Euronews: March 4

Yota , Zain Group and Prysmian SpA are hogging today's telecom headlines in the EMEA region.

  • Russia's major mobile operators -- Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT), MegaFon , Rostelecom and VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) (Beeline) -- are to share the Long Term Evolution (LTE) network being built out in 180 cities by relative newcomer Yota (the brand name of Scartel LLC), which is in the process of migrating from its WiMax roots to LTE. (See Russians to Share LTE Network.)

  • Italian cables specialist Prysmian, which is in the throes of acquiring fellow European fiber firm Draka Holding NV (Amsterdam: DRAK.AS), has reported a 3.2 percent increase in annual revenues to €4.57 billion (US$6.38 billion). Of that total, sales of telecom-related products generated revenues of €450 million ($628 million). The company recently landed a five-year €223 million ($311 million) deal to supply fiber cable for Australia's national broadband network rollout. (See Prysmian Reports 2010, Prysmian Lands Draka for $1.15B and Prysmian Lands Major Deal From NBN.)

  • Full-year results from Middle East operator Zain reveal that net income was up a startling 445 percent year-on-year to 1.063 billion Kuwait Dinars (US$3.675 billion) in 2010, but this figure includes a KWD770.3 million ($2.653 billion) capital gain from the sale of its African assets to Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL). Zain is currently the target of a $12 billion takeover bid from rival Middle Eastern carrier Etisalat . (See Zain Reports 2010, Euronews: Sept. 30, Etisalat Extends Zain Talks and Airtel Completes ZAIN Deal.)

  • The U.K.'s Ofcom is proposing to ban "rollover" landline contracts beloved of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) and others. Such contracts automatically roll forward to a new minimum contract period unless the customer actively opts out of the renewal, imposing a penalty charge if the customer then decides to leave. Around 15 percent of all U.K. residential customers are tied to such contracts, according to the regulator. (See Ofcom Targets Rollover Contracts.)

  • Irish incumbent operator eir , which has been beset by financial troubles, has agreed a deal with its labor unions, reports the Irish Times. Under the terms of the recovery plan, wages would be cut by a whopping 10 percent for 18 months and up to 1,000 voluntary redundancies may be made. Makes you wonder what the unions wouldn't agree to... (See Lenders to Lean on Eircom.)

  • Various telco bigwigs gathered in Brussels Thursday for a "CEO Roundtable" with Neelie Kroes, the European Commission vice president for the Digital Agenda. On the (digital) agenda was a request for proposals on how all concerned were going to address the "broadband investment challenge." Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s Ben Verwaayen and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s Steve Jobs were among those those pitching in with ideas. (See EC Hosts Broadband Investment Talks and Europe's 'Digital Oxygen'.)

  • The Daily Telegraph reports institutional investors in pay-TV firm Sky are hinting they may install their own investment bankers to help them get a better price for the company from Rupert Murdoch, the Australian media mogul. Murdoch, the owner of News Corp. (NYSE: NWS), has just been given the green light for a takeover of BSkyB by the U.K. government, after promising to hive off the Sky News channel to an independent company. (See Euronews: Nov. 18.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • stelabokun 12/5/2012 | 5:11:12 PM
    re: Euronews: March 4

    Speaking of the Euro news and MTS, I’d say the most important news of today is that MTS has appointed a new CEO. See below info from the press release they sent out today:

    Mr. Andrei Dubovskov has been appointed by the MTS Board of Directors (“BoD” or “the Board”) as President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of Mobile TeleSystems OJSC. Mr. Dubovskov replaces Mr. Mikhail Shamolin, who has served as President and CEO of MTS since May 2008. Mr. Shamolin’s candidacy is expected to be nominated to the position of President and CEO of Sistema for approval at tomorrow’s Board of Directors meeting of Sistema, the largest diversified public financial corporation in Russia and the CIS and the majority shareholder of MTS.

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