Also in today's EMEA roundup: Iliad wants to share networks; AlcaLu heading back into France's blue-chip index; 4G changing behaviors; eircom expands FTTH plan.
Black bin bags will be at a premium in the offices of Nordic operator Telia Company , which has fired its CFO Per-Arne Blomquist and three other senior execs after a review of its transactions in Eurasia, reports Bloomberg. In a statement announcing the dismissals, TeliaSonera said: "On the basis of the information and conclusions to date it is evident to TeliaSonera's Board and CEO that the processes for conducting some transactions have not been in line with sound business practices." TeliaSonera launched a review of its investments in Uzbekistan more than a year ago. (See TeliaSonera Fires Execs Over Eurasia Deals and TeliaSonera Launches Uzbek Review.)
Iliad (Euronext: ILD), which has turned the French mobile market upside-down with its Free Mobile brand, is looking to become part of the network-sharing plan set up by rivals SFR and Bouygues Telecom , reports Reuters. Whether SFR and Bouygues will be that keen to share their networks with an upstart that has taken so much of their business away remains to be seen -- though they may have no choice in the matter if Iliad pursues its desires through the courts. (See Free Disrupts French Mobile Market.)
Michel Combes's Shift Plan could be shifting Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) back onto France's blue-chip CAC 40 index of companies, reports Reuters. AlcaLu lost its place on the index a year ago, but analysts believe its apparent turnaround could see it replacing chipmaker STMicroelectronics on the list. (See Alcatel-Lucent: Not Ready for a Breakup, Alcatel-Lucent to Cut 10,000 Jobs, and Euronews: AlcaLu Loses Seat at Top Table.)
Mobile usage trends are being fundamentally affected by the introduction of 4G services, according to a new study conducted by TNS and sponsored by Orange (NYSE: FTE). The study, which looked at users in the UK, France, and Spain, found that, among other things, 4G networks are: "igniting uptake in m-commerce"; leading to an increase in "showrooming," where people use their mobile to search for the cheapest deals; and promoting the use of apps over browsers to access the Internet. (See Orange Reveals 4G Usage Trends.)
Irish operator eir has expanded its planned FTTH footprint, from 1.2 million homes and businesses to 1.4 million homes and businesses across the Republic. If all goes to plan, 70% of the country will have access to broadband speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s by July 2016. (See Eircom Expands FTTH Footprint.)
Those BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) TV customers who have a soft spot for the late, great Walrus of Love or are partial to the overwrought caterwauling of Mariah Carey are in luck, because they're both artists on Universal Music, and BT has launched a Universal-backed music streaming service for its TV customers, reports The Guardian.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading