Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: STC profits leap; Alierta reassures the Italians; Spanish patients unfazed by telemedicine.
Rajeev Suri, the CEO of Nokia Networks , is predicting that operators will markedly accelerate spending on LTE from the fourth quarter of this year, reports Reuters. In recent times NSN has been selling off what it now considers as non-core businesses -- such as BSS and optical transport lines -- to focus on wireless. (See NSN: The Recovery Looks Real.)
Broadband and business-sector services were the main drivers of Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) 's 73 percent year-on-year rise in third-quarter net profits to 3.38 billion Saudi riyals (US$901 million). Within Saudi Arabia, the former monopoly has expanded 4G network coverage to reach 76 percent of populated areas. For more details, see this press release.
Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) Chairman Cesar Alierta has been busy reassuring Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta that Telecom Italia (TIM) will remain an Italian company even if the Spanish giant gains control of it, reports Reuters. He also pledged that investments in fiber and 4G mobile would continue. (See Euronews: Italy Seeks Jobs Guarantee From Telefónica.)
A study carried out by Telefónica and Spain's IESE business school has reached the conclusion that, in Spain at least, 70 percent of patients suffering from chronic conditions and 80 percent of health professionals would be willing to use telemedicine, or "remote patient management" (RPM) systems, as they are also known. Currently, only around 7 percent of patients frequently use RPM systems. Telefónica's interest? It has an "e-health" unit within its Digital division. For more details, see this press release.
UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is to enable its landline customers to use the "free" inclusive landline call minutes on their smartphones, via its WiFi-based SmartCall service. The SmartCall app, says Virgin, detects whether a SmartCall is possible and if the call is included in the user's landline voice plan.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading