Video services

Euronews: Vodafone Strikes €7.7B Kabel Deal

Vodafone Group plc, Kabel Deutschland GmbH and Alcatel-Lucent help start the week in today's trot through the EMEA headlines.

  • Overcoming a rival bid from Liberty Global Inc., Vodafone has struck a deal with the board of Kabel Deutschland to buy the cable operator for €7.7 billion (US$10.1 billion), or €87 per share. In a statement, Vodafone said that it expects Kabel Deutschland's existing management team to be responsible for the consumer fixed-line business in Germany, and that it plans to migrate its existing fixed-line DSL customer base to Kabel Deutschland's cable network where possible. (See Vodafone Agrees €7.7B Kabel M&A Deal and Euronews: Liberty Enters Kabel M&A Fray and Euronews: Vodafone Confirms Kabel Bid.)

  • 3 Ireland has agreed to acquire Telefónica SA's O2 Ireland in a deal worth €780 million ($1.02 billion). The acquisition, if it is approved, will give 3 Ireland a 37.5 percent market share and around 2 million subscribers. Telefónica has been looking to reduce its debt pile through various asset sales in recent months. (See Three to Acquire O2 Ireland and Euronews: Telefónica Raises $500M in Asset Sale.)

  • Norway's Telenor ASA has chosen Alcatel-Lucent to help it optimize its mobile networks in Europe and Asia/Pacific, with the aim of helping the operator to better cope with the challenges posed by over-the-top (OTT) video. Among the technologies being deployed by AlcaLu's professional services team will be Opera Software ASA's Skyfire Rocket Controller and Optimizer, which is virtualized software that optimizes video streams in real time. (See Telenor Picks AlcaLu to Optimize Mobile.)

  • Various European telco bigwigs have collaborated on a letter to José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, calling for deregulation of the European telecom market, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). Orange, Telecom Italia SpA and Deutsche Telekom AG are among the operators voicing their opinion that the status quo is "unsustainable." Expect a swift riposte from Barroso and his Brussels posse shortly. (See Euronews: 'Single Market' Plan Rolls Into Action.)

  • And in other Brussels-flavored news, the European Commission has ruled that BNetzA, the German telecom regulator, cannot raise fixed-line termination fees, reports Reuters. BNetzA had proposed raising the fees to a level around three times the going rate in many parts of Europe.

  • Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa is one of three companies to win a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) license in Saudi Arabia, reports Reuters. The Virgin service will run on Saudi Telecom Co. (STC)'s network. The other two successful bidders were Jawraa Lebara, which will offer its service over Mobily's network, and Dubai's Axiom Telecom, which will utilize Zain Saudi's network.

  • Acision BV, the U.K.-based mobile messaging platform vendor, has launched Acision Fusion, which has been designed for operators wanting to enhance their mobile messaging offer. The new platform, says the vendor, will enable the rapid development and deployment of new IP services such as rich messaging and RCS, alongside SMS, MMS and voice messaging. (See Acision Unveils Fusion Messaging Platform.)

  • Everything Everywhere Ltd. (EE), the mobile joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile, has formed partnership with Tech City, the technology cluster in east London, offering Tech City accredited businesses "double-speed" 4G (top speeds of 80 Mbit/s, average speeds of 24-30 Mbit/s) and access to the EE network's real-time APIs.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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