Euronews: Vivendi Vexed Over Free Ride
Vivendi , Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Vivacom take us to the weekend in today's jog through the EMEA telecom headlines.
Jean-Bernard Lévy, the CEO of French conglomerate Vivendi, has lashed out at France Telecom for allowing newcomer Free Mobile to piggy-back on the FT network, reports the . Free's arrival on the French mobile scene has ruffled many feathers, not least those of Financial Times SFR , the Vivendi-owned operator, which revealed less-than-stunning financials this week. (See Euronews: Iliad's Clogging Our Network, Says FT and Iliad Disrupts the French Mobile Scene .)
Vivacom, the beleaguered Bulgarian operator, has caught the eye of Russian lender VTB Capital, reports Reuters. It has placed a joint bid with its partner, Bulgaria's Corporate Commercial Bank, for a stake in the operator. Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA) and Turkey's Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (NYSE: TKC) have already expressed an interest in the sale.
The Nigerian government has, after almost ten years of trying, given up on a regular trade sale of state-owned operator Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd. (Nitel) and its Nigeria Mobile Telecommunicarions Ltd. (M-Tel) mobile arm and is liquidating the operators as a step towards privatization, reports . (See Business Day Online Transcorp Wins Auction for Ailing Nitel and Lucent 'Not Interested' in Nitel.)
U.K. regulator Ofcom has let it be known that it supports the proposals put forward by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) to extend EU anti-"bill shock" measures worldwide. As things stand the EU Roaming Regulation requires all mobile operators to apply a cut-off limit once a consumer's mobile Internet bill reaches €50 ($66) per month -- but only while traveling in the EU. (See EC Combats Data Roaming Bill Shock.)
Revenues at Belgian incumbent Belgacom SA (Euronext: BELG) were down 3 percent year-on-year to €6.4 billion ($8.4 billion), as the impact of regulatory changes and a fall in demand in the consumer sector took their toll. (See Belgacom Revenues Down 3% in 2011.)
Spirent Communications plc , the British test and Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) systems specialist, saw its operating profit rise 10 percent year-on-year to $125.9 million in 2011. Its Performance Analysis division was especially perky, growing 14 percent in terms of revenue. (See Spirent 2011 Operating Profit Hits $122M and Spirent Paves Cable Path to Growth .)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading