Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia invests in Here; NSN focuses on mobile security; more Uzbek shenanigans.
Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) is planning on continuing its incursion into the Old Continent by becoming a pan-European mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), according to a report on Bloomberg. Senior Vice President Manuel Kohnstamm said the operator plans to have MVNO operations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and the UK, where it already has a significant mobile business in the form of MVNO Virgin Mobile. Liberty outlined its plans to add mobile services to its operations in Europe in November last year. In January, Liberty Global agreed takeover terms with Ziggo, the Dutch cable operator, for €4.9 billion (US$6.7 billion).
Newly handsets-free Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is to pump more money into its Here mapping software unit, establishing it as a discrete operation alongside the Advanced Technologies research unit, reports the Financial Times (subscription required).
Another scion of the Nokia family, Nokia Networks , has announced plans for what it's calling a "mobile broadband security center" within its Berlin offices. The intention is to create a "knowledge exchange" on mobile broadband-related security research with customers and research partners. (See NSN Plans Mobile Broadband Security Center in Berlin.)
Hard on the heels of news that VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) was being investigated for alleged irregularities at its Uzbekistan unit comes an announcement from Sweden's Telia Company that two of its Dutch holding companies, TeliaSonera UTA Holding B.V. and TeliaSonera Uzbek Telecom Holding B.V., are being probed for possible involvement in bribery and money laundering.
Members of the European Parliament have voted to tighten up rules on personal data, mandating that any company wanting to disclose any EU citizen's data to a third country would have to seek prior authorization of the appropriate national data protection authority in the EU and inform the person concerned of the request.
Bouygues Telecom has raised the cash element of its bid for Vivendi 's SFR by €800 million ($1.1 billion) to €11.3 billion ($15.7 billion) in an attempt to see off the rival bid from Numericable-SFR , reports Bloomberg.
UK joint venture EE is trumpeting the fact that it has come up smelling of roses in the latest survey of UK mobile operators' performance by RootMetrics , topping six of the main monitoring categories, including overall network performance and network reliability. It's unlikely that Vodafone UK will be getting its trumpet out: It came bottom overall. Parp.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading