Euronews: March 22

The U.K.'s Ofcom , Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA) and Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) rule the roost in today's roundup of Euro telecom news headlines.

  • U.K. regulator Ofcom has started the ball rolling on spectrum licensing for 4G services with the launch of a consultation on its proposals for how the spectrum auction -- scheduled for 2012 -- should be run. In a bid to try to ensure at least four national competitors in the mobile sector are maintained, Ofcom has set floors and caps for the auction, so that in theory no operator will be squeezed out of the 4G action, something that should please Three UK , the smallest of the big four U.K. mobile players. (See Ofcom Starts 4G Countdown.)

  • Telekom Austria is looking to bolster its position in Eastern Europe by putting in a bid for a 51 percent stake in Telekom Srbija a.d. , Serbia's state-owned carrier. It said in a statement that it is willing to pay up to €950 million (US$1.35 billion). The group already has extensive interests in the region, including units in Serbia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Macedonia. (See Telekom Austria Bids for Telekom Srbija Stake and Telekom Austria Reports Q4, Full Year.)

  • German cable operator Kabel BW GmbH & Co. has been swallowed up by U.S. giant Liberty Global for €3.16 billion ($4.48 billion), which should make life more interesting for Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT). Liberty Global's cable empire already embraces a goodly chunk of Europe. (See Liberty Global Scoops Up KBW for $4.5B.)

  • Italtel SpA , the Italian VoIP technology firm part-owned by Cisco, has reported revenues up 3.9 percent year-on-year to €422 million in its 2010 full-year financials, with strong growth in Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East driving numbers forward. (See Italtel Reports 2010 .)

    Elsewhere in Europe:

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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