Euronews: Telefonica Grooves to the Latin Beat

Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), Vivendi , the U.K.'s Ofcom , Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Orange France and Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) feature in today's goody bag of European news nibbles.

  • With more than 70 percent of its revenues now coming from outside its domestic market, Telefónica's Spanish woes are not stopping the giant carrier from growing. Despite a slump in its home market, the operator's first-quarter revenues increased 10.8 percent compared with a year ago to €15.44 billion ($22.1 billion), driven by significant growth in its Latin American and non-domestic European operations, though the carrier's group net income did fall slightly to €1.62 billion (US$2.3 billion). (See Telefonica Reports Q1 and LatAm Saves Telefonica in Q1.)

  • U.K. regulator Ofcom says LTE will deliver twice as much capacity as 3G over the same amount of spectrum, but notes that the "capacity gain from the increased spectral efficiency of 4G technologies will not on its own be sufficient to meet the expected growth in demand for mobile data. As well as using existing spectrum more efficiently, more spectrum itself is also needed, some of which will be gained from the auction of new spectrum at 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz in 2012. ... [In addition] mobile networks will also need to be designed intelligently to ensure the best use of spectrum. In particular, the research anticipates a greater use of small cells to meet demand in specific areas." (See Ofcom Unveils LTE Research Findings and UK Preps LTE Auction for 2012.)

  • Vivendi confirmed how tough the French telecom market is when it reported its first-quarter results Thursday. Revenues at its French fixed and mobile operator SFR dipped almost 1 percent year-on-year to just more than €3 billion ($4.3 billion) and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) fell 6.3 percent to €923 million ($1.32 billion) as tax increases and termination rate cuts took their toll, just as Vivendi is taking total control of the carrier. Orange (NYSE: FTE) also suffered from the same pressures during the first quarter. (See Vivendi Reports Q1, Vodafone Sells SFR Stake for $11B and Euronews: May 3.)

    Vivendi's other telecom assets fared better: Maroc Telecom reported a 1.8 percent increase in revenues to €672 million ($961 million); and Brazilian fixed line carrier GVT reported a 53.7 percent increase in first-quarter revenues to €329 million ($470 million). Overall, first-quarter revenues at the telecom and media giant were up 3.8 percent year-on-year to €7.2 billion ($10.3 billion).

  • Nokia has developed a "custom Ovi store concept" for Orange France and Deutsche Telekom that will allow the operators to build their own mobile applications zones within the Ovi store. The operators can build their own Ovi applications, which can be used on Symbian devices such as the Nokia C7, E7 and N8 handsets, using APIs (application programming interfaces) and Ovi App Wizard. (See Nokia's Ovi Store Reaches 5M Downloads a Day and Nokia Ovi’s App Wizardry.)

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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