August 12, 2010
9:00 AM -- China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA), VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP), and Orange (NYSE: FTE) are amongst those jostling for your attention in today's roundup of European telecom news snippets.
China Telecom already has several fingers in the European telecom pie, but it's looking to insert a few more, and an acquisition or two could be on the cards, says the managing director of its European division, Mr Yan Ou. (See China Telecom Plans Euro M&A.)
Russian telco VimpelCom, which recently snapped up fixed-line provider Foratek, may be about to buy Italy's No. 3 mobile operator, Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA , as well as a 51 percent share of Egypt's Orascom Telecom , reports Reuters, citing Kommersant. (See VimpelCom Completes Squeeze-Out.)
France Telecom is to launch a quad-play offer later this month, predictably called "Orange Open." Prices start at €54.90 (US$70.41), and the deal includes 20-Mbit/s broadband as well as various permutations of Orange TV, VoIP, and mobile. (See France Telecom Launches Quad-Play Offer.)
Meanwhile, at the bargain-bin end of the spectrum, Tesco , the UK supermarket chain still on course for complete world domination by 2020, has launched what it claims is the country's cheapest mobile phone tariff. For £6 ($7.70) a month, reports Macworld, thrifty users get unlimited texts and 100 minutes of talk time.
Over in Italy, the date of the trial of seven former managers and executives of broadband operators Fastweb SpA (Milan: FWB) and Telecom Italia Sparkle has been set for November 2, reports The Wall Street Journal. The seven face charges of tax fraud and money laundering. Fastweb founder Silvio Scaglia is among those taking the stand.
On a less controversial -- though still undeniably Italian -- note, Telecom Italia (TIM) has embarked on the second phase of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) trial, reports Telecompaper. Hardware is being supplied from the likes of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), and Nokia Networks .
And finally: Who says bankers are unpopular? Reuters reports that Acision BV has poached Irish-born Basil Geoghegan, one of London's top money-shufflers, from Deutsche Bank AG . He will take up an as yet unspecified senior position with the SMS technology vendor.
— Paul Rainford, freelance editor, special to Light Reading
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