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Euronews: Vodafone Invests in Africa

Vodafone Group plc, Telecom Italia SpA and 3 Italia proffer something for the weekend in today's trawl of the EMEA headlines.

  • Vodafone clearly has high hopes for the corporate services market in Africa, as its Global Enterprise unit is investing in two new regional hubs, one in Nairobi and the other in Accra, to enhance support for its 600-plus multinational customers that have operations across the continent. In the financial year ending March 2013 Vodafone recorded revenues of more than €1 billion (US$1.28 billion) from its enterprise business in Africa.

  • Talks on a possible merger of Telecom Italia and 3 Italia's mobile businesses have broken down, with the Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.-owned unit concluding that it would not be able to get approval for the deal on the table from its parent company.

  • The European Commission has joined forces with Japan to launch six research projects aimed at increasing the efficiency of data networks. One of the projects, Strauss, is exploring the potential for software-defined networking (SDN)-enabled packet transport networks.

  • The U.K.'s National Audit Office has produced a report criticizing the government's rural broadband rollout program as being a) nearly two years behind schedule and b) not conducive to real competition. Before June 2013, the government had hoped that by 2015 90 percent of premises in each region of the U.K. would have access to Internet speeds of more than 24 Mbit/s and that all premises would have broadband speeds of at least 2 Mbit/s. In June 2013, it announced a change of plan: it was now aiming for 95 percent super-fast broadband coverage of the U.K. by 2017. (See Euronews: UK Fiber Funding in Disarray and Europe's Broadband Nightmare.)



  • They're all at it! Following the revelations about the online eavesdropping by the U.S. National Security Agency and the U.K.'s GCHQ, now come allegations that France's external intelligence agency, DGSE, is intercepting signals from the nation's computers and phones. The report, carried in Le Monde and cited by Reuters, drew on unnamed intelligence sources. (See British Spooks Tap the Global Net and Prism in a Big Data World.)

  • EMT, the Estonian subsidiary of Sweden's TeliaSonera AB, has expanded to nationwide LTE coverage six months ahead of schedule, according to Ericsson AB, which helped make it happen.

  • Nordic group Telenor ASA has appointed Stein-Erik Vellan CEO of GloBul, its Bulgarian operation. Vellan was previously head of Mobile at Telenor Norway.

  • French operator Bouygues Telecom has turned to Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) from Astellia to enable it to analyze network performance, handset behavior and mobile apps use.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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