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Cable/Video

Eurobites: Liberty Global Shows Growth

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson does LTE-Advanced in Africa; Gigaclear challenges BT in UK broadband market.

  • The western European operations of US cable giant Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) presented a mixed picture in their fourth-quarter and full-year earnings results. Germany led the way, recording 6% full-year revenue growth, while Switzerland/Austria notched up 3.1% growth, Belgium 4.3% and the UK/Ireland (through Virgin Media) 2.5%. But the Netherlands operation, which has included Ziggo since last November, recorded a 0.7% decline. The results come as Virgin Media announces a ₤3 billion (US$4.6 billion) investment in its UK network, creating, it claims, 6,000 jobs in the process. (See Virgin Media Plots £3B Invasion of BT Turf and Eurobites: Liberty Merges Euro Operations.)

    Table 1: Liberty Global Western Europe Operations: Full-Year Revenues ($M)

    Year ended Dec 31, 2014 Year ended Dec 31, 2013 Increase (decrease) Increase (decrease) - rebased
    UK/Ireland 7,409.9 4,117.4 80.0% 2.5%
    Netherlands 1,498.5 1,242.4 20.6% -0.7%
    Germany 2,711.5 2,559.2 6.0% 6.0%
    Belgium 2,279.4 2,185.9 4.3% 4.3%
    Switzerland/Austria 1,846.1 1,767.1 4.5% 3.1%
    Source: Liberty Global

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has announced it has completed a successful demonstration of its LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation offering with Angolan operator Unitel. The demonstration used 60MHz of spectrum, made up of three 20MHz LTE carriers in the 1800MHz, 2600MHz and 2100MHz bands.

  • In other LTE-Advanced news, France's SFR , which was bought from Vivendi by Numericable last year for €4.7 billion ($5.3 billion), is launching LTE-A in the port city of Marseille. SFR has already switched on LTE-A in the cities of Toulon, Toulouse and Lyon.

  • Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) isn't the only British operator gunning for BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA): Broadband provider Gigaclear is looking to challenge the UK incumbent in underserved rural areas, reports the Financial Times. It has raised more cash from its investors, including about ₤7 million ($10.7 million) from Neil Woodford's CF Woodford Equity Income Fund. Gigaclear already owns and operates 17 fiber networks in rural parts of Oxfordshire, Kent and Rutland, and has 20 more in the pipeline.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • nasimson 2/13/2015 | 9:20:38 AM
    Angola Angola.!? I'm pleasantly surprised to see Angola getting trials of 4G LTE. I thought only South Africa, Kenya and Egypt were advanced enough to enter 4G.
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