Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Bouygues to bid for SFR; Telenor uses AlcaLu vectoring; Tele2 may quit Norway.
Russia's Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) is the latest operator to try the Rich Communications Service (RCS) approach to counter the threat of OTT players. It has tapped Mavenir Systems Inc. to supply RCS and WebRTC services for the Moscow and St Petersburg metropolitan areas. WebRTC was one of the hot topics at last week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (See MTS Preps RCS With Mavenir and WebRTC & the Rise of the WebCo.)
Today is the deadline for bids for SFR , the mobile operator that French conglomerate Vivendi is hoping to offload, and rival Bouygues Telecom is about to enter the fray, according to Reuters. Cable operator Numericable-SFR has already made a preliminary bid of around €14.75 billion ($20.25 billion). The French government made it clear on Tuesday that it wants to have its say on any proposed sale by Vivendi.
Norwegian operator Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) has called upon Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) to buff up its existing copper network using VDSL2 technology. Telenor hopes to have 500,000 lines migrated to the new platform by the end of the year. Telenor is also planning on using AlcaLu's Motive Network Analyzer, an OSS offering that monitors broadband connections and enables appropriate troubleshooting. (See Telenor Deploys Alcatel-Lucent's VDSL2, OSS.)
Telenor's smaller Nordic rival, Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO), meanwhile, has deployed Nokia Networks 's smarts to enhance its customers' mobile experience, specifically the snappily named Serve atOnce Traffica offering. Tele2, which is Sweden-based but has interests much further afield, is "evaluating a number of strategic opportunities for its Norwegian operations," according to this press release. Divesting the Norway unit is one of the options on the table. (See Tele2 Sweden Uses NSN for CEM.)
MTN Group Ltd. , which is the dominant player in the African mobile sector, saw full-year profits increase 27%, reports Bloomberg, though a weak South African rand accounted for some of the apparent growth. Nigeria, with 20% growth, was its strongest market, though the operator struggled on its home (South African) turf, where subscriber numbers fell.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading