Light Reading

Eurobites: Liberty Merges Euro Operations

Ray Le Maistre

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange to cut costs further as profits slide in H1; Nokia Networks teams up for wide-area 4G broadcast trial; Vodafone brings Chromecast to the UK high street.

  • Cable operator giant Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) is merging its businesses in Austria and Switzerland from August 1 to create a single operation that will be run by the current managing director of Swiss operator UPC Cablecom Eric Tveter, who will become CEO of Liberty Global's 'Swiss and Austrian region.' Thomas Hintze, the current managing director of UPC Austria, will report to Tveter as a "senior advisor." (So don't expect him to stick around too long.) Both operations are the largest cable operators in their respective markets: The Swiss unit has 1.4 million video customers, 675,000 broadband users, and 463,000 voice subscribers; the Austrian operation has 526,000 video customers, 440,000 broadband users, and 355,000 voice subscribers. Combined, the two units have an annualized revenue rate of about US$1.84 billion, about three quarters of which is generated by the Swiss operations. Liberty Global says the move will provide "economies of scale" and provide "opportunities to explore further regional cooperation." Liberty Global has a number of other operations Central and Eastern Europe, namely in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, so they'll be wondering if consolidation is going to come their way too. Liberty Global's stock was largely unchanged on the news, dipping by just 0.3% to $42.38.

  • Ongoing intense competition in its home market weighed on the latest financials from French giant Orange (NYSE: FTE), which reported a 3.6% decline in group revenues to €19.6 billion ($26.3 billion) for the first six months of the year, and a 26.3% dip in net income to €891 million ($1.2 billion). Now the operator plans to cut costs further to boost profitability. "We remain focused on lightening Orange's cost structure, allowing us to stabilise our margin rate in the first half and to confirm our annual targets for 2014. We are continuing our efforts in this area and have increased our target for lowering indirect costs and now aim to achieve a reduction of more than 300 million euros in 2014." For more details, see this Bloomberg report.

  • Nokia Networks has teamed up with multiple partners in Austria, Germany and Switzerland to trial wide-area TV broadcasting over 4G LTE using eMBMS (evolved Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service) capabilities. The trial, taking place in Munich, Germany, is using part of the 700 MHz band to broadcast over an area of 200 square kilometers. LTE Broadcast has become a hot topic during the past few weeks… (See Verizon's Multicast LTE Video to Arrive in 2015, EE to Trial 4G Broadcast in Scotland, AT&T Investing in LTE Video Despite Capex 'Freeze'?, and eMBMS: Revolutionary Technology or Alphabet Soup?.)

  • Vodafone UK has become the first British operator to offer the Chromecast video streaming device to the content-hungry public, making the device available through its 375 high street shops. See this announcement for more details.

  • Subscribers to Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF)'s Movistar TV service now have access to more than 350 hours of online personal recorded content through their set-top boxes following the deployment of a Cloud DRVR system from Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU). (See Telefónica Deploys AlcaLu Cloud DVR Tech.)

  • Publicity-seeking Mayor of London Boris Johnson looks set to jump on the 5G bandwagon with a pledge that the UK capital will have the next generation of mobile broadband services by 2020, according to a report in City AM. By 2020, of course, Johnson won't be London's mayor, and so won't be accountable for such projections. Instead, there's every chance he will be the UK Prime Minister, a prospect more frightening than a Freddie Krueger convention for us Brits at Eurobites Towers. But that's just the way we roll…

    — Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

    (3)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/31/2014 | 10:37:40 AM
    The Merger
    The bold move by Liberty Global incorporated to merge its businesses in both Switzerland and Austria is sure to earn them a great profit. By creating a single operation by the merger, they are cutting on costs that they use as an organization thereby channeling the remaining finances on the business.
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/30/2014 | 2:38:01 PM
    Re: very bold
    This is some very bold talk from the mayor of London and the keen UK public will definitely hold him to account come the year 2020. Though it's rather shallow to think that he wont be accountable for any failures come that time since he wont be the mayor considering that he may very well be the UK prime minister at that time. Recent events have taught his predecessors that the UK public rarely forgets failures, though if he does succeed then they may forget by 2020.
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/30/2014 | 2:37:25 PM
    Re: Vodafone UK
    This is a very interesting development and one that I definitely can wait to see how it plays out and how the move is going to affect Vodafone UK's overall sales and popularity especially considering the fact that the company has not had a particularly great year so far. Haven't had the time to read the full advertisement yet and am particularly anxious about the initial price for which it will be sold since this will definitely impact its overall performance.
    From The Founder
    Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
    Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
    Between the CEOs
    Meet the Architect Behind LinkedIn

    12|1|15   |   10:46   |   (0) comments

    Steve Saunders speaks with Saikrishna Kotha, who leads LinkedIn's data center infrastructure architecture strategy. With over 400 million users, it's Kotha's job to deliver agility and speed, but also act as a business strategist to develop new ways that LinkedIn can monetize its user base. According to Kotha, LinkedIn runs on a mix of white box and vendor ...
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Service Gateway Virtual Edition

    12|1|15   |   8.29   |   (0) comments

    Allot's Jay Klein talks to Steve Saunders about its new Service Gateway Virtual Edition.
    Wagner’s Ring
    The Business Case for Open Source

    11|30|15   |     |   (2) comments

    Open source helps companies enhance infrastructure, undermine competitors' advantage and teach collaboration. But there are problems.
    Between the CEOs
    Centec on Ethernet Switching

    11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

    Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

    11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

    Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
    Wagner’s Ring
    How Might Open Source Fail?

    11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

    Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
    LRTV Custom TV
    NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

    11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

    Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
    Between the CEOs
    Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

    11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

    Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

    11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

    Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

    11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

    NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

    11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

    Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

    11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

    Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
    Hot Topics
    Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
    Cable Gives Thanks for Business Services
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 11/27/2015
    Facebook in Africa: Beauty or Beast?
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/27/2015
    Hong Kong Moments
    Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/26/2015
    How Amazon TV Could Own Christmas
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 11/30/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    December 15, 2015
    Virtualizing Cable Services
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Steve Saunders speaks with Saikrishna Kotha, who leads LinkedIn's data center infrastructure architecture strategy. With over 400 million users, it's Kotha's job to deliver agility and speed, but also act as a business strategist to develop new ways that LinkedIn can monetize its user base. According to Kotha, LinkedIn runs on a mix of white box and vendor hardware but has the DNA of a web-scale company.
    Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
    Cats with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.