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Euronews: EC Is Cool With Microsoft/Skype Deal

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Skype Ltd. and Sunrise Communications AG are making waves in today's trot through the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • The European Commission has given the green light to Microsoft's proposed takeover of Skype, the VoIP pioneer beloved (well, sorta) of long-distance grandparents the world over. Skype's limited presence in the enterprise sector helped win it the nod from Brussels. (See Europe OKs Microsoft's Skype Acquisition, Why Mobile Operators Like Skype , Microsoft to Buy Skype for $8.5B and Microsoft + Skype + Nokia?)

  • The Long Term Evolution (LTE) spectrum auction in the U.K. is proving to be a nut too tough to crack for regulator Ofcom , which has announced that yet another consultation is required and that the auction will be delayed until at least the fourth quarter of 2012. According to Ofcom's statement, the spectrum bands to be auctioned -- namely, 800MHz and 2.6GHz -- won't be available for use until 2013, anyway, "so this step is unlikely to have a material impact on the timeline for the availability of new services to consumers." (See Euronews: Concern Over UK LTE Auction Plan .)

  • NextiraOne , the pan-European services firm, has sold its Swiss business to Swiss operator Sunrise for an undisclosed sum. The two companies have a history of working together. (See Sunrise to Buy NextiraOne Swiss Biz.)

  • Pilchard fishermen and surf dudes in the far-flung U.K. county of Cornwall look set to be among the best-connected mobile users in the country following the launch of the first U.K. customer trial of LTE near the town of Newquay. EE , the joint venture between Orange UK and T-Mobile (UK) , is launching the trial in partnership with BT Wholesale . In a separate development, Everything Everywhere has announced its "big switch-on," which is its name for an extension of the joint venture's 2G network-sharing program to 3G. (See Everything Everywhere Trials LTE in Cornwall, Everything Everywhere, BT Test LTE and BT Preps 'Landmark' FTTC Investment.)

  • Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has added some of "the great and the good" to its U.K. advisory board to help improve its record on transparency as it continues its push into Europe. Patience Wheatcroft (a former editor of Wall Street Journal Europe), Brian McBride (the former managing director of Amazon UK) and Claudia Arney (a Goldman Sachs & Co. veteran) will all be taking their places. (See Huawei Expands UK Advisory Board.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 4:51:35 PM
    re: Euronews: EC Is Cool With Microsoft/Skype Deal

    I'm surprised Ofcom said the auction delay isn't likely to have much impact on when new services will be introduced. Even if this spectrum won't be available to use until 2013, how can operators plan their networks, and the services that will ride on them, if they don't know what and how much spectrum they are going to get?

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