Euronews: AlcaLu Lands LTE Deal

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) are the names at the top of the register in today's roundup of EMEA headlines.

  • Technology and know-how from Alcatel-Lucent has enabled Tanzanian operator Smile to launch a Long Term Evolution (LTE) service in Dar es Salaam. This will be Africa's first LTE service in the 800MHz band, according to AlcaLu, and Smile hopes to roll out the service beyond the capital "as soon as possible." The major vendors are engaged in a fierce battle for LTE deals, with even the smallest engagement seen as important in the current land grab. In the first quarter of this year, AlcaLu and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) were leading the way in terms of LTE-related revenues, according to Infonetics Research. (See AlcaLu Takes 4G to Africa and LTE to Dominate Wireless Infrastructure Spending by 2013.)

  • At what sounded like a lively meeting on Wednesday, France Telecom investors roundly rejected a proposal by some of the company's employee shareholders to reduce the dividend by nearly 30 percent, Reuters reports. At the same meeting, CEO Stephane Richard said that a foray into the Brazilian market was highly unlikely. (See Euronews: FT's Q1 Suffers Free Fall and Iliad Disrupts the French Mobile Scene .)

  • Femtocells are set to bring mobile coverage to remote corners of Congo, thanks to a collaboration between Pan-African telecom provider RascomStar-QAF, ViaSat Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT) and U.K.-based small cell vendor ip.access Ltd. , reports the BBC. The group plans to install 50 femtocells, or small cells, around Congo this summer. (See Who's Big in Small Cells? and It's a Small World After All ....)

  • Norway's Telenor has rejected a claim from Alfa , a rival shareholder in Russian operator VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP), that Telenor should make a mandatory offer for VimpelCom because it effectively formed a "partnership" with Naguib Sawiris' Weather group earlier this year when it bought its shares to increase its voting stake in VimpelCom, Reuters reports. (See Antimonopoly Service Files Against Telenor.)

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) has extended the reach of its IPTV service, allowing its subscribers to watch recordings they have made on their box at home on their PC or laptop anywhere in Switzerland. As from next month, the same facility will be made available on iPhones and iPads. (See Swisscom Extends IPTV Reach.)

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has taken a controlling stake in Vouchercloud, a U.K.-based mobile coupon startup. The Vouchercloud service uses a digital mapping application to guide smartphone users to participating stores that are advertising discounts of interest to them. (See Vodafone Invests in Mobile Coupon Startup.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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