Etisalat partners with France Telecom, buys stake in SoftAtHome

United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Etisalat and France Telecom have partnered up on the delivery of digital home services. Etisalat is also buying a 16.6 percent stake in SoftAtHome, a joint venture launched by Thomson, Sagem and France Telecom to develop software solutions for triple play services.

Etisalat will adopt SoftAtHome solutions for its future broadband deployments. Both phone companies will collaborate technical and marketing issues for the rollout of multiple-play solutions across Etisalat's service area. The two companies will also work together to acquire multimedia content such as pay-per-view services - bigger company, better buying power.

Other items on the laundry list of cooperation include the co-production of movies between Etisalat and FT-subsidiary Studio 37, new submarine cable builds with an eye to Western and Eastern Africa, and network-related solutions and phone services for real estate developments.

We'll skip the poor jokes about petrodollars here - suffice to say, a number of Persian Gulf states are putting their excess capital to work in technology and IT fields, ranging from start ups such UWB chip maker Pulse~LINK to chipmaker AMD. You have to wonder if they've looked at buying Qwest or Sprint.

For more:
- AME info provides info on the France Telecom Etisalat deal. Post.
- Or, review France Telecom's press release.

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