Eurobites: DT's Van Damme Makes Way for Wössner
News Analysis Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe 7/19/2017
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT's chief strategy officer departs; Telekom Austria, Tele2 enjoy positive Q2 numbers; MTS and Ericsson test Licensed Assisted Access.
Niek Jan van Damme, who, as a member of the management board at Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) since March 2009 has been responsible for fixed-line and mobile communications in Germany, is to leave the operator at the end of the year. He will be succeeded by Dr. Dirk Wössner, who is returning to the German giant after a spell at Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI), the Canadian cableco. In a statement, van Damme admitted that his departure is earlier than he had originally intended but that it was "the best way to ensure a seamless transition."
In another Tier 1 senior management move, the Financial Times reports (subscription required) that Sean Williams, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s chief strategy officer, is to leave the UK incumbent. The departure comes in the context of a management overhaul at BT, triggered by the operator's poor performance this year and an accounting scandal at its Italian business. (See Dodgy Italian Job Savages BT Earnings, Share Price Tanks.)
Telekom Austria Group , which these days is the European unit of Carlos Slim's América Móvil S.A. de C.V. , enjoyed a fruitful second quarter, with revenues up 4% year-on-year to €1.08 billion (US$1.24 million) and EBITDA up 7.8% to €359 million (414 million). Service growth was recorded in all of the operator's markets, apart from Serbia and Macedonia.
Sales at Sweden's Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO) were also up in the second quarter, from 6.66 billion Swedish kronor ($796 million) last year to SEK7.98 billion ($963 million) this time round. Mobile service revenue was up an impressive 12% on a like-for-like basis. On the basis of these results, Tele2 has updated its full-year financial guidance, now anticipating EBITDA between SEK6.2 and 6.5 billion (previously SEK5.9 and 6.2 billion) and capex of between SEK3.6 and 3.9 billion (previously SEK3.8 and 4.1 billion).
Russia's Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) has teamed up with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) to test Rel-13 Licensed Assisted Access, which uses capacity in the 5GHz band in conjunction with licensed spectrum to provide a bandwidth boost. The demonstration was carried out in an MTS test lab over a live network using Ericsson's Pico RBS 6402 small cell and a Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE mobile test device.
EU ministers met up yesterday to discuss how best to plan for a "digital single market," and the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) chucked in its tuppence worth, making a plea for EU policymakers to "embrace high levels of ambition" and make sure that all regulation is geared towards "the achievement of Europe’s overarching policy goals." ETNO says that it is "highly concerned" that the way the wind is blowing, EU legislation wise, such goals will not be achieved. And for what it's worth, on the back of the meeting EU ministers issued "ministerial declaration" pledging that they are fully committed to making 5G a success for Europe.
Sky , the UK-based pay-TV giant, has had its knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority over references it made to "Super Reliable Sky Broadband" in a TV ad. The complaint was brought by Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), which basically felt the reference wasn't borne out by the available evidence, and the ASA agreed.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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