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Europe

Euronews: August 13

9:00 AM -- TDC A/S (Copenhagen: TDC), Palm Inc. , and BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) are amongst those getting namechecked in today's roundup of European telecom news snippets.
  • Its Swiss market merger deal with Orange (NYSE: FTE) may have hit the buffers, but Danish operator TDC is still bringing home the bacon: Half-year EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) is up 6.4 percent year-on-year to 6.7 billion Danish crowns (US$1.15 billion), along with a 2.1 percent rise in its customer base, to 11.6 million punters, reports Reuters. (See FT: We're Committed to Switzerland.)

  • MWR InfoSecurity, a UK-based data security firm, has demonstrated how to turn the Palm Pre handset -- and possibly other smartphones -- into bugging devices that can eavesdrop on the user's conversations and send audio files of same to whoever wants to listen in. Sneaky. See The Independent for full James Bond-esque details.

  • The Hungarian government is to extend a so-called "Robin Hood tax" on the energy sector to the telecom sector in 2011, and raise the rate from 8 percent to more than 10 percent, reports Reuters, citing daily newspaper Nepszava.

  • On a happier note for Hungarian telcos, the country's newly created National Media and Telecommunications Authority has said it is to auction wireless frequencies in the 450MHz band before the end of the year as well as the remaining 900MHz spectrum that remained on the shelf after last year's auction, TeleGeography reports.

  • UK giant BT may have diverted the threat of strikes by persuading the Communications Workers Union to accept its pay deal a few days ago, but now that same union is urging its engineers suffering from tinnitus and deafness to go after compensation from the operator for possible negligence, reports HR Zone. A class action could be on the cards... (See BT Strikes Staff Pay Deal.)

    — Paul Rainford, freelance editor, special to Light Reading

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