Euronews: Oct 7

Telia Company , Vodafone Italy , BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), and Comverse Inc. (Nasdaq: CNSI) all feature in today's European news highlights.

  • Scandinavian giant TeliaSonera, the first operator in the world to launch commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services, wants tablet devices for its 4G customers before smartphones, the carrier's CTO of mobility services tells Light Reading Mobile. (See TeliaSonera Shares Verizon's LTE Tablet Desire .)

  • Plans for a nationwide fiber rollout in Italy seem to have stalled somewhat, so Vodafone has taken the bull by the horns [ed. note: Hey, are we in Italy or Spain here?] and announced it is to get broadband connections to the country's remoter regions via the mobile route, reports Reuters. Vodafone Italy is set to invest around €1 billion (US$1.39 billion) during the next three to four years to upgrade its rural network to HSPA+, a move that will deliver mobile broadband speeds of at least 2 Mbit/s to residents in about 1,800 Italian villages. Salute! (See Italians Unveil FTTH Project.)

  • BT looks as if it might have signed up rival UK service provider TalkTalk to be a wholesale customer for the new-generation fiber-based broadband network it's currently rolling out, reports The Financial Times. TalkTalk, which has more than 4 million broadband customers, has installed its own DSL infrastructure in about 1,700 BT exchanges around the UK, but looks to be leaning toward wholesaling BT's fiber offering for faster services rather than sinking additional capex into its own next-generation access network. (See BT Ups Its FTTP Target, BT Preps 'Landmark' FTTC Investment, UK Has 7M Unbundled DSL Lines, and Ofcom Wants BT to Open Up Fiber Network.)

  • NetCentrex, the French VoIP systems unit of Comverse, appears destined to be a victim of the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) giant's cost-cutting program. (See Au Revoir, NetCentrex?.)

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is hoping to add Long Term Evolution (LTE) to its mountain-dodging mobile network in 2011, so the operator is cracking on with testing the technology in the canton of Solothurn. (See Swisscom Demos LTE.) Elsewhere in Europe:

    — Paul Rainford, freelance editor, special to Light Reading

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