Ericsson wins managed services deal with Etisalat in Africa

Swedish network equipment maker Ericsson has signed a five-year deal to manage the networks of Atlantique Telecom, the African subsidiary of Middle Eastern telecoms giant Etisalat.

The contract will see Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) manage all of the mobile networks of Atlantique Telecom, which serves about 10 million customers in Benin, the Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Niger and Togo.

Atlantique Telecom says the deal will allow it to focus on the development of value-added services and tailored offerings for its customers.

France to investigate Skype over telecom operator status

Reuters

The French telecoms regulator ARCEP said it had asked prosecutors to investigate Microsoft Corp's Skype for failing to register as a telecom operator.

Skype (Luxembourg City, Luxembourg) has not complied with the regulator's repeated requests to register as an "electronic communications operator", ARCEP said in a statement on Tuesday.

The regulator said that since Skype let users make voice calls to fixed and mobile numbers in France and around the world, it had an obligation to allow emergency calls and permit legal interception of calls when required.

BT wins fiber deal in Lincolnshire, ups broadband targets in Cornwall

The UK government’s commitment to improve broadband access across the country has received a boost from news of a fiber-based broadband deal between telecoms incumbent BT and Lincolnshire County Council.

In a statement on its website, the operator said it would provide superfast broadband services to 88% of premises in Lincolnshire – home to about 715,000 UK residents – by April 2016, and ensure the remaining 12% can access services of at least 2Mbps by the same date.

The company says it was chosen following a competitive selection process.

Vodafone and France Telecom to "co-invest" $1.3 billion in Spain fiber venture

Vodafone and France Telecom are teaming up on the rollout of a €1 billion ($1.3 billion) fiber-optic broadband network in Spain.

The two operators aim to cover 6 million households and business premises – representing about 40% of the country’s population – in 50 cities by September 2017.

Services are expected to be available from January 2014, and to cover 800,000 housholds and workplaces by March 2014 and 3 million by September 2015.

CeBIT: Bosch rolls out M2M device management software

Bosch Software Innovation GmbH (Berlin) is well known for its business-process software products – some of which are used to supervise pipeline networks for major energy companies like Gazprom and E.ON. Bosch Software chose CeBIT 2013 to unveil a new, integrated software suite for what it calls the “Internet of Things & Services”.

Telenor Connexion strikes connected-car deal with Fujitsu Ten

Fuelling the current momentum in the connected-car market, Telenor Connexion has revealed that Japan’s Fujitsu Ten has become its latest telematics customer.

In a statement published on its website, the M2M subsidiary of Telenor (Fornebu, Norway) said that Fujitsu Ten (Kobe, Japan) would use its “connected service solution” for its Remote Engine Start telematics service – a so-called “aftermarket” product the company plans to deploy overseas.

CeBIT: Satellite asset tracking goes dual mode and solar powered

CeBIT revealed fine points in satellite communications for asset-tracking development as two service providers introduced new dual-mode equipment. Dual-mode communication modules offer GSM connectivity to pure satellite communications, which is expensive and can have latency issues, and are quickly becoming standard in the logistics sector, especially when perishable cargo is involved.

Czech regulator suspends 4G auction

The Czech telecoms regulator has taken the unusual step of suspending a 4G spectrum auction because bid prices had risen too high.

In a statement on its website, the CTU said that bid prices had reached about CZK20 billion ($1 billion), nearly three times the minimum amount of CZK7.4 billion established at the outset of the auction.

The regulator’s fear seems to be that operators will pass those costs on to 4G consumers, inhibiting the take-up of high-speed mobile internet services in the Czech market.

Regulators end probe of big five EU telecoms firms over standards

Reuters

EU antitrust regulators said on Thursday they were closing a preliminary investigation into Europe's biggest telecoms firms over development of new technology standards for mobile services.

The European Commission, which acts as competition watchdog for the 27-country European Union, said it was satisfied that the operators had handed standardization work over to the GSMA mobile industry grouping and other sector-wide associations.

MWC wrap-up: Vendors roll out backhaul solutions for small-cell complexity, more

Driven by increased consumer expectations for mobile broadband, solving operator problems by adding small cells to more traditional network topographies in outdoor environments was a recurring theme at this year’s Mobile World Congress. A roundup of some of the backhaul news from the shows follows.

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