Also in today's EMEA roundup: Deutsche Telekom looks into Schengen-only Internet; Nokia launches tablet, phablets; Telecom Italia abandons sell-off plan.
Reports of the US National Security Agency's recording of phone-related data in France have triggered crisis phone calls between French President Francois Holland and US President Barack Obama, according to Reuters. Le Monde, the French newspaper, said that the NSA recorded 70.3 million items of telephone data between December 10, 2012 and January 8, 2013, some of them relating to prominent figures in French politics and business. (See Another Day, Another Domestic Spying Revelation.)
Is it any wonder, considering the above, that the possibility of a more private kind of email system is being looked into? The Guardian reports that Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has put forward plans for a "national Internet network" where emails would no longer be routed via foreign servers and therefore be, in theory at least, less exposed to prying eyes. DT's data privacy bod, Thomas Kremer, has recommended that Internet traffic be kept within Schengen countries where possible.
As it prepares to be enfolded in the warm embrace of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s extended family, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has finally got around to launching a tablet and a couple of so-called "phablets" (or smartphones on steroids, if you prefer). The Lumia 2520 (a Windows RT-based tablet), the Lumia 1520 and the Lumia 1320 (the phablets) are being unveiled at Nokia World in Abu Dhabi, along with a trio of new lower-end Asha handsets. More details can be found on this press release. Given the uncertainty surrounding the future of Nokia's devices unit, will many people fancy shelling out around US$500 for a Windows RT tablet?
Telecom Italia (TIM) has abandoned plans -- hatched more than a year ago -- to spin off its access network, according to a report on Bloomberg. (See Telecom Italia to Spin Off Access Network.)
KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN), which recently swatted away a takeover bid from Carlos Slim's América Móvil S.A. de C.V. , saw third-quarter revenues fall 7.6 percent to €2.08 billion ($2.84 billion) and its net profits fall 56 percent to €87 million ($119 million), though restructuring costs accounted for a substantial part of this. More details on this press release. (See Euronews: Slim Abandons KPN Bid.)
Mobile joint venture EE , which had a head start in the UK's 4G race, saw third-quarter service revenues slip 3.3 percent year-on-year to £1.44 billion ($2.32 billion) as the reduction in mobile termination rates, among other pressures, took its toll. (See EE Feels the Squeeze in Q3 and Q&A: EE Evolves Its 4G LTE Strategy.)
Nokia's Lumia 2520 Windows RT tablet: The RT stands for "Rather Tardy."
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading