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4G/3G/WiFi

Euronews: August 25

8:30 AM -- BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Nokia Networks , and Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) are among those in the rogues' gallery that is today's European telecom news roundup.

  • Fresh from its "instant broadband" debacle earlier in the month, UK giant BT has had another ad banned by the Advertising Standards Authority, reports the BBC. A TV ad proclaimed that BT was "rolling out 20-meg speeds" that gave it "consistently faster broadband." Others, including the ASA, Sky , TalkTalk , and Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), disagreed. (See Euronews: August 4.)

  • And, while we're on the subject, BT was one of the stocks thought to have fallen victim to "fat finger failure" on the London markets yesterday, reports The Independent. BT's stock lost over 8 percent of its value before systems kicked in to prevent further trading in the shares and the allegedly fat-fingered perpetrator was rooted out -- and presumably publicly flogged or (worse) made to phone a BT call center as penance.

  • There's good news and bad news for Nokia Siemens Networks. First the good: its LTE network for mobile operator Telia , TeliaSonera's Swedish subsidiary, has gone live in Gothenburg, Sweden's second city, and everyone's happily enjoying their whizzy new data rates... (See Telia, NSN Bring LTE to Gothenburg.)
  • ...and now the not-so-good: NSN is being sued by an imprisoned Iranian activist, reports The Guardian, for supplying the regime with the monitoring system that allegedly helped put him jail. Isa Saharkhiz claims the authorities discovered his whereabouts by listening in to his mobile phone conversations using technology sold by NSN to Iran. Could there be interesting repercussions for network vendors, Light Reading wonders?

  • In France, the government is considering raising the rate of VAT (value-added tax) on triple-play bundles, following pressure from EU regulators, reports Reuters. The likes of Orange (NYSE: FTE), Bouygues Telecom , and Vivendi aren't happy.

  • Telecompaper reports that Hungarian mobile operators Telenor Hungary Zrt. , Vodafone Hungary , and T-Mobile Hrvatska d.o.o. managed to lose approximately 53,000 customers among them in July, according to national regulator NMHH. Weirdly, however, active subscriptions actually rose by approximately 8,000 in the same period.

  • On the plus side, probably, for Telenor comes the news that it has signed a deal with Opera Software ASA to run the mobile version of its browser on Telenor's handsets worldwide. (See Telenor Signs Opera Deal.)
  • There could be interesting times ahead at mobile operator Telefónica UK Ltd. 's brand spanking new UK headquarters in much maligned Slough. According to Free Office Search (I never miss an issue), there are only 1,500 desks available for the 2,000 staff. It's either a bold experiment in "hot desking" or a recipe for disaster and much water-cooler angst: You decide.

  • Und finally... German operator Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has been busy on a smart metering project in the town of Emden. It will be responsible for transmitting the gas- and electricity-usage data via DSL to the municipal authorities. (See DT Connects Smart Meters.)

    — Paul Rainford, freelance editor, special to Light Reading

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