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Euronews: Continental Woes Cuff BT

BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH) and Maroc Telecom feature in today's pre-Olympic pot of news nuggets.

  • BT saw its fiscal first-quarter revenues dip by 6 percent to £4.48 billion (US$6.94 billion) due to "tough conditions in Europe and the financial services sector" plus the impact of regulated price cuts. Tight cost control, though, meant that the British carrier managed to improve its profits (before tax) by 8 percent to £578 million ($895 million). The operator says it now has more than 700,000 customers for its Infinity (fiber-to-the-cabinet and fiber-to-the-home) broadband services, having added 150,000 new connections during the three months to the end of June. (See BT Reports Fiscal Q1 Profit of £578M.)

  • A consortium of French operators has got its act together to provide 2G and 3G services in the Channel Tunnel in time for the London Olympics. Bouygues Telecom , Orange France and SFR have combined with AlcaLu to provide the signal in the South Rail Tunnel, which serves traffic heading from France to the U.K. Those traveling from the U.K. to France (in the North Rail Tunnel) will have to wait until after the Olympics for a group of British operators to do likewise. Typical. Now, where's that mug of tea? (See AlcaLu Powers Mobile Services in Eurotunnel.)

  • French set-top box and video technology specialist Technicolor has reported a 5.6 percent increase in revenues to €1.65 billion ($2 billion) and reduced its net losses significantly to €26 million ($31.5 million) during the first half of 2012. The company recently agreed to a capital increase that will help stabilize its financial position. (See Technicolor Reports H1 Loss of €26M, Technicolor to Raise Fresh Funds and Euronews: Investors Fight Over Technicolor.)

  • MTN Nigeria is deploying Ericsson's SSR 8020 router, including the vendor's evolved packet gateway (EPG) application, in its IP core network. The vendor has plowed a lot of R&D resources into the SSR 8020 and the EPG capabilities in an effort to meet the packet core needs of mobile broadband service providers. (See Ericsson Scores IP Win in Nigeria, Ericsson Launches Evolved Packet Gateway and Ericsson Debuts New Service Routers.)

  • British cable operator Virgin Media reported a 4.2 percent year-on-year increase in revenues to just over £1 billion ($1.55 billion) and a 33 percent increase in operating income to £180 million ($279 million) in the second quarter, but its net income dipped by 34 percent to £65 million ($101 million). Its business division, Virgin Media Business Ltd. , reported a 9.8 percent increase in revenues to £166 million ($257 million). The operator has 4.8 million retail customers, of which 4.15 million take its broadband services. (See Virgin Media Reports Q2 Profit of £65M.)

  • Maroc Telecom reported a 22 percent dip in net income for the first half of 2012, due primarily to the costs of the operator's voluntary redundancy program, reports reports Reuters.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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