Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telenor feels the anti-corruption heat; Asiacell launches '3.9G' in Iraq.
Nokia Networks has completed the acquisition of Panasonic System Networks, the radio access network (RAN) division of the Japanese consumer electronics giant. The acquisition includes Panasonic's 4G and 3G wireless basestation business, related assets and more than 300 Panasonic employees. Nokia is hoping that the acquisition will strengthen its hand in Japan's mobile market -- Panasonic's main RAN equipment customer was Japan's leading mobile operator, NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM). Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. (See Nokia Networks Completes Panasonic Unit Acquisition and Nokia Networks Buys RAN Assets in Japan.)
Executives at Nordic group Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) might be feeling a little shame-faced following the criticism of Norwegian business practices by Transparency International, a body that seeks to expose corruption, reports the Financial Times. Last month, Telenor CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas resigned from the board of Russia's VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) following allegations that Telenor turned a blind eye to bribes paid by VimpelCom in Uzbekistan.
Iraqi mobile operator Asiacell Telecommunications Co. Ltd. is launching what it calls "3.9G" services -- in other words, 3G services that, it claims, have the potential to reach 4G-like speeds. The operator says it has spent more than $1 billion on system modernization and 3G licenses for additional spectrum. Asiacell has more than 12 million subscribers across Iraq. (See Asiacell Enhances 3G in Iraq.)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading