News in brief: Telstra, Ericsson, MySpace, 3


Telstra has denied speculation that it is in talks with Malaysian operator Maxis to buy a 20-25% stake in Indian subsidiary Aircel. The speculation which surfaced last week in the Economic Times also suggested that France Telecom was also interested in taking a share of the Malaysian carrier. Aircel is currently in the midst of a US$5 billion national expansion. Telstra issued a ‘no comment’ on the news reports backed by sources within the carrier’s international operations which claim it is a very unlikely investment. 
Ericsson has secured a long-term bilateral loan of $625 million with The Swedish Export Credit Corporation. The seven year loan which is partially backed by The Swedish Export Credit Guarantee Board will be out towards the refinancing of bonds maturing within the current and next year and for general corporate purposes. The vendor said that the loan would lengthen Ericsson's average debt maturity profile and provide a more efficient capital structure.
Following an aggressive senior executive restructure at MySpace, the social networker is poised to cut significant staff numbers globally and may consolidate its European presence. Reports claim that the MySpace offices in Italy, France and Spain are currently being mooted for closure affecting hundreds of staff. MySpace’s UK office and European headquarters, which is run by ex-pat Australian Rebekah Horne, is understood to have let around 20 staff go in February. TechCrunch has been reporting that globally 25% of staff were on the redundancy hit list. Meanwhile one of the foundation execs of the MySpace UK team, Jay Stevens is leaving the group to take on the role of international vice-president and general manager at advertising technology startup, the Rubicon Project in LA.

Ireland’s 3 network has deployed the first I-HSPA network in the country with Nokia Siemens Networks. The I-HSPA network is being rolled out as part of Ireland’s National Broadband Scheme. The network operates on 7.2Mbps technology, upgraded during 2010 to operate on technology of 14.4Mbps. Under the National Broadband Scheme 3’s WCDMA network has been totally replaced with Flexi base station technology by Nokia Siemens Networks in under one year.