Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Altice IPO; EC inspects Telefónica/E-Plus merger; Vodafone meets 3G obligations.
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s foray into the world of top-dollar sports content on its pay-TV service seems to be paying off for the UK giant, with revenues up 2% to £4.59 billion (US$7.56 billion) in its fiscal third quarter and profits up 6% to £617 million ($1.01 billion). Its BT Sport customer base passed 2.5 million subscribers in the quarter, while 228,000 residential fiber broadband customers were added, bringing the total of FTTX connections up to 1.9 million. It's a less rosy picture in the Wholesale division, where revenue slumped 9% to £539 million ($887 million) for various reasons, not least the termination of a major contract with the Post Office and lower levels of network build from some of its customers. (See BT Reports Fiscal Q3 and BT's Got Balls.)
French cable and telecom services holding company Altice has begun trading on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange with a launch share price of €28.25. The IPO, which has seen 22.8% of the company's total stock being available to public investors, raised €1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) in total, with about €750 million ($1.01 billion) going to the company and €555 million ($752 million) to Next LP, a company owned by Altice executive chairman Patrick Drahi. The IPO values the company at more than €5.7 billion, which, according to Altice, makes this the "largest ever IPO of a cable operator in EMEA." Altice holds a 40% stake in French cable operator Numericable-SFR but plans to increase that holding to take a controlling stake, and also has a presence in Israel, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, the French West Indies, and the Dominican Republic. By late morning on its first day of trading, Altice's shares were up by 2.8% to €29.05.
Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has received the thumbs-up from UK regulator Ofcom for finally meeting its 3G coverage obligations. In November Ofcom had said that all the UK mobile operators bar Vodafone had met their obligation to cover 90% of UK homes by June 2013. To pass muster, Vodafone had to upgrade 129 mobile transmitter sites.
Following the news that Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) CEO Hans Vestberg had ruled himself out from the soon-to-be-vacant Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) CEO job, it seems like a Chosen One has at last emerged: Bloomberg reports that Satya Nadella, currently Microsoft's enterprise and cloud chief, is the new Steve Ballmer. But with a bit more hair.
albreznick, User Rank: Blogger 1/31/2014 | 8:34:17 PM
Altice So Altive is making a killing onthe IPO, eh? I wonder of Numericable will share in the benefits of that at all. I'll bet their plant could stand a little investment these days. Any word on that, Paul?
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.
During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.
She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.