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Euronews: Will Nokia Take the High-End Road?

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), the European Commission and Orascom Telecom proffer something for the weekend in today's jog through the EMEA headlines.

  • There's speculation that Nokia will sell off its ailing low-end phone business in emerging nations and focus instead on competing at the high end with its Windows Phone devices against the iPhone and the posher Android handsets, reports Bloomberg. Wednesday's profit warning from Nokia revealed just how far its market share had slipped in emerging countries in the face of competition from low-cost rivals. (See Nokia's Nightmare Scenario and Nokia Dives on Lowered Device Outlook.)

  • The European Commission is looking to establish a data privacy framework for the daftly named "Internet of Things," or, in other words, the connection of more and more household and personal devices to the Internet in order to share data and, in theory at least, enable more control over functions related to such devices. Neelie Kroes, the vice president for the Commission's Digital Agenda, said in a statement: "I want to promote an Internet of Things that serves our economic and societal goals, whilst preserving security, privacy and the respect of ethical values." To put it another way, you don't need to know that your neighbor's left his/her refrigerator door open. (See EC Consults on 'Internet of Things'.)

  • Still on the Brussels beat, the Daily Telegraph is predicting that the European Commission will pronounce today on the "mobile wallet" proposals put forward by Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2), EE and Vodafone UK . The three operators want to form a separate joint venture that will act as a mobile payment platform: Smaller rival Three UK isn't happy about being left out in the cold on this one and has let its feelings be known. (See UK Operators Form Mobile Money JV.)

  • Orascom, the North African subsidiary of VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP), is seeking international arbitration on its dispute with the Algerian government over how the latter has treated its local unit, which operates under the Djezzy GSM brand name. Djezzy has been fined around US$1.3 billion by the Algerian authorities and had one of its executives receive a criminal sentence. The claim for arbitration is being made under the rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. (See Orascom Seeks Algeria Arbitration and Algerian Upheaval May Be Good for Telecom.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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