Also in today's EMEA roundup: Bouygues hopes for 4G boost; BASE rolls out 4G in Belgium; Nokia's "Frankenfone" moment.
Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (NYSE: PT) has agreed to merge with Oi, its Brazilian affiliate, in a move that will create an operator with around 100 million (mainly Portuguese-speaking) subscribers, reports Bloomberg. The merged company, which will have a combined market value of more than $7 billion, will be led by Zeinal Bava, the current Oi CEO. (See Euronews: Testing Times for Portugal Telecom and PT Completes Oi Stake Purchase.)
France's Bouygues Telecom has launched 4G services in the hope that this will help it make up lost ground on Free Mobile , the cut-price upstart that completely shook up the French mobile market, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). (See Free Disrupts French Mobile Market.)
In other LTE news, KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN)'s Belgian subsidiary BASE has launched 4G services in 15 cities, offering "theoretical" download speeds of up to 86 Mbit/s but "realistic" speeds of around 20 Mbit/s.
Remember Tom Alexander? You know, former boss of EE , founder of Virgin Mobile Telecoms Ltd. , collection of classic cars… yes, that's the one. Well, after spending time with his family and turtle wax he's back in telecom, reports The Guardian. He's returned as non-executive chairman of Viacloud UK Ltd. , the mobile virtual network enabler. (See Viacloud Names Senior Execs.)
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has launched its latest City Fibre Network, three fiber loops connecting ten datacenters and covering most business centers in Paris and its environs. The network provides access at speeds of up to multiple 10 Gbit/s to the BT Connect range of network services, which includes optical, Ethernet, and MPLS IP VPN offerings.
And finally: Boffins at the UK's University of Southampton have been making like Dr Frankenstein and powering a Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) mobile phone from a bolt of lightning, albeit home-made lightning, reports the BBC. A spokesperson for Nokia warned users "not to try this at home."
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading