Euronews: April 8

Orange (NYSE: FTE), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) get jiggy with it in today's roundup of Euro telecom news action.

  • France Telecom's smaller rivals are pressurizing the French government to limit the amount of 4G spectrum le grand fromage of French telecom can buy in this summer's 4G spectrum auction, reports Reuters. Their fear is that France Telecom will gain an unassailable lead in the 4G race if it is allowed to buy up as much spectrum as it likes. (See France Telecom Updates on LTE, FTTH.)

  • Vodafone is searching for a new group technology strategy director following the departure of Jai Menon after only a couple of months. (See Vodafone Seeks New Tech Strategy Guru.)

  • Moody's Investors Service has followed in the footsteps of Standard & Poor’s by cutting the credit rating of handset giant Nokia, reports Finnish website YLE. Market jitters over Nokia's tie-up with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) are thought to be behind the move. (See Nokia: How Microsoft Deal Could Fail and S&P Downgrades Nokia.)

  • Huawei is in the spotlight again following allegations of improper conduct concerning contract awards in Austria. (See Telekom Austria Probes Huawei Deals and Huawei Responds to Austrian Allegations .)

  • Sky Deutschland Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG , the German pay-TV operator owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (NYSE: NWS), is making its programs available on Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPads and iPhones, reports Bloomberg. The SkyGo service will cost €12 (US$17) a month.

  • Telefónica UK Ltd. has officially launched its managed services joint venture with 2.00E+02 , which it announced in January. O2 boasts that the new service, dubbed O2 Unify, already has five contracts in the bag. (See O2 Unify Opens for Business and O2 Forms Services JV With 2e2.)

  • U.K. fixed-line giant BT has identified another 156 locations that it intends to serve with FTTx-fueled super-fast broadband by the end of 2012. (See BT IDs FTTx Locations , BT Ramps FTTx Plans, Turns a Profit and Broadband Britain: The Wait Goes On.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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