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TELIA

TeliaSonera strengthens Norwegian position

Swedish-Finnish telecommunications group TeliaSonera said Monday it had acquired a 91.2% stake in the Norwegian group Vollvik, which owns Norway's third largest mobile phone operator, Chess/Sense.

TeliaSonera said it expected the transaction would eventually boost its underlying earnings before interest, taxation and amortization by about 810 million kronor and its pretax cash flow by around 730 million kronor from mid-2006.

“This transaction strengthens our position on the Norwegian mobile market and emphasizes our ability to progress successfully with our strategy to enhance growth in our home markets,” said TeliaSonera’s chief executive Anders Igel.

TeliaSonera said Chess/Sense would continue to operate as a service provider under its own brand on the Norwegian market. Idar Vollvik will remain as chief executive and there will be no major changes in the operation of the company.

Chess/Sense had 405,000 subscribers in Norway as of June 2005.

AFP

PRIVACY

Telia leaks customers’ private phone logs

Swedish telecom firm Telia has come under fire after the company published customers' private information, leaked their bills online, and revealed lists of SMS and phone call recipients.

Telia leaks customers' private phone logs

Several customers of Telia, the Swedish subsidiary of Swedish-Finnish telecom company TeliaSonera, learned this week that their information had been leaked for several months and was still available on Google cached documents. One of those affected was 28-year-old Madelene Dalebrand Wachler from Hudiksvall in eastern Sweden.

“[Swedish tabloid] Aftonbladet rang me and explained that my billing statements were viewable online… you could come in directly and see it all – all the calls I’d made and all the people to whom I had sent an SMS,” she told The Local.

The information came with names, addresses, telephone numbers and even lengths of the phone calls.

“It’s terrible. Some of the people I had contacted had private and unpublished numbers, and all of this has been leaked by Telia,” she added.

Wachler has since contacted authorities at Sweden’s Data Inspectorate (Datainspektionen) who have promised to launch an investigation into the matter.

“I’m also looking into getting compensation from Telia. Information shouldn’t be available like this, it’s horrible and it’s quite scary actually. And it makes it harder to trust all these big companies,” she said.

Telia spokesman Hans G. Larsson was shocked to learn of the leaks, confirming that only a few people were affected.

“This in unacceptable, of course, and it’s something we will be looking into. We do offer our customers confidentiality and this involves the data protection act,” he told Aftonbladet.

He explained that the system had been shuttered later on Monday night, which meant no customers were able to see their own statements online at the time.

“If you need to pay a bill over the coming days, you can log into My Pages [Mina sidor] on Telia to see the statements,” Larsson told the TT news agency.

“Thank goodness, this seems to have been very limited. Nothing points to it being a large group of customers being affected, but it’s bad enough already,” Larsson told the TT news agency.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

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