Euronews: Nov. 29

Telecom Italia (TIM) , Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), and Nokia Networks strut their stuff in today's roundup of Euro telecom news notables.

  • The holiday home hotspot of Umbria is to play host to a "Smart Town Living Lab" initiative backed by the regional authorities in partnership with Telecom Italia. Centered on the municipality of San Gemini, the project will, among other things, connect lighting installations to the telecom network to help foster more efficient use of energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. (See Telecom Italia Preps Smart Town Lab.)

  • Vodafone is doing its bit to counter "bill shock syndrome" by announcing simpler and more transparent roaming data plans for European subscribers who want to use their smartphones while traveling throughout the continent. Under the new tariff, customers who travel occasionally can take a domestic data plan abroad for an additional €2 (US$2.64) a day, while frequent flyers can choose a price plan which includes data roaming within their monthly domestic package. (See Vodafone Simplifies Data Roaming .)

  • Alternative operator Versatel AG is to deploy Nokia Siemens Networks' hiQ VoIP platform in a bid to increase its share of the enterprise market. Versatel has a presence in 32 out of Germany's 50 largest cities and as of January this year counted 682,700 broadband customers. (See Versatel Deploys VoIP From NSN.)

  • O3b Networks Ltd. , which hopes to develop a fiber-quality, satellite-based global Internet backbone serving emerging markets, has secured funding for its service launch. Among those backing O3b (it stands for the "other 3 billion" people in the world, who don't currently have access to broadband) are Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and satellite operator SES S.A. (Paris: SESG). (See Google-Backed Satellite Startup Secures $1.2B, O3b Raises $1.2B for Satellite Build, and SES Pumps More Cash Into O3b.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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