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Eurobites: Future's Not Bright for Orange Brand in UK

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: AlcaLu deploys GPON network in South Africa; snub for Spanish regulator over Orange/Jazztel deal; "snoopers' charter" fears revived in UK.

  • It looks like the end of the road for the Orange and T-Mobile brands in the UK as joint venture EE -- which currently operates both brands under license -- prepares for probable acquisition by BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), reports the Financial Times. According to the report, BT has no interest in reviving the two brands. The report also says that EE plans to stop selling 3G contracts and focus purely on 4G, which, after it gained a head start with the technology over its rivals, is now its strong suit. (See Eurobites: EE Hits 7.7M on 4G and BT Offers $19.5B to Buy EE.)

  • The future of the Orange name looks brighter in Jordan, however, where Orange Jordan has announced investments in its network for the 2014-2015 period totaling 250 million Jordanian dinars (US$352 million), reports the Jordan Times. The operator expects its 4G coverage to extend throughout the country by the end of the year.

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is to deploy GPON technology in the rollout of a high-speed fixed broadband network for South Africa's Vodacom Pty. Ltd. , covering potentially 250,000 homes and businesses in all of the country's major cities. Service assurance tools from Motive will form part of the mix.

  • Brussels pulls rank on Madrid: The European Commission has decided not to refer the planned acquisition of Spanish broadband provider Jazztel plc by Orange (NYSE: FTE) to the Spanish regulator and is instead handling the case itself. After considering the matter, the Commission concluded that it is "better placed to deal with the transaction and ensure consistency in the application of merger control rules in the fixed and mobile telecommunications sectors across the EEA."

  • Internet service providers in the UK aren't happy about a proposed amendment to the Counter Terrorism Bill currently before the House of Lords which, if passed, would force ISPs to keep a record of more of what people do online, and make related data more easily accessible to the security services. The amendment, reports the BBC, was proposed by a group comprising a former Conservative defence secretary, a former police commissioner, a former Labour defense minister and a Liberal Democrat peer.

  • Today's election result in Greece might have deep economic repercussions for the rest of Europe, but for the moment the German telecom and IT industry is in bullish mood on the employment front, reports Reuters. According to Bitkom, an industry association, more than two-thirds of firms operating in the sector plan to create new jobs this year, with only 5% predicting job cuts.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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