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Euronews: Slim Takes a Breather

It may be Independence Day in the U.S., but here in Europe the wheels of telecom grind on remorselessly, thanks to Carlos Slim, Vodafone Ireland and others.

  • Carlos Slim, who has just acquired huge chunks of KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) and Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA), has no immediate plans to establish any further beachheads for European expansion, reports Reuters. Slim's América Móvil S.A. de C.V. now owns 27.7 percent of KPN and 23 percent of Telekom Austria. (See Euronews: Slim's Stealthy Expansion and Slim's Dutch Drama .)

  • Vodafone Ireland and 3 Ireland may be about to combine their networks through a joint venture, according to a report on Bloomberg. If it goes ahead, this will follow the example of T-Mobile (UK) and Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) in the U.K., which threw in their lot with each other to create EE .

  • Following the news that Bouygues Telecom is having to lay off workers to help it cope with the competition provided by low-price upstart Free Mobile in France comes the Reuters-reported revelation from a union source at SFR that the operator plans to cut costs by €500 million (US$629 million) in 2013. (See Iliad Disrupts the French Mobile Scene .)

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) has struck its first FTTH cooperation deal with a cable operator. The Swiss incumbent will team up with Lausanne Industrial Services (also known as Citycable) and the local authority to connect every building in the city of Lausanne with multiple (at least four) shared fiber connections by 2017. The plan now only needs the approval of the Lausanne city council.

  • Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) has completed the acquisition of German collocation company ancotel , a deal that adds "more than 400 network, cloud and content customers," a major interconnect hub in Frankfurt and points of presence in Hong Kong, London and Miami, according to Equinix. Ancotel generated revenues of $21.4 million in 2011. The value of the deal, which was first announced in May, was not published, though Equinix noted during a recent analyst day that it paid less than $100 million. (See Equinix Agrees to Acquire ancotel.)

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has landed a two-year managed services contract to run and maintain Portuguese cable operator ZON Multimédia 's data centers, a deal that shows off its expanding Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) capabilities. (See Ericsson Wins Services Deal in Portugal .)

  • YouView, the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) -backed set-top box that offers a subscription-free TV catch-up service for content on the U.K.'s Freeview platform, has finally launched, reports the Daily Telegraph, after much delay and controversy. The boxes will cost £299 ($467) in the shops but they are expected to be heavily discounted as part of broadband packages. (See BBC Trust OKs Project Canvas and BBC Updates on Canvas.)

  • Anite plc , the U.K.-based test and measurement firm, saw profits rise 64 percent year-on-year to £28.8 million ($45.5 million) on rising revenues. Long Term Evolution (LTE) now accounts for 44 percent of handset-testing revenue, says the company. (See [doclink 217100} and Anite Tests LTE Devices for Telefónica Germany.)

  • NTT Communications Corp. (NYSE: NTT) has extended its Tier 1 global IP network into Italy, at Infracom's Via Caldera data center complex in Milan.

  • London-based Samba has launched a 3G mobile data service that users don't have to pay for -- but they do have to sit and watch two and a half minutes' worth of adverts featured on the service each day to earn the necessary "credits" to use it, reports the BBC. One analyst compared it to Blyk , which launched five years ago but failed to make much impact. (See Blyk's Ad-Funded Service Hits UK.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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