Euronews: Vodafone Eyes Middle East Expansion

In today's EMEA roundup: Vodafone looks to do a deal with Zain; TeliaSonera's mea culpa; BT engineers on the march

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

August 24, 2012

1 Min Read
Euronews: Vodafone Eyes Middle East Expansion

Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Zain Group and Telia Company proffer something for the weekend in today's canter through the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • Vodafone is close to a deal with Kuwait-based Zain which would allow the British mobile giant to improve its network coverage in the Middle East and reduce its roaming fees, according to a report on Bloomberg. Vodafone signed similar agreements with several Asian operators last year.

  • TeliaSonera, the Sweden-based operator that has numerous interests across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, has been doing a spot of breast-beating in response to criticism that it has cooperated with various dubious regimes by allowing them to access or close down its networks to stymie political opponents. In a speech, CEO Lars Nyberg said, among other things, that the decision to close down networks would henceforth be taken at TeliaSonera group level rather than locally.

  • A court in Slovakia has ruled that a €4.7 million (US$5.9 million) fee that Slovak Telekom paid in 2011 for a 10-year mobile network license extension is invalid, and that it must be recalculated.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s Openreach unit is to recruit another 400 engineers to help with the carrier's fiber rollout in the U.K., and hopes to be able to recruit most of them from the ranks of ex-armed forces personnel. When completed, the recruitment round will take the number of engineers hired by BT in 2012 to more than 1,000. (See Openreach Adds Engineers and BT Ramps Up Its FTTX Speeds.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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