Initial first-quarter results from Telecom Italia make for less than encouraging reading: revenues were down 8.1 percent year-on-year at €6.79 billion (US$8.93 billion) and profits down to €364 million ($478 million) from €605 million ($795 million) in the year-ago quarter. The numbers continue a run of first-quarter results from Europe's major operators that confirm revenue growth is hard to come by on the Old Continent. (See Deutsche Telekom Reports Q1 Profit of €564M, Telefónica Reports Q1 Profit of €902M and Telekom Austria Reports Q1.)
Regional transport network operator euNetworks has secured €45 million ($59 million) in debt funding from Barclays Private Credit Partners Fund L.P. for "organic and inorganic growth."
Ooredoo, the Middle East operator formerly known as QTel (and which has nothing to do with this oversized cartoon dog), has launched regional interconnect services using the Tata Communications Ltd. IPX+ platform. This will allow Ooredoo to offer roaming services (including LTE roaming) and enjoy greater network resilience, among other things.
Irish incumbent eircom has appointed John Shine as managing director of its network division. Shine was previously managing director of networks at utility firm ESB. It looks like "4G rollout" will be top of Shine's To Do list.
And finally, a nice tweet from Neelie Kroes, the European Commission's vice president for the Digital Agenda. Referencing Wednesday's news that soccer über-manager and serial grump Sir Alex Ferguson was finally retiring from his duties at Manchester United, Kroes says simply: "What's all this about 71-year-olds retiring?" That will probably be bad news for most European operators, who frequently face the wrath of the Steely One.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading