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Also in today's EMEA roundup: DT, FT won't see EE float away; Colt profits slip; Belgacom loses mobile subs; Kroes cross with German regulator

Euronews: Sky Bulks Up Broadband With O2 Buy

Paul Rainford
3/1/2013
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BSkyB Ltd., Telefónica UK Ltd., Deutsche Telekom AG and France Télécom – Orange proffer something for the weekend in Friday's trawl of the EMEA headlines.

  • BSkyB is to pay £180 million (US$270 million) for Telefónica UK's O2 and BE consumer broadband and fixed-line business, gaining more than half a million new customers and becoming the U.K.'s second-largest fixed broadband provider in the process. Once the customer migration has been successfully completed, a further £20 million ($30 million), or thereabouts, might be added to the acquisition price.
  • The CFO of Deutsche Telekom has said that both the German carrier and France Telecom are committed to maintaining a majority stake in Everything Everywhere Ltd. (EE), their U.K. joint venture, after its planned flotation. Timotheus Hoettges added that the flotation would not happen until the end of the year. (See Euronews: EE Tests Waters on Flotation.)
  • Full-year pre-tax profits at pan-European services provider Colt Technology Services Group Ltd slipped 14.2 percent to €61.8 million ($80.4 million), despite an overall rise in revenues of 2.6 percent – the first such rise in seven years. (See Euronews: Colt Fires Up 100GE.)
  • Belgacom SA lost 43,000 mobile customers on aggregate in 2012, a fact which contributed to a €45 million ($58 million) year-on-year fall in net income to €711 million ($926 million). On the plus side, subscribers to Belgacom TV and the operator's fixed broadband service both increased significantly.
  • The European Commission has rapped the knuckles of the German regulator, BNetzA, for its plan to allow domestic operators to impose mobile termination rates more than 80 percent higher than those in many other EU member states. Neelie Kroes, the European Commission's vice president for the Digital Agenda, said: "The vast majority of Member States play ball and are now applying EU telecoms rules in a coordinated way that brings maximum benefit to consumers and to competition. German operators should not be given special treatment." — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    Ray Le Maistre
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    Ray Le Maistre,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    3/4/2013 | 12:41:30 PM
    re: Euronews: Sky Bulks Up Broadband With O2 Buy
    The determining factor for that sort of move, in my view, would be the ability to provide an exemplary customer service. Virgin has shown that a focus on customer service can yield results and it seems the likes of EE are no further forward in making 'customer experience' a metric worthy of significant consideration.
    macster
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    macster,
    User Rank: Light Bulb
    3/2/2013 | 6:04:02 AM
    re: Euronews: Sky Bulks Up Broadband With O2 Buy
    Sky is a big customer of Openreach. This acquisition ties in nicely, gives them the numbers. Next? What odds on Sky being an MVNO? If I did strategy for them, if a few bits of data and some calculations check out, this is what I would do.....
    Ray Le Maistre
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    Ray Le Maistre,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    3/1/2013 | 4:46:31 PM
    re: Euronews: Sky Bulks Up Broadband With O2 Buy
    Emeka Obiodu, telco strategy analyst at Ovum, made a number of observations (in an email to the press) about BSkyB's acquisition of O2's fixed broadband operations -- the most interesting one (in my view) was:

    "This sale reduces the power of UK mobile operators in the converged space. At a time when telcos across Europe are intensifying efforts to offer converged-(fixed, mobile,
    broadband, TV) services, mobile telcos in the UK are making themselves much
    more reliant on mobile. EE still retains a presence in the fixed telecoms space
    but its offering is increasingly infrastructure-light. Ultimately, this is a
    dangerous scenario as it might reduce the strategic maneuverability of the
    UKGs mobile telcos in a converged future."

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