Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: probe into Orange/Jazztel deal resumes; LTE-Advanced in Kenya; more O2 sale rumors.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has signed a five-year deal with Telia Company covering managed services in Sweden and elsewhere in Scandinavia. The agreement is actually a renewal and extension of a contract that was first signed in 2010, and the vendor says the contract extension will expand its footprint into eight new regions. There should be plenty to keep Ericsson busy: In December it was announced that TeliaSonera and rival Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) were merging their Danish operations, creating a company with a combined mobile subscriber base of around 3.5 million. (See Eurobites: TeliaSonera, Telenor to Merge Danish Units.)
Just a week after calling a halt to proceedings, European Commission competition regulators have resumed their probe into Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s bid for Spanish broadband provider Jazztel plc , reports Reuters. The Commission will now come to a decision on the €3.4 billion (US$3.95 billion) deal by April 30.
Safaricom Ltd. has chosen Nokia Networks as one of its partners to help launch what the vendor says is the first LTE-Advanced network in Kenya. Among other goodies, Nokia is supplying its Single RAN Advanced platform based on the Flexi Multiradio 10 basestation.
Following yesterday's news that Sky has joined Three UK in sniffing around Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2), it seems more potential bidders for the Spanish giant's British operation are coming out of the woodwork. El Economista reports (in Spanish) that other potential suitors include cable group Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) and UK triple-play provider TalkTalk . (See Sky Opens Tie-Up Talks With O2 – Report and Hutchison in Talks to Buy UK's O2 – Report.)
Belgium's Proximus, which used to be known as Belgacom SA (Euronext: BELG), has formed the inevitably "strategic" partnership with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , with the arguably nebulous aim of "improving the quality, availability and agility of digital services through the development of joint innovation capabilities and the deployment of innovative technological solutions across the network." You got that?
With the help of the Estonian prime minister, Swedish operator Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO) has officially switched on a new 3,000km fiber channel offering an encrypted direct connection between Estonia's Tallinn and Frankfurt in Germany. The channel offers capacity up to 9.6 Tbit/s, says Tele2.
Shazam Entertainment Ltd. , the London-based startup behind the smartphone app that can identify music and TV shows, has raised another $30 million in its latest round of funding, reports Bloomberg. Shazam is now valued at more than $1 billion.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading