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TELIA

Telia buys Spanish mobile operator

Telia Sonera has become the principal owner of Spanish mobile operator Xfera Móvile and plans to invest 9 billion kronor in a national 3G network in Spain.

The Nordic telephony giant is paying 657 million kronor to increase its share of the company from 16.5 to 80 percent. The company plans to use Xfrea Móvile’s license to build a Spanish 3G network.

The news caused the Swedish-Finnish company’s shares to fall by about six percent on the Stockholm exchange on Thursday afternoon.

Telia Sonera’s CEO Anders Igel defended the deal.

“Getting control over the company was an absolute condition of being able to carry out this deal,” he told news agency TT.

Telia’s strategy has previously been to strengthen its position on the Nordic, Russian and Baltic markets. But Igel denied that the purchase of the Spanish company implied a change in strategy.

“Absolutely not. We are using are strengths and competence to build and run telephone networks. Spain might seem a bit further away, but it doesn’t change our focus.

Igel said he was “prepared to do further deals.”

“But we are also prepared to wait for a good investment.”

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 Some of the people I had contacted had private and unpublished numbers, and all of this has been leaked by Telia,” she added.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