Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Microsoft to take over Nokia HQ; Vodafone's "beautiful assets"; speeding up Sicily.
Sierra Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq: SWIR; Toronto: SW), a US developer of wireless modules and devices, has filed a complaint against Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) with the European Commission over what it believes is the Finnish giant's anti-competitive behaviour. Sierra has also requested that the US Federal Trade Commission formally investigates the matter. The complaint centers on Nokia's dominant position as a GSM and 3G standard essential patent (SEP) holder: Sierra alleges, among other things, that Nokia applies widely different, and therefore unfair, royalty rates for the same SEPs to make identical GSM wireless modules. (See Sierra Wireless Files Complaint Against Nokia .)
Back on its home turf, Nokia has said that it plans to hand over the lease of its iconic Espoo headquarters to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) following the sale of its Devices and Services unit, which received shareholder approval earlier this week. Reuters reports that what's left of Nokia will retreat inland to its NSN headquarters, in another part of Espoo.
Oh Vittorio, you cheeky devil: Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) CEO Vittorio Colao has been entertaining investors with his comments at a conference in Barcelona, reports Bloomberg. Responding to questions about approaches from potential buyers, Colao said: "We have a strategy and we are putting a lot of money into it, but if somebody comes and says, 'You have really beautiful assets,' then I will agree… We have beautiful assets." (See Euronews: Vodafone Shares up on AT&T Takeover Rumor and Vodafone Ups 'Project Spring' Capex to $11B+.)
Telecom Italia (TIM) has signed a €61 million (US$82 million) agreement with Italtel SpA and development agency Invitalia to increase broadband network capacity and foster the take-up of advanced services in Sicily. Telecom Italia will invest more than €41 million ($55 million) to increase capacity to support mobile and fixed-line services, while Italtel will put in €20 million ($27 million), most of which will be used to build a software-led platform for the delivery of video, voice, and Internet services.
UK regulator Ofcom is to consult on a strategy for meeting future mobile demand, looking to increase the amount of spectrum available for mobile data through a range of approaches, including the use of "white spaces" and spectrum currently reserved for defense uses. See this press release for more details.
Quortus Ltd. , the UK-based distributed virtual mobile core application developer, has appointed former O2 UK and Ericsson executive Gabriel Yepes as its director of business development.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading