Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: SFR talks network-sharing with Vodafone; Liberty Global gets Carrier Ethernet 2.0 certification; the future's not Orange.
Pan-European operator Colt Technology Services Group Ltd (London: COLT) unveiled a critical strategic move Tuesday as it announced a slight year-on-year increase in first-quarter revenues to 399.8 million (US$552 million). The carrier, which provides voice, data, and IT services to enterprise and wholesale customers, announced that it plans to "withdraw from approximately 85% of our Carrier voice trading contracts over the next few months" in order to free up "five billion minutes per annum of voice network capacity to pursue more profitable enterprise voice business." As a result of this move, Colt expects its Carrier voice revenues to decline by 175 million ($241 million), equivalent to about 70% of its annual total, but expects the move to improve its profit margins, so it is clearly aiming to extract itself from deals that aren't delivering decent (or any) profits. The move, which will also result in some job losses, is expected to result in restructuring charges of about 30 million ($41 million) during the second half of this year. Investors didn't much like the news, as Colt's share price lost 12% of its value and was trading at 127 pence on the London Stock Exchange at noon Tuesday. (See Colt Reports Q1, Restructuring Plans.)
SFR , the French mobile company that is in the process of being swallowed by cable operator Numericable-SFR , is planning a network-sharing partnership with Vodafone, reports Reuters, citing Le Figaro. SFR's CEO, Jean-Yves Charlier, told Le Figaro that SFR's "professional clients will have access to the Vodafone network everywhere in the world." (See Eurobites: Numericable Wins SFR M&A Tussle.)
Meanwhile, in the pain-in-the-neck department, Vodafone is being sued by its former Greek distributor, Mobile Trade Stores, for 1.37 billion (US$1.89 billion), reports Bloomberg. According to MTS, Vodafone unexpectedly and unfairly terminated a maintenance services contract in 2008, leading to lost business.
Russian operator VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) has sold its 51% stake in Orascom Telecom Algιrie (also known as Djezzy GSM ) to the Algerian National Investment Fund for US$2.64 billion. A VimpelCom statement regarding the deal says that it will continue to exercise operational control over OTA.
Brits were once told, repeatedly, "the future's bright, the future's Orange." Well, apparently it's not any more. According to a report in The Guardian, Orange (NYSE: FTE) has stopped signing up new customers via its UK online channel, and this is being interpreted, by The Guardian at least, as the first phase of the dismantling of the once hip-as-hell brand by its parent, EE .
Ray@LR, User Rank: Blogger 4/22/2014 | 10:34:53 AM
Will this be a new trend among SPs? We've already seen this -- the extraction from contracts that deliver little profit or generate aloss -- in the managed services sector, with NSN and ALU.
Now Colt is getting out of carrier voice contracts so it can sell the voice capacity to enterprise customers that deliver higher margins. It's going to be painful, as the numbers show, but Colt obviously thinks it'll be worth it.
I wonder if we'll see a spate of such deals, and not just in the wholesale sector...
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.