Eurobites: Swantee Resurfaces at Sunrise

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Iliad continues to grow; towers consolidation in Africa; another streaming deal for Sky.

  • Olaf Swantee, who has recently stepped down as CEO of UK mobile operator EE following its acquisition by BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), is to resurface as CEO of Swiss mobile player Sunrise Communications AG . During his time at EE, Swantee is credited with overseeing one of the fastest 4G rollouts in Europe. Prior to joining EE, he led European operations for France's Orange (NYSE: FTE), which merged its UK assets with those of Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) to create the EE joint venture. Swantee, who bears an uncanny resemblance to villain-specialist actor Steven Berkoff, will take over the Sunrise hotseat from Libor Voncina in May. (See Allera Will Replace Swantee as EE CEO.)

  • Disruptive French operator Iliad (Euronext: ILD), which operates the keenly priced Free mobile brand, added nearly 2 million new subscribers in 2015, and saw consolidated profits rise more than 20% year-on-year to €335 million (US$367.4 million). Iliad now lays claim to 11.6 million mobile and 6.1 million broadband customers. For more detail, see this press release. (See Eurobites: Iliad Eyes UK Market and Iliad Plans Next Assault on French Rivals and Eurobites: Free's Price Drop Spooks Rivals.)

  • There is consolidation afoot in the African cellular towers market, with IHS agreeing to buy about 1,200 towers from Helios Towers Nigeria, reports the Financial Times (subscription required).

  • And talking of towers, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has hinted that his government may be seeking a change in the law so it becomes less likely that mobile masts will be refused planning permission, reports the BBC. Speaking in the House of Commons, Cameron said: "We need to make sure we change the law in all the ways necessary to make sure ... the masts are built, we increase coverage and we ensure everyone is connected to the information superhighway."

  • Just a day after announcing a similar deal in South East Asia, UK pay-TV giant Sky has revealed that it has invested $6 million in FuboTV, a US-based video streaming service specializing in sport, as part of FuboTV's Series B funding round. The service, which provides content in English, Spanish and Portuguese via a range of OTT platforms, claims 40,000 subscribers.

  • Vodafone Germany has turned to BroadSoft Inc. 's UC-One to power its cloud-based Vodafone One Net Business unified communications offering for small and midsized enterprises.

  • Belgium's Proximus is boasting that it is ahead of schedule on its transition to an all-digital network, otherwise known as Project Mantra. It now says the project is due to be completed by end of 2017, instead of the end of 2018 as first planned.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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