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Europe in Brief Shares in Iliad, the French ISP-cum-telco, surged 35 per cent on its debut, Friday on the Paris bours. AFP report. Investor demand was so strong that shares were at first suspended from trading.

Iliad, the company behind French ISP Free, is the first Internet IPO to hit the French market since Liberty Surf in 2000, although it is by no means a startup. Iliad was founded in 1991 and has interests in fixed-line telecommunications through subsidiaries One.Tel and Kertel.



Poland: eBay rival sales jump

What's cooking in Poland these days? Undoubtedly allegro.pl, the Internet auction house. The service, partly-owned by QXL Ricardo, has seen turnover nearly double last year and plans to spend heavily on infrastructure, Warsaw Business Journal Online reports.

Last year's sales jumped to zl.370 million, which represents more than 12 per cent of Poland's total e-commerce market, or nearly twice the zl.200 million recorded in 2002. allegro.pl is still very much king of its territory as eBay has no presence in Poland. The company also owns leading Czech auction portal aukro.cz.



Denmark: Mobile technology to control bus traffic

Motorola subsidiary TetraNet will implement a new traffic information system based on TETRA and GPS, Copenhagen Capacity says. The Greater Copenhagen Authority (HUR) has commissioned the system, which is aimed at improving the communication among the different public transportation systems operating in Denmark’s capital. The contract between HUR and TetraNet is valued at €15 million and the entire system must go live within twelve months.

Buses, trains and metro will be able to communicate to each other, so that busses can respond quickly to unexpected delays and traffic problems. As all 1,200 public transport buses operating in Greater Copenhagen will be equipped with GPS (Global Positioning System), passengers standing at bus stops will be informed on how long it will take for the next bus to arrive.



Sweden: Karlskrona transformed

A small city built on an archipelago on Sweden's southern Baltic coast is transformed into a wireless city, Its Sweden reports.

When the Swedish Navy downsized in the 1990s, Karlskrona was one of the hardest-hit cities as the Navy was one of its largest employers.

However, the town decided to change its future. A technology institute was created as well as the TelecomCity incubator. Vodafone, Motorola, Ericsson and Sun Microsystems landed at the 300-year-old fortress town and several new technologies are now tested in a real environment. Unemployment rates that had reached 12.5 per cent have now fallen to the Swedish average of 6.5 per cent. ®

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