Euronews: Vodafone Expands Its Atlantic NOC

Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), EE and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) top the bill in today's jog through the EMEA headlines.

  • Vodafone is expanding the reach of its Atlantic NOC (network operations center), based in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, to monitor the performance of its network in Ireland. The Atlantic NOC is already responsible for monitoring Vodafone's networks in Spain and the U.K. and, by March 2013, will also be responsible for the day-to-day supervision of Vodafone Ireland 's infrastructure, according to this Controlinveste report (in Portuguese). Vodafone opened the Atlantic NOC, one of two centralized operations centers in Europe, in July. (See Vodafone Portugal to monitor the networks of other Group operators.

  • 4G war has broken out in the U.K., reports the Daily Telegraph, with EE, which was recently allowed to launch LTE services well ahead of its rivals, accusing Vodafone of misleading customers in its advertising. Vodafone is offering existing subscribers the chance to upgrade to 4G next year -- even though it has yet to secure 4G spectrum, as the auction doesn't take place until June. (See How Not to Do 4G, EE-Style and Euronews: 4G Arrives in UK.)

  • Telefónica is planning to sell its 2 percent stake in Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (NYSE: PT) and 250 of its towers, according to a report on Telecompaper (subscription required), citing Spanish daily El Pais. It hopes that these measures will shave around €86 million ($110 million) off the Spanish giant's debt pile. (See Euronews: Telefónica to Seek UK IPO? and Telefónica Plans Regional IPOs.)

  • Orange France customers can now buy Facebook services on the smartphone and have the charges added to their phone bill, according to Bango Inc. , which is providing the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) capabilities required to enable the "carrier billing" process. Find out more on the Bango website. Bango first enabled Facebook carrier billing in September in Germany, the U.K. and U.S. (See Bango Brings Carrier Billing to Facebook.)

  • Mobile advertising, mobile apps and cloud services are set to be among the high growth areas that will boost South Africa's communications services sector by about $500 million during the next five years, according to a new market forecast report from Pyramid Research .

  • H3G Italy has chosen Aircom International Ltd. 's Optima software to keep tabs on its LTE network. According to the vendor, Optima provides operators with a single view across all network technologies, including GSM, UMTS, HSPA, LTE and WiMax. Aircom is based in the U.K. and claims 1.1 billion subscribers worldwide. (See Aircom Optimizes Italian LTE Network.)

  • Norway's 2GHz spectrum auction has been done and dusted – and all in a matter of minutes, according to Real Wireless. All nine blocks were sold at the reserve price of 5 million Norwegian kroner ($871,000) per block. Telia Company and Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) each won four blocks, with Mobile Norway nabbing the remainder. According to the regulator, this result means that these three operators each have the same amount of spectrum in the 2GHz band.

  • Key players in the European cloud services industry rubbed shoulders with European Commission technocrats in Brussels on Monday for what was the inaugural meeting of the European Cloud Partnership, which, in its own words, "brings together industry and the public sector to establish a Digital Single Market for cloud computing in Europe." Well that's the plan, anyhow.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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