Following Vodafone Group plc's fiscal third-quarter results on Thursday, which highlighted the dire situation for telcos in southern Europe, Telecom Italia has underlined the problem with its full-year results for 2012, which saw EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) fall 4.2 percent year-on-year to €11.6 billion ($15.5 billion). CEO Franco Bernabè pointed to the tough domestic trading conditions, and also acknowledged a slowdown in growth in Brazil and Argentina.
And in what could be further bad news for Telecom Italia, the European Commission has called on the Italian telecom regulator to abandon its plans to set higher-than-the-European-average fixed termination rates for 2013-2014. The proposed rates range from €0.00206/minute to €0.00127/minute, which doesn't sound like much but it all adds up.
One of the U.K.'s top investors has sold his long-held stake in Vodafone, reports the Daily Telegraph. Neil Woodford, manager of the high-performing Invesco Perpetual High Income unit trust, has "completely sold down his position within Vodafone," according to an unnamed financial adviser. A fellow director of Invesco Perpetual confirmed that the "ongoing weakness in [Vodafone's] southern Europe markets and the cash flow cover of the dividend has fallen to what we view as uncomfortably low levels." (See Euronews: Europe Puts Brakes on Vodafone.)
Telefónica is claiming a world first with success in completing a VoLTE-to-3G call handover "seamlessly and without interruption." The feat was achieved in a test lab in Germany using the SRVCC (single radio voice call continuity) standard. (See Tuning Up 4G Voice Services.)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading