News In Brief: Telecom Italia, Interoute, Gartner, NSN, Eckoh

Marco Patuano, Telecom Italia’s chief operating officer, claims plans to abolish peak and off-peak call rates will cut the cost of local calls by an average of 38%, and long-distance rates 27%. New charges of €0.007 per minute for local, and €0.05 on long-distance calls are due on July 1.
European fiber operator Interoute has signed a multi-million Euro deal to design and deploy nine Web landing points to allow African subsea cable owner SEACOM to extend its services into eastern and southern parts of the continent.
The global semiconductor industry recorded the largest ever annual increase in revenues during 2010, up 30.9% to $299.4 billion (€209 billion), Gartner states. Intel maintained its leading position for the 19th year in a row, with Samsung Electronics and Toshiba second and third respectively.
Nokia Siemens has hired Amiram Mel to head up its Business Solutions unit from June 1. Mel joins from Logic Systems, and previously held management roles at Amdocs.
UK-based speech recognition software provider Eckoh predicts it will report higher profits and double-digit revenue growth when it issues final figures for 2010 in June.