Eurobites: Nokia Revamps, AlcaLu Buys Subsea Specialist

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Iliad boss says "non" to Bouygues buy; Com Hem revenues up; Tele2 beefs up M2M offer.

  • There are significant-looking changes afoot around the Nokia Networks management top table. Igor Leprince, currently the senior vice president and head of Middle East & Africa, has been appointed to lead the Global Services unit with immediate effect, reporting directly to the big cheese himself, Rajeev Suri. The previous head of Global Services, Eva Elmstedt, will leave the company at the end of the year for what the company describes as "personal reasons." Also, Ashish Chowdhary, currently EVP Asia, Middle East & Africa (AMEA), has been made head of the Customer Operations unit. As part of this reshuffle, René Svendsen-Tune, executive vice president Europe and Latin America, and Ricky Corker, executive vice president North America, will report to Chowdhary as of January 1, 2015. Svendsen-Tune, however, won't be reporting to him for long, because he plans to leave Nokia at the end of first quarter 2015. Away from the boardroom carnage, Nokia Networks has landed a 4G network contract with Airtel-Vodafone in the Channel Islands, the archipelago of British Crown Dependencies off the French coast.

  • The boss of upstart French mobile operator Iliad has made it clear that he is not interested in buying rival Bougues Telecom, Reuters reports, citing a radio interview. When Bouygues lost out to Numericable in its bid to acquire SFR, speculation arose that it might become a takeover target itself. (See Eurobites: Numericable Wins SFR M&A Tussle and Eurobites: Monsieur Iliad Flashes Cash in Monaco.)

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s subsea networks subsidiary has closed its acquisition of Optoplan, a provider of 4D permanent reservoir monitoring (PRM) technology used in offshore oil and gas production. AlcaLu is expanding the capabilities of its submarine networks division ahead of its planned IPO so that it can ultimately attract more business from the oil and gas industries, a stated aim for that part of its business. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. (See Alcatel-Lucent Preps Submarine IPO, Expects Core Growth.)

  • Swedish cable operator Com Hem AB has posted third-quarter revenues up 9.6% year-on-year to 1.21 billion Swedish kronor ($163 million), with EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) up 1.1% to SEK576 million ($77 million). In the results statement, CEO Anders Nilsson said that broadband has been Com Hem's key focus during the quarter, with minimum entry-level downlink speeds being raised to 50 Mbit/s.

  • Still in Sweden, mobile operator Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO) has struck up a partnership deal with engineering company L&T Technology Services that it hopes will generate M2M offerings for the transportation market.

  • Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) and Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) have signed an IPX peering agreement which enables them to expand their LTE roaming reach to potentially 400 million subscribers across 30 countries spanning Europe, Asia and Latin America.

  • The authorities in Saudi Arabia are beginning an investigation into Etihad Etisalat Co. (Mobily) to "determine any violations by the company towards the bourse rules," Reuters reports, following the operator's decision to restate its earnings. The kingdom is due to open its stock market to direct foreign investment in a few months' time.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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