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Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Altice plans IPO; Liberty Global closing in on Ziggo; BICS goes LTE roaming.

Euronews: EE Hits 2M Mark With 4G

Paul Rainford
1/7/2014
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Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Altice plans IPO; Liberty Global closing in on Ziggo; BICS goes LTE roaming.

  • UK mobile operator EE is, as the Brits say, chuffed to bits about the rate of 4G services uptake since it launched them in October 2012. EE says it had 2 million 4G customers by the close of 2013, twice its original target. The operator offers 4G services in 160 UK towns and cities, with average speeds of 24 to 30 Mbit/s. See this release for more details and a sexy pic of EE's Bond villain lookalike CEO, Olaf Swantee. (See EE Users Snub WiFi for LTE and EE Gets Smart With Its LTE Assets.)

  • Altice, the Luxembourg-based holding company that owns 40% of French cable operator Numericable and has fingers in various other telecom-related pies (yum!), is planning an IPO on Amsterdam's NYSE Euronext exchange, reports Reuters. It hopes the flotation will raise €750 million (US$1 billion).

  • Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) is close to agreeing to a "friendly" acquisition of Dutch cable operator Ziggo B.V. , according to a Bloomberg report. In October Ziggo rejected a bid from Liberty -- which already holds a 28.5% stake in Ziggo -- as inadequate. (See Euronews: Liberty Global Back in Takeover Talks With Ziggo and Ziggo Rejects Liberty Takeover Bid .)

  • BICS , Belgacom SA (Euronext: BELG)'s wholesale carrier services arm, has announced that it is now offering customers using its IP exchange platform access to LTE roaming services with more than 70 operators across 44 countries. The company is no doubt pleased to have some workaday news to talk about after being embroiled in "data spying" shenanigans in 2013. (See BICS Enables 4G LTE Roaming for 70 Operators, and Euronews: Who Hacked Belgacom?)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    Ray@LR
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    Ray@LR,
    User Rank: Blogger
    1/8/2014 | 6:56:14 AM
    Re: Liberty & Ziggo?
    RE Liberty -- maybe Liberty gets so powerful in European cable that it gets acquired by an even larger entity? Its debt pile might be  a bit off-putting, though.
    albreznick
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    albreznick,
    User Rank: Blogger
    1/7/2014 | 9:40:51 AM
    Liberty & Ziggo?
    I figured Ziggo was just holding out for a higher price from Liberty. Will be interesting to see how much they get. Hate to see another independent European MSO succumb to Liberty's clutches, tho. Wonder when Liberty stops. 
    albreznick
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    albreznick,
    User Rank: Blogger
    1/7/2014 | 9:38:26 AM
    Altice IPO
    There's so much good cable stuff here today, Paul. Thank you. So Altice first buys Numericable and now wants to go public. I wonder what this will all mean for the future of French cable.  
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