Light Reading

Eurobites: Vodafone's 'Project Spring' Spend Hits Profits

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: new rules get tough on BT's Openreach; AlcaLu signs 4G overlay agreement with Telenor; UK studies how mobiles affect kids.

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD)'s full-year EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) declined by 7.4% to £12.8 billion (US$21.5 billion), reflecting its "Project Spring" investment to turn around failing business areas, reports Bloomberg. Shares were down 4.4% at 207.6 pence in early London trading. Looking ahead, Vodafone predicts that EBITDA for 2015 will be somewhere between £11.4 billion ($19.1 billion) and £11.9 billion ($20 billion), buffeted again by anticipated Project Spring spending. (See Vodafone Ups 'Project Spring' Capex to $11B+.)

  • Just a day after BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) announced it was recruiting 1,600 extra engineers to help it cope with its backlog on connections and related troubleshooting, UK regulator Ofcom has introduced draft measures that it believes will persuade BT's Openreach access division to pull its socks up. Under the proposed changes, 80% of phone and broadband faults would have to be repaired within two working days, while 80% of customers wanting a new line must receive an appointment within 12 working days. The changes, which have been notified to the European Commission, are expected to come into force this summer.

  • More from BT... It has started promoting its 4G offer for business customers, stating that it intends to launch its 4G services this summer. As well as having snapped up its own spectrum for high-speed enterprise wireless connectivity, BT recently announced a partnership with EE to use the mobile operator's network in order to offer extensive LTE services. (See Euronews: BT's Back in Wireless and BT Secures 2.6GHz License.)

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has signed a global agreement with Norway's Telenor ASA (Nasdaq: TELN) which offers Telenor's subsidiaries AlcaLu's 4G LTE Overlay solution as a way of deploying 4G on their existing mobile infrastructure without the need for equipment upgrades. Telenor has subsidiaries in 13 countries in Europe and Asia. In other AlcaLu news, Bloomberg reports that the vendor is opening a Bell Labs research center in Israel, the focus of which will be cloud-related technology.

  • UK cloud services provider Vtesse Networks is continuing its 12-year relationship with ADVA Optical Networking (Frankfurt: ADV) , choosing to go with ADVA's FSP 3000 optical transport system together with its Optical Secure encryption technology for its new enterprise service. Vtesse's customer list includes IBM and Arup. (See Vtesse Uses ADVA's Optical Encryption.)

  • The UK is about to embark on a major government-funded study of the effect of using mobile phones on children's mental development, reports the BBC. The plan is to enrol 2,500 11- and 12-year-olds, assess their cognitive abilities now and then test them again in 2017 to see if their brains have been fried by a zillion apps. (We're paraphrasing.)

    It's too late for this kid -- he's been Whatzapped.
    It's too late for this kid -- he's been Whatzapped.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/21/2014 | 2:27:46 AM
    Re: First outing for Justin Bieber
    It's nice to see the amount of love shared with this "kid".
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/20/2014 | 11:53:13 AM
    Re: First outing for Justin Bieber
    Are you trying for some sort of viral traffic by putting "Justin Bieber" and "outing" in the same subject line?
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/20/2014 | 11:30:29 AM
    Re: First outing for Justin Bieber
    It's gotta help with the traffic, surely? (Not that we need any help, obviously.)
    User Rank: Blogger
    5/20/2014 | 11:22:55 AM
    First outing for Justin Bieber
    I know we've had Britney on the site before, but this is, I believe, our first Bieber incident.... a landmark!
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