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Telefonica is First European Telecom To Scale Back Cellular Telephone Operations

In an article called Telecom Giants Are Retrenching in Europe as Finances Wither, The New York Times reports that Telefonica has frozen its cellular operations in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. The company plans to retrench so that it can focus on its core operations in Spain and Latin America.

Telefonica's operations in Germany are a joint venture with Finnish cellular equipment company Sonera that is called Group 3G. The New York Times says that these companies have agreed to abandon that venture entirely.

This development may prove to be the beginning of a massive consolidation of mobile phone services throughout Europe and North America. The article points out asset sales that France Telecom and BT Group PLC, a company that used to be called British Telecom.

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