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Euronews: Dec. 14

BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) sells some assets, Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (NYSE: PT) makes a new friend, a group of European giants are keen on a majority stake in Serbian national operator Telekom Srbija a.d. , plus more news snippets.

  • BT has banked £63 million (US$100 million) from the sale of a 5.5 percent stake in Tech Mahindra Ltd. , one of its most important Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) partners. BT says it still holds a 24.4 percent stake in the Indian firm, and "expects to continue to have a shareholding in Tech Mahindra for some time." (See India Profile: Tech Mahindra.)

  • Portugal Telecom has signed a "collaboration agreement" with Asia/Pacific mover and shaker Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) (OTC: SGTJY) that will see the two carriers "share operational and commercial best practices" regarding IPTV and fiber-based broadband, and jointly develop applications for their fixed and wireless networks. It's an interesting friendship, as both operators are now among the more experienced players in the IPTV and FTTH sectors. SingTel was the company that was actively seeking a new international BFF (best friend forever), noting that it chose Portugal Telecom "after a global search." (Quirk alert: SingTel calls its IPTV service mio TV, while Portugal Telecom's IPTV service is dubbed Meo. 'Nuff said.) (See BBWF 2010: Huawei's 10G GPON Coup, BBWF 2010: 10G GPON Hits Europe , Meo TV Hits 700K, SingTel Offers 3D TV, SingTel Hits 100K for IPTV, Singapore Set for Broadband Ramp, and Nucleus Connect Launches.)

  • Telekom Srbija (or Telekom Serbia for those of us who can't pronounce three consecutive consonants) has attracted seven qualified bidders for the 51 percent in the East European carrier stake that's being sold by the Serbian government, according to the country's Ministry of Finance. The magnificent seven -- Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Orange (NYSE: FTE), Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA), America Movil , Weather Investments, Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (NYSE: TKC), and VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) -- have until February 21 to submit their binding offers, after which the highest bidder (subject to regulatory clearance) gets the stake. In 2009, Telekom Srbija generated group revenues of 113.9 billion Dinars ($1.44 billion).

  • Service provider IT (SPIT) specialist Wipro Ltd. (NYSE: WIT) has opened a new R&D center in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, primarily to support the multi-year IT transformation deal it struck earlier this year with national operator Magyar Telekom plc .

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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