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Devices/smartphones

Euronews: Nokia Working on 'Stand Out' Tablet

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Avaya Inc. and ST-Ericsson rise to the top of today's steamin' mugful of EMEA telecom news.

  • Nokia is working on a tablet of its own, according to a Reuters report which cites an interview given by the vendor's design chief, Marko Ahtisaari, to a Finnish magazine. Not much detail at this stage, but apparently the Nokia offering will stand out from the iPad-challenging crowd, says Ahtisaari (but then he would say that). Last year the head of Nokia France, Paul Amsellem, told a French newspaper that the company would have a tablet running on Windows 8 by June 2012. Better get a move on, Marko... (See Nokia Tablet Due in June 2012? )

  • Enterprise communications systems vendor Avaya is to buy Israeli videoconferencing specialist Radvision Ltd. (Nasdaq: RVSN) for about US$230 million. Avaya says it will integrate Radvision's technology into its Aura Unified Communications system to provide businesses with an "integrated and interoperable suite of cost-effective, easy to use, high-definition video collaboration products, with the ability to plug and play multiple mobile devices including Apple iPad and Google Android." (See Avaya to Buy Radvision.)

  • Chip joint venture ST-Ericsson is planning to unveil a major overhaul of its operations over the next couple of weeks to make itself more attractive as a takeover target, reports Reuters. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD), Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN) are all thought to be potential suitors, a source said. (See Euronews: ST-Ericsson Shuffles Its Pack, Euronews: ST-Ericsson Appoints New CEO and Euronews: ST-Ericsson Cuts, Huawei Eyes a Buy.)

  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s new iPad won't support LTE in the U.K. -- or anywhere outside North America, for that matter -- but it has sparked new ways to charge for mobile data for at least one European operator. Orange UK will let customers have a new iPad along with an iPhone for £66 ($103) per month on a 24-month contract that allows up to 2GB of data to be shared between the two devices as well as up to 10GB of Wi-Fi access from BT Openzone . Another twist from Orange is that its iPad-only plan offers a monthly data allowances for different times of the day: 1GB of anytime data and 1GB of "Quiet Time Data," which is between midnight and 4 p.m. (See Mobile Upstart Charges Into New Data Plans and New Data Plans Keep It in the Family .)

  • Vodafone UK is predictably not best pleased about the news that U.K. mobile rival EE may be granted a "head start" on the introduction of Long Term Evolution (LTE) services by regulator Ofcom . In a statement, a Vodafone spokesperson said: "We share the regulator's desire to see the next generation of mobile internet services rolled out quickly and placed within the reach of many more people in rural areas. But we seriously doubt that consumers' best interests will be served by giving one company a significant head start before any of its competitors have a clear path to 4G." Ding, ding, round three... (See Britain's Bloomin' LTE .)

  • Vello Systems , one of the growing number of companies extolling the virtues of software-defined networking (SDN) and the associated OpenFlow protocol, is establishing a division in the U.K. to promote its transport switches and network management platforms. The company, which emerged from the shell of optical transport specialist OpVista, is targeting enterprises primarily but is also engaging with telcos in the U.K. and across Europe. (See Vello Sets Up in UK and OpVista Gets Another Go.)

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has clinched a five-year, €47 million ($61.3 million) managed services deal with NATO’s Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A). As part of the contract, BT will migrate NC3A’s existing backbone to BT Ethernet Connect, and provide a network that connects more than 70 locations across NATO countries and the Balkans.

  • Transmode Systems AB , the Swedish metro optical vendor, has won the contract to supply the Swedish Armed Forces with equipment for its new high-speed network. No financial details were disclosed. (See Swedish Army Deploys Transmode and Transmode Sticks to Growth Path.)

  • Commuters on London's underground train network will be in each other's sweaty armpits again this summer but at least they'll have access to Wi-Fi at up to 120 stations, thanks to a deal struck between London Underground and U.K. cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED). Full Internet access will be free initially but, after a brief honeymoon period, will revert to a pay-as-you-go model. (See Virgin Takes Wi-Fi Down the Tube.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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