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Europe

Euronews: August 16

9:25 AM -- Today our roundup of European telecom news snippets takes you to -- among other places -- Poland, Macedonia, and, yes, the Isle of Man.
  • The Warsaw Business Journal reports that, in terms of volume at least, Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s Orange -- under the PTK Centertel brand -- is ahead of the game in SIM card sales in Poland. In terms of profitability, however, it lags in third place, says the newspaper.

  • We don't go there very often but we're going there now: the Isle of Man. The home of mad motorcycle racing and numerous tax exiles is planning a major shake-up of its telecom and broadcasting regulations, and Cable & Wireless Communications 's main man on the island, Andy Bridson, has thrown his weight behind the planned reforms, reports Manx Radio.

  • A ferry ride across the Irish Sea, UK giant BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s apprenticeship scheme is proving almost too popular, with 24,000 applications for the 221 places on offer, reports the Press Association. The chosen few, who will initially earn between £11,000 (US$17,000) and £14,000 (US$22,000) a year, will go on to specialize in IT, telecom, or customer service.

  • Another BT offer, that of live televised Premier League soccer as part of its BT Vision triple-play service, isn't proving quite so popular, with only 60,000 new subscribers signing up following a £30 million ($47 million) ad campaign, reports The Independent. That won't worry rival Sky too much -- it has 9.8 million subscribers to its sports package.

  • Still on a soccer theme, The Irish Times reports that US tower company Shared Access is preparing to increase its investment in a novel floodlighting scheme for Irish schoolboy soccer clubs by 50 percent to €36 million ($46 million). In simple terms, Shared Access pays for floodlights for the soccer clubs in return for being able to place mobile phone masts on the floodlight pylons, which it will then rent to mobile operators.

  • In Macedonia, telecom regulator AEC is bringing in new rules stipulating that the country's mobile operators will have to rent out their infrastructure at previously determined prices, reports TeleGeography. It's thought the government there is hoping the new rules will help attract a fourth mobile operator into the market.

    — Paul Rainford, freelance editor, special to Light Reading

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