June 6, 2016
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: 3 wants Ofcom to put the brakes on BT/EE's spectrum-snaffling; Amino on the up; Vodacom trials carrier aggregation tech with Huawei.
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is to close down the west London headquarters of EE , the mobile operator it acquired in January for £12.5 billion (US$18 billion), as part of a cost-cutting program, reports the Daily Telegraph. It is hoped that the displaced EE employees will, by the end of the year, move into the BT Centre, next door to St Paul's Cathedral on the opposite side of town. BT plans to save £360 million ($518.5 million) a year in so-called "synergies" following the EE acquisition. (See BT Gets Final Go-Ahead for $17.9B EE Takeover.)
In related territory, UK mobile operator Three UK is calling on regulator Ofcom to give it some "protection" from big bad BT in the forthcoming spectrum auction, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). Referring to the BT/EE combination, 3's CEO, David Dyson, said: "Potentially, given how much spectrum they are already sitting on, BT is incentivized to strategically bid in the next auction to restrict the other operators in the market from increasing their spectrum portfolio." He asked Ofcom to introduce "fairly significant restrictions" on BT and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) in the next auction to make the playing field that bit more level.
Video systems vendor Amino Technologies plc (London: AMO) is in bullish mood, having announced in a trading update for the six months to May 31 that it achieved a "record order intake and a very encouraging backlog to take into the second half of the year following sales growth in key regions." Amino, based in Cambridge, UK, has expanded its portfolio in the past year with the acquisitions of Booxmedia and Entone, enabling it to address opportunities in hybrid TV and cloud services markets. The company will publish its detailed fiscal first-half results on July 11: In its most recent full trading year, ending November 30, 2015, Amino reported revenues of £41.7 million ($60.2 million).
Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Vodacom Pty. Ltd. claim to have successfully tested Africa's first 1Gbit/s network, aggregating LTE in licensed and unlicensed bands using the vendor's LampSite product. In a related live trial, Huawei says it has demonstrated the co-existence of LTE-U with existing WiFi services in Vodacom World's conference venues and a shopping mall in Johannesburg.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has won a multi-year playout services contract with Fox Networks Group (FNG) Middle East. Under the terms of the deal, Ericsson will deliver playout services for three new HD channels -- Fox Action Movies, Fox Family Movies and FX -- from Ericsson's broadcast hub in Abu Dhabi.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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