants Its Money Back

Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN), SFR and Orange France loom large in today's collection of EMEA headlines.

  • Nordic operator Telenor could be set to claim billions of dollars in damages from the Indian government following the announcement in February that its mobile licenses in India are to be revoked, reports Light Reading India, citing The Economic Times. The actual amount of compensation is unclear: Though The Economic Times report gives a figure of US$14 billion, The Indian Express says that Telenor has not stated any compensation amount in its letter to the Indian government. The licenses are being revoked in the wake of the 2G spectrum auction scandal that has rocked India's telecom industry. (See India Telecom 2010: In the Shadow of Scandal and India's Regulator Wants 2G Licenses Revoked.)

  • Following the announcement of CEO Frank Esser's departure from French operator SFR, Bernard Lévy, CEO of SFR's parent company Vivendi , is to take the helm, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). SFR has been bleeding mobile subscribers since the entry of Iliad (Euronext: ILD)'s Free Mobile onto the French scene earlier in the year. (See Iliad Disrupts the French Mobile Scene .)

  • The president of French regulator Arcep has been quantifying just how big the Free Mobile effect has been on his domestic market, reports Business Week. Jean-Ludovic Silicani told journalists at a meeting in Paris that as many as 10,000 jobs in the French telecom industry may be lost as operators struggle to compete with Free Mobile on price. (See Euronews: Jan. 31 and Egypt Unplugs From the Internet.)

  • Still in France, the ANR national research agency is awarding more than €900,000 ($1.2 million) in funding to the Lightweight privacY-enhancing cRyptography for mobIle Contactless Services (LYRICS) project that is developing cryptography for mobile contactless services. (See Group Researches Anonymous Authentication and Orange: NFC Won’t Make Us Rich .)

  • After being forced to send out pro-government text messages during the Arab Spring, Vodafone Egypt is now looking to curb Egyptian state control of operators through an amendment in the law, reports Business Week. (See Egypt Unplugs From the Internet.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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