Light Reading

Eurobites: Liberty Merges Euro Operations

Ray Le Maistre
7/29/2014
50%
50%

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
    SachinEE
    50%
    50%
    SachinEE,
    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.
    SachinEE
    50%
    50%
    SachinEE,
    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.
    SachinEE
    50%
    50%
    SachinEE,
    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.
    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
    LRTV Documentaries
    Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

    5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


    For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

    5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


    Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

    5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


    Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

    5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


    Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
    LRTV Documentaries
    The Security Challenge of SDN

    5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


    CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
    LRTV Custom TV
    NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

    5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


    Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

    5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


    Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The Transport SDN Buzz

    5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


    Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

    5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


    John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

    5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


    Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
    LRTV Custom TV
    DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

    4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


    John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

    4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


    Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
    Upcoming Live Events
    June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
    October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
    October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
    Hot Topics
    Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
    Choosing a Technology Supplier? Consider Changing Your Selection Criteria
    Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 5/18/2015
    Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
    10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
    Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
    Smarter 'Dumb' TVs Will Drive OTT Adoption
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/18/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
    My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
    I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
    Cats with Phones