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Major telecom deal in France: Vivendi agrees to sell SFR to Altice

French media and telecoms company Vivendi has agreed to sell its SFR business.

The deal will see cable provider Altice and its Numericable subsidiary paying €13.5 billion (£11.2 billion) in cash and giving Vivendi a 20% stake in the resulting company.

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Mobile coverage goes live in the Channel Tunnel

Mobile phone coverage in the Channel Tunnel is now available for Eurostar and Le Shuttle customers travelling between France and England. Coverage in the opposite direction - from England to France - is due to be launched by UK network operators later this year.

The northbound service has been introduced by Eurotunnel and French mobile network operators Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR. It uses a GSM-P optical fibre system for 2G and 3G connectivity with equipment developed by Alcatel-Lucent.

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Femtocell shipments in 2011 were lower than expected, says ABI Research

Around 2.5 million femtocells were shipped worldwide this year according to ABI Research, substantially less than the three to four million previously expected.

An increase in femtocell commercial operator contracts - a total of 88 in 2011 - had led to expectations of increased shipments.

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PlayStation Vita will be pre-loaded with a Vodafone SIM card

The forthcoming PlayStation Vita gaming device will be supplied with a Vodafone SIM card in selected countries when it launches next February.

A new partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe means that Vodafone will be the ‘preferred provider’ of 3G connectivity for the 3G+WiFi version of the PS Vita in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

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Vodafone agrees to sell its stake in SFR

Vodafone has agreed to sell its 44% shareholding in French mobile network operator SFR to Vivendi.

The deal is worth around £6.8 billion, with £4 billion being 'returned' to Vodafone shareholders through a share buy-back. Existing commercial co-operation between Vodafone and SFR will be maintained through a Partner Market agreement.

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