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Euronews: Big Plans for Small Cells

Paul Rainford
6/26/2012

Small cells, big legal bills and a medium-sized acquisition make up today's EMEA telecom headlines.

  • Major European service providers BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Orange (NYSE: FTE), Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM), Telia Company and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) are among a host of operators worldwide that are set to trial next-generation hotspot technology before the end of 2012, with a view to commercial deployments in early 2013. The carrier-grade Wi-Fi access technology being trialed will have been approved under the Wi-Fi Alliance 's Passport program, which certifies devices and access points that enable automatic discovery and connectivity. The deployment of Service Provider Wi-Fi equipment as part of small-cells strategies is a hot trend among network operators globally, but not one without its operational challenges. (See Small Cell Network Planning Poses Problems and Small Cells Throw Up Big Challenges for Operators.)

  • Vivendi , the French conglomerate that owns mobile operator SFR , faces a damages bill of US$956 million following the loss of a legal battle with Liberty Media Corp. (NYSE: LMC), reports Business Week. Liberty Media claimed it had been misled by Vivendi over the value of the latter's shares when Vivendi used said shares to buy a stake in USA Networks from Liberty in 2001 as part of a takeover deal. (See Vivendi Must Pay Liberty Damages and Vodafone Sells SFR Stake for $11B.)

  • Nordic operator Telia Company reports that it has now acquired 85.6 percent of TEO LT AB as it works towards a complete takeover of the Lithuanian landline operator. The total value of the takeover bid is €76 million ($95 million). (See TeliaSonera Buys 85.6% of TEO LT and TeliaSonera Plays Games in the Cloud.)

  • South Africa's Telkom SA Ltd. (NYSE/Johannesburg: TKG) is to deploy Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s access gear as part of a network overhaul. VDSL2 technology as well as GPON "where commercially viable" will be included in the mix. (See Telkom SA Deploys ALcaLu's Access Gear.)

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) continues its expansion into Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) territory with a customer experience management (CEM) engagement at Finnish operator DNA Oy . The Swedish vendor will be supplying its User Profile Gateway to help in the collection of data from OSS and BSS systems. That data can then be used by the operator's customer care center, which looks after the needs of around 3 million users. (See Ericsson Lands SPIT Deal in Finland, Ericsson Boards Its Own BUSS, Ericsson Shines a Light on CEM and CEM Set for Center Stage.)

  • More SPIT bits: Swiss operator Sunrise Communications AG is sticking with Orga Systems for its charging and billing needs, though it is upgrading to the vendor's OPSC Gold platform. (See Orga Lands Sunrise SPIT Deal.)

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has signed an agreement with Exco InTouch, a provider of mobile-friendly healthcare technology. The deal sees them jointly deliver the Vodafone Patient Reported Outcomes system, which gathers data from medical trial participants via their mobiles.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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