Euronews: Vodafone Gets Smart

Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Transmode Systems AB , VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) and Nokia Networks are the companies heading today's EMEA news queue.

  • Vodafone has unveiled its own smartphone, the Vodafone Smart, which will be on sale in Germany, Italy and the U.K. within a few weeks for just €90 ($127). The Android device has been designed with "first-time smartphone users in mind." (See Vodafone Unveils Its Smart Phone.)

  • Swedish metro optical equipment vendor Transmode Systems AB is to IPO on the Stockholm exchange in a move that will value the company at up to US$241 million. (See Transmode Unveils IPO.)

  • The French government hopes to raise at least €2.5 billion ($3.5 billion) in the upcoming 4G auction for spectrum suitable for Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the 800MHz and 2.6MHz frequencies, according to a Reuters report, which cites an interview with French industry minister Eric Besson in Le Figaro. The 800MHz spectrum would have a minimum price set at €1.8 billion ($2.5 billion), while the 2.6GHz would have a minimum price of €700 million ($988 million). France would be the next significant European market to auction 4G spectrum after Germany in May last year raised €4.4 billion ($6.2 billion) from its 4G auction. (See German Spectrum Auction Ends, Raises €4.4B and EC Dismisses French 3G Operator Complaints.)

  • VimpelCom, the subject of a major international tussle in recent months, has named its current chairman, Jo Lunder, as its new CEO following the resignation of Alexander Izosimov, who will step down at the end of June. (See VimpelCom's Wind Acquisition Approved and Telenor Opposes VimpelCom Acquisition of Wind.)

  • It's been a significant week for the Eurasian republic of Azerbaijan. News that mobile operator Azerfon, a strategic partner of Vodafone, is to upgrade and expand its network for LTE with Nokia Siemens was followed by the country's success in the poptastic spectacular that is the Eurovision Song Contest. They'll be a-boppin' in Baku.

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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