Eurobites: Vodafone Poaches Tata's Kumar to Head Up Business Unit

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: KPN sells international assets; Telenet shares dented by wholesale access proposals; Huawei's position on Poland.

  • Vodafone has poached Vinod Kumar from international networking and ICT services firm Tata Communications to be the new CEO of its Business unit, which provides a broad range of connectivity and cloud services to enterprise users. Vodafone Business represents a significant chunk of the operator's turnover, accounting for service revenues of around €11.8 billion (US$13.24 billion) in the financial year that ended March 31 this year. Kumar, who will join on September 2, will take over from Vivek Badrinath (Rest of World CEO), who has been interim CEO of Vodafone Business since February, when Brian Humphries jumped ship to become CEO at global technology services firm Cognizant.

  • As part of its ongoing efforts to simplify its business and operations, Dutch national operator KPN has agreed to sell its international operations to GTT for €50 million (US$56.1 million). The deal, which is subject to various approvals, will see GTT take on KPN's international fiber assets and points of presence (PoPs) in 21 countries, after which KPN will service its international customers through a master services agreement with GTT, which completed the $2.3 billion acquisition of Interoute just over a year ago. (See KPN Sells International Unit to GTT and Eurobites: Can GTT build on Interoute acquisition?)

  • Telenet's share price slumped Monday morning in the wake of proposals put forward by BIPT, the Belgian telecom regulator, recommending lower wholesale rates for access to various cable networks in Belgium, Telenet's included. See https://www.bipt.be/public/pressrelease/en/184/2019-07-05_CP_tariffs_EN.pdf for more details. Stakeholders now have until September 6 to comment on the proposals.

  • Huawei has plans to spend 3 billion zlotys ($793 million) in Poland over the next five years -- though whether those plans come to fruition depends largely on the Chinese vendor's ability to take part in the country's 5G rollout, a company exec told Reuters. In January Huawei fired its head of sales in Poland after he was arrested on suspicion of spying. (See Eurobites: Huawei Washes Its Hands of Arrested Exec in Poland Huawei's Head of Sales in Poland Arrested.)

  • UK altnet CityFibre has been updating on the progress of its fiber rollout in Coventry, a project that has now moved on to new areas in the north of the city. A new contractor, Callan Connect has also been appointed, building on the work already carried out by Morrison Telecom Services in other districts. Work started on the £60 million Coventry rollout six months ago. Late last year CityFibre secured a debt package of £1.12 billion from seven major financial institutions to expand its existing fiber networks and add some more. (See Eurobites: CityFibre Secures £1.12B for Fiber Rollout.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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