Euronews: Ericsson Buys, Vodafone Sells

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC),Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Nokia Networks , EE , T-Systems International GmbH and Dimension Data feature in today's overloaded basket of EMEA news.

  • Vodafone is selling its 24.4 percent stake in Polkomtel SA to private equity firm Spartan Capital Holdings SP. z o.o for €920 million (US$1.33 billion). All of Polkomtel's shareholders are selling to Spartan Holdings in a deal that values the Polish operator at €4.5 billion ($6.53 billion). (See Vodafone Sells Polkomtel Stake .)

  • A six-strong consortium that includes Ericsson has won the auction for Nortel Networks Ltd. 's patents with a bid of $4.5 billion. The Swedish vendor is shelling out $340 million for its share of the spoils. (See Nortel Sells Patents for $4.5B.)

  • About 200 IT staff from U.K. mobile operator Everything Everywhere are transferring to T-Systems today as part of a seven-year outsourcing deal struck in March. The deal involves the transfer of about 40 percent of the mobile operator's IT capabilities onto T-Systems' cloud computing platform, a move that will provide Everything Everywhere with the ability to "flex its IT requirements up and down in line with business volumes," states the operator's CIO Fotis Karonis in an official statement. (See Everything Everywhere Outsources to T-Systems.)

  • Good news for roaming Europeans: As from today (Friday), mobile operators in EU member states won't be able to charge more than 35 cents (50.8 US cents) per minute for calls made and 11 cents (15.9 US cents) per minute for calls received while abroad in the EU. This is the last in a series of roaming price cuts demanded by the European Commission as an antidote to so-called "bill shock syndrome." (See EU Roaming Prices Cut Again and Euronews: Dec. 9.)

  • South African-based ICT services giant Dimension Data, which is now part of NTT Group (NYSE: NTT), has acquired enterprise cloud services platform specialist OpSource Ltd. The cloud automation technology firm has been a strategic alliance partner of NTT's since November 2008. As a result of the acquisition, Dimension Data has formed a Cloud Solutions Business Unit. (See Dimension Data Buys OpSource, NTT Splashes $3.2B on DiData and NTT, OpSource Bring Cloud Services to US.)

  • Nokia Siemens Networks is today celebrating a milestone in mobile services history: It is 20 years to the day since the first GSM call was made on a commercial network. NSN notes that the call was made between Finland’s former prime minister Harri Holkeri (pictured below) and vice mayor of the city of Tampere, Kaarina Suonio, and that the first GSM network was built for Finnish operator Radiolinja using technology from Siemens Communications, which is now part of NSN. It hasn't been confirmed, though, whether July 1, 1991 is the day that the phrase "dropped call" first came into common parlance. (See GSM Celebrates 20 Years.)

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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