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Wholesale/transport services

Euronews: Jan. 4

In a bumper start to the first full regular European business day of the new year, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) and BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) are all jostling for position in the news queue.

  • Tailwind Capital has bought Ericsson Federal Inc., which targets the US federal government market, from the Swedish giant for an undisclosed sum. The division, in which Ericsson no longer has any stake, has been renamed Oceus Networks, and has "the exclusive right to offer the full slate of Ericsson's industry leading standards-based, off-the-shelf technology and support services to this customer base."

  • With financial sector customers in mind, Level 3 has added two new low-latency 10 Gbit/s routes -- London to Madrid, and Frankfurt to Madrid -- to its European network. The operator is just one of a number of transport service providers looking to impress finance houses with their high quality and speedy connections. (See Level 3 Adds Euro Routes, AboveNet Expands in Europe, Colt Taps Infinera for Ultra-Low-Latency Service and Neuro Certifies Interoute.)

  • German prosecutors have abandoned their investigation of Deutsche Telekom CEO René Obermann, who had been accused of bribery, reports Reuters.

  • Meanwhile, Deutsche Telekom is on the offensive as one of the signatories of a letter seeking a change in Hungary's tax laws that impose levies on international firms doing business in the East European country, reports Deutsche Welle.

  • Swisscom says its planned fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) joint venture with the canton of Fribourg and electricity producer and distributor Groupe E is coming under extended scrutiny from Switzerland's Competition Commission. The Swiss operator, which intends to bear 60 percent of the FTTH rollout costs in Fribourg, hopes to start work on the next-generation broadband project in mid-2011, and plans to lay four fibers to each home and business to "guarantee effective competition and non-discriminatory access to the fibre-optic network by other operators." The carrier is seeking partnerships around the country as part of its plans, first announced in late 2008, to lay fiber to the majority of Swiss homes and businesses. (See Swisscom Preps FTTH Joint Venture , Berne to Get FTTH, All of Basel to Get FTTH, Swisscom Signs FTTH Deal and Swisscom Plans $2.3B FTTx Rollout.)

  • BT's Content Connect service, a wholesale offering that provides an enhanced video delivery service for ISPs, is coming under scrutiny from net neutrality commentators, reports The Financial Times. (See BT Builds CDN With CDS and BT Unveils Its CDN Plans.)

  • Scandinavian systems integrator and Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) specialist Tieto Corp. has won a deal worth 125 million Norwegian Kroner (US$21.4 million) to provide infrastructure services and applications management to Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN)'s Key Partner division. (See Tieto Wins Telenor Deal.)

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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