VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) is close to a massive M&A deal, while BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has dusted off its survey clipboard in today's roundup of European telecom news snippets.
Russia's VimpelCom is said to be close to a US$7 billion deal to merge with most of the telecom assets of Egyptian telecom tycoon Naguib Sawiris, according to Bloomberg. Those assets include Italy's third-largest operator Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA , and a 51 percent stake in Orascom Telecom . The deal would make Vimpelcom the fifth-largest mobile operator in the world by subscriber numbers and give it access to markets in the Middle East and Africa. (See Euronews: August 12 and Euronews: Sept. 1.)
Just like it did in the early days of its national DSL rollout about a decade ago, UK incumbent BT is asking the speed-starved British public to make their voices heard if they want faster broadband. It's conducting an online nationwide survey, dubbed "Race to Infinity" (is that like "Road to Nowhere"?), from now until December 31, to assess the level of demand for fiber-based access services. BT is promising that the five exchanges receiving the highest number of votes will be given the necessary funds to convert to fiber by early 2012 at the latest. Trouble is, not every exchange qualifies, as early voters have already found out. (See BT Measures Fiber Demand.)
Accounts filed with Companies House in the UK have revealed that Bauer, the German-owned media group, sold mobile blogging technology vendor Yospace Technologies to private investors for £1 in April 2009, reports The Daily Telegraph. Emap, the media firm that Bauer acquired in 2007, bought Yospace for £8.9 million earlier that year. Ouch!
Talk about bringing home the bacon: Danish incumbent TDC A/S (Copenhagen: TDC) has more than quadrupled its connection charge for fixed-line calls, from .23 kroner to 1 kroner (18 cents), reports The Copenhagen Post.