Euronews: TeliaSonera Wins Spanish 4G Race

TeliaSonera AB, Telefónica SA and Deutsche Telekom AG are the big beasts roaming today's EMEA news jungle.
  • TeliaSonera claims its subsidiary Yoigo will be the first operator to offer commercial 4G services in Spain when it launches its service on July 18 in Madrid, beating Telefónica, France Télécom – Orange and Vodafone Group plc to market. Telefónica has been running trial networks in Barcelona and Madrid for some time and Orange Spain is set to launch its 4G service in the coming months, but Yoigo is claiming to have won the race and intends to roll out its 1800MHz-band LTE service to 37 percent of Spain's population by the end of this year and more than 75 percent by the end of 2014. See this Reuters report for more details. TeliaSonera likes being first with LTE -- it launched the world's first LTE services in 2009. (See TeliaSonera Preps 4G Services in Spain and TeliaSonera First to Go Live With LTE.)
  • Telefónica's first-quarter revenues were down 8.8 percent year-on-year to €14.14 billion (US$18.53 billion), though profits were up 20.6 percent to €902 million ($1.18 billion), partly as a result of write-downs that affected last year's first-quarter numbers. Latin America was the star performer for the Spanish-owned giant, with Brazil becoming the largest market by revenue. (See Telefónica Reports Q1 Profit of €902M.)
  • "We have resolved some major issues," says Deutsche Telekom Chairman René Obermann, announcing first-quarter figures that see a 3.5 percent year-on-year rise in net profits to €564 million ($740 million). It seems something of a turnaround has been executed at its T-Mobile USA subsidiary, which recorded an increase in branded customers for the first time in 15 quarters. (See Deutsche Telekom Reports Q1 Profit of €564M and T-Mobile Completes MetroPCS Merger.)
  • Nokia Siemens Networks may have reported its key financials when parent Nokia Corp. unveiled its first-quarter report in mid-April -- see NSN Maintains Momentum -- but the vendor today published a much more detailed account of its financials and first-quarter performance as part of its ongoing preparations for independence. For all the details, see Nokia Siemens Networks Q1 2013 Press Release.
  • Tom Mockridge, the former CEO of Rupert Murdoch's News International, has been named as the new head of Virgin Media Inc., the U.K. cable operator that is about to become part of the Liberty Global empire. Mockridge will take over from Neil Berkett once the acquisition is complete -- probably in early June. (See Virgin Media Names New CEO and Euronews: Virgin CEO to Exit After Takeover.)
  • Still in Virgin territory, data center operator Redstation will soon be able to offer its customers 100G speeds (or "warp speed," as the press release has it) following a new network installation by Virgin Media Business Ltd. (See Virgin Media Claims UK 100G First.)
  • At Telekom Austria AG, EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) fell 6.8 percent year-on-year to €336.9 million ($442.4 million) as difficult market conditions and regulatory measures in Austria and Bulgaria took their toll. (See Telekom Austria Reports Q1.)
  • Managed interconnect service provider Epsilon Telecommunications has signed an interconnection agreement with Seacom Ltd. and WACS (West Africa Cable System) to offer its network operator customers greater access to Africa. (See Epsilon Hooks Up With Seacom, WACS.)
  • OTE S.A., the Greek operator controlled by Deutsche Telekom, saw its first-quarter revenues fall 11 percent year-on-year to €1.04 billion($1.36 billion) and its net profits slump to €167.5 million ($220 million), though this was still better than a Reuters poll had predicted.
  • War-torn Syria has seemingly cut access to the Internet for the second time in six months, according to a report on the BBC. (See Euronews: Internet Blackout in Syria.)
  • Major sporting news from Manchester, U.K., today. First, and most importantly, Alex Ferguson is stepping down as manager of Manchester United following an unrivalled career as the world's leading soccer manager, reports the BBC. On a more relevant and less distressing note, Manchester United's main rival, Manchester City, is to become the first English Premiership soccer team to have carrier Wi-Fi in its stadium following the deployment of Cisco Systems Inc.'s Connected Stadium Wi-Fi system, which will hook up to an O2 UK service. While Manchester City may be able to claim the Premiership's wireless connectivity crown, at least for now, the important silverware has made its way back to Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium (again). Farewell Fergie! — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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