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Euronews: Orange Hatches Startups

France Télécom – Orange, VTLWaveNet, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Iliad kick things off for today's trawl of the EMEA headlines.

  • Orange Fab, the startup "accelerator program" set up by France Télécom – Orange in California's Silicon Valley, has revealed its first chosen half-dozen of embryonic companies that will get the Fab treatment. Those selected include AlephCloud, which does "content control and privacy for the cloud," and Re:Char, a mobile data collection and cloud analytics service for Kenyan farmers. Along with a possible US$20,000 in funding, the startups will be given the opportunity to work out of Orange Silicon Valley's offices in San Francisco. The program is similar to Wayra, Telefónica Digital's startup incubator, which plans to support more than 1,000 startups through its Academies program. (See 'Orange Fab' Has Its First Startups, Inside Telefonica's Startup Incubator and Euronews: Telefónica to Support 1,000 Startups.)

  • VTLWaveNet, the European network run by Viatel Holding (Bermuda) Ltd., has completed the first phase of its upgrade to 100G, courtesy of Huawei. The WDM platform can now handle 10G, 40G and 100G services between London and Paris. (See VTLWaveNet Upgrades to 100G With Huawei.)

  • Iliad, which shook up the mobile market in France when it launched its Free Mobile brand, is clearly still causing ructions: Its first-quarter financials saw revenues triple year-on-year to €294.5 million ($380 million), while more established rivals SFR and Bouygues Telecom both saw sales decline -- SFR down 11 percent and Bouygues down 16 percent.

  • Chinese giant ZTE Corp. has launched ZSmart, which it describes as a "mobile virtual network enabler," or MVNE for short. The idea is that it will act as a platform that can host would-be mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in Europe. (See ZTE Launches MVNE Platform for Europe.)

  • Nordic cable operator Agder Breiband has chosen Infinera Corp.'s DTN WDM platform and its ATN metro-optimized CWDM/DWDM platform to pep up its transport network. (See Infinera Lands Deal in Norway.)

  • Liberty Global Inc., the U.S. cable giant that has extensive European interests, has made a couple of senior appointments: Robert Dunn is to join Virgin Media Inc. (which Liberty Global recently acquired) as CFO, while Baptiest Coopmans becomes managing director of UPC Netherlands. (See Liberty Global Gets Go-Ahead for Virgin Takeover.)

  • A U.K. trial has suggested that the effects of the interference from 4G signals on digital TV reception are not as bad as feared, reports the BBC. The firm set up to carry out the investigation of the potential problem, at800, found only 15 homes suffered any interference issues out of around 200,000 homes tested in the West Midlands region.

  • The number of BT Group plc Wi-Fi hotspots in the U.K. has now surpassed 5 million, according to the operator. The hotspots are free to use for those signed up to BT's broadband service; not so for others. (See BT Wi-Fi Hits 5M Hotspots.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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