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Euronews: French Carriers Feel the Squeeze

Paul Rainford

Vivendi, SFR, Portugal Telecom SGPS SA and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. proffer something for the weekend in today's cruise through the EMEA headlines.

  • Here's a stark reminder of the challenge faced by the traditional communications service provider community the world over: Costs are going up and sales are going down. That was certainly the case in France in 2012, as the latest figures from regulator Arcep show. According to Arcep, the combined spending on spectrum and networks by the French operators (in France) was more than €10 billion (US$13 billion), an increase of more than 20 percent, but revenues were down by 3.3 percent to €50.9 billion ($66 billion).
  • As if to underline the fearsome state of the market in France, Bloomberg reports that Vivendi has redeployed its overall telecom boss, Jean-Yves Charlier, as CEO of its mobile unit, SFR, which has struggling to compete with cut-price upstart Free Mobile.
  • Will it? Won't it? We don't know! Telecom Italia SpA has deferred an all-important decision on the proposed spinoff of its fixed-line network until May 30, reports Business Week.
  • It's no great surprise, given the state of the country's economy, that Portugal Telecom saw its first-quarter profits halved from a year ago, down to €27 million ($34.8 million), reports Reuters. The weaker Brazilian currency (the 'real') didn't help matters at the operator's Oi subsidiary either.
  • Huawei isn't just on the march in Europe -- its revenues are up in the Middle East too, by 18 percent in 2012, reports Reuters.
  • Because he's worth it ... BT Group plc CEO Ian Livingston has seen his performance-linked pay package reach £8.5 million ($12.86 million), thanks largely to a rise in the company's shares, reports The Guardian. — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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