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Eurobites: BT Eyes Joint Ventures With DT

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: broadband boost for Cameroon; Telenor upgrades in Norway; Vivacom sale approved.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) will consider exploring joint-venture opportunities with Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) after concluding its £12.5 billion ($18.2 billion) takeover of EE in the next few weeks, according to Sir Michael Rake, the UK operator's chairman. Rake told the Financial Times (subscription required) that opportunities could include strategic partnerships and media deals to expand the range of TV services available to customers. Deutsche Telekom will own 12% of BT following the acquisition of EE -- currently a joint venture between the German incumbent and France's Orange (NYSE: FTE) -- making it the UK incumbent's biggest individual shareholder. Analysts have suggested that Deutsche Telekom might eventually look to mount a takeover of BT. (See BT Locks Down £12.5B EE Takeover Deal and Deutsche Telekom Plotting BT Takeover – Report.)

  • A new 1,100km subsea cable system linking Lagos in Nigeria to Kribi in Cameroon has gone live, completing a key component of Cameroon's national broadband strategy. Fixed broadband penetration in the West African state is estimated to be around just 5%, and it is hoped the new link will help boost this figure. The project involved a three-way partnership between Huawei Marine Networks Co. Ltd. , MainOne Cable Co. and the Cameroon government.

  • Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) has made progress on an upgrade to its Norwegian broadband network, with 60,000 customers able to benefit from increased speeds of up to 75 Mbit/s as from today. Telenor is Norway's largest broadband provider.

  • The proposed sale of Bulgarian operator Vivacom to businessman Spas Roussev has been approved by the country's competition authority, reports Reuters. Roussev, a Bulgarian real estate investor, is effectively paying €730 million (US$795 million) for the company, which was previously owned by VTB Capital.

  • Shares in Telecom Italia (TIM) have been downgraded from a buy rating to a sell rating in a report by Zacks Investment Research, reports EMQ. Shareholders in the carrier have been spooked in recent months by Vivendi 's increasing interest in and influence on the company. (See Eurobites: Vivendi Spooks Telecom Italia Shareholders.)

  • Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co. (du) is claiming a first in the UAE with a limited-period offer of "unlimited" daily data for 3 United Arab Emirates Dirham ($0.81) per day. The offer is available to both prepaid and postpaid users, though a "fair usage" limit of 2GB applies.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • [email protected] 1/11/2016 | 9:13:12 AM
    So BT will consider working with DT? With Deutsche Telekom as its biggest single shareholder, how likely is it that BT will be calling the shots over JVs and other strategic partnerships? 
    [email protected] 1/11/2016 | 9:11:00 AM
    Unlimited data usage with a limit Re the du mobile data offer: Unlimited data usage with a limit... I thought we had moved on from those days...
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