Euronews: Vodafone Lands a Bluefish

Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Transmode Systems AB and Volubill make some noise in today's spin through the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • Vodafone is keeping Euronews on its toes today. First up, it has announced the acquisition of pan-European consultancy Bluefish, with a view to making it the nucleus of a new unified communications practice within the Vodafone Global Enterprise unit. The deal won't dent Vodafone's bank balance much, though: Bluefish is something of a tiddler, with Vodafone valuing the consultancy's assets at just £3.14 million (US$4.9 million). The actual price Vodafone paid, though, has not been revealed. (See Vodafone Buys Bluefish.)

    Second, the mobile giant has developed an Android smartphone app, the Vodafone Guardian, which enables parents and carers to protect children from inappropriate calls, messages and online content. The app, which is free, is currently available in Egypt, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the U.K., with other markets to follow in 2012.

    Another free Android app, Vodafone Digital Parenting, which provides parents and carers with information and advice on how smartphones can be used without exposing children to risk, is available in the U.K., with other markets to follow. The operator is also a founding member of a new pan-European task force, the CEO Coalition, established by the European Commission, to enhance child safety online.

    And, third, Vodafone has declared an interest in buying a 10 percent stake in Metroweb SpA , the owner of Milan's largest fiber network, reports Bloomberg. (See Vodafone's Key Data Points.)

  • Swedish transport vendor Transmode has landed a new WDM equipment deal in the U.K. with alternative operator Surf Telecoms Ltd. , which is upgrading its existing infrastructure and extending its network by 650 route kilometers. (See Surf's Up for Transmode and Transmode Sticks to Growth Path.)

  • Volubill, a purveyor of Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) systems (policy management and charging capabilities), has done a deal with Orange Tunisia. Its recently launched Volubill Business System (VBS) offering will take care of the fast-growing North African operator's policy-control needs. (See Orange Tunisia Deploys Volubill, Data Surge Fuels Policy Control Boom and VoluBill Cranks Up.)

  • Satellite operator Eutelsat Communications S.A. is bringing faster broadband to some lonely corners of the U.K.'s West Country. The Tooway satellite broadband service, run by Skylogic using Eutelsat's satellites, has been chosen for a public sector-funded scheme which will see more than 1,000 homes and businesses in the areas of Devon and Somerset gain the chance to enjoy 10Mbit/s download speeds. (See Skylogic Lands UK Rural Broadband Deal.)

  • Mobile operator Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) has chosen NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701)'s iPasolink microwave backhaul product to support its Long Term Evolution (LTE) trial in London. (See Backhaulin' LTE in London .)

  • If anyone still needed evidence that North Africa is a mobile hotspot, here's some: Reuters reports that the number of mobile subscriptions in Egpyt rose 28.4 percent year-on-year, to 78.99 million. Egypt has a population of around 80 million. (See Scrambling for Africa, M&A-Style.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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