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MTS unveils S-680

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Europe in Brief Russia's number one mobile operator MTS last week unveiled Russia's first own-brand cell phone. The sleek S-680, which sports the MTS-GSM logo, was launched at the Svyaz telecoms exhibition.

The new mobile phone, which supports GPRS and boasts polyphonic ring tones, will be made in Southeast Asia and retail at a "democratic" $100, The Moscow Times writes. Sitroniks, a subsidiary of MTS's owner Sistema, developed the menu software.


Netherlands: 400,000 mobile users in debt

Rising phone bills are lumbering 400,000 Dutch mobile phone users with an average debt of almost €680, new research by Dutch organisation Preventel shows. The total amount of debt exceeds a staggering €260m.

Mobile phones are blamed for the rising incidence of debt problems among young people. In the Netherlands most people who have difficulty paying their mobile phone bills are between 18 and 23 years old.


Poland: bids for wireless local loop

E-Internet, Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (PTC), the Research and Academic Computer Network (NASK) and Innova Capital have all placed bids for the Polish tender for wireless local loop (WLL), a technology that enables remote areas to hook up with fixed-line phones.

The WLL-tender has already become more popular than the planned tender for GSM services, which would allow a fourth operator to emerge in Poland. However, analysts told the Warshaw Business Journal that "it is hard to see what demand will come from it". The percentage of households without fixed-line access in Poland is not high.


Denmark: Danish IT-billionaire in new start-up

Danish IT billionaire Erik Damgaard, 43, is leaving Microsoft in Seattle for a co-investment in the sprouting Danish IT company International Power Switch, according to business daily Børsen. The company developes a power conductor which companies can use to switch computers on and off automatically if the temperature or the humidity rises.

Damgaard was, along with his brother Preben, behind Damgaard Data that merged with its competitor Navision in 2001. Navision was sold to Microsoft for €1.5bn. ®

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