Eurobites: Carlos Slim increases European presence with 3.16% stake in BT

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Corker exits Nokia; how bundling is key to SVoD growth; Sparkle improves connectivity in Namibia.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

June 13, 2024

3 Min Read
America Movil's Carlos Slim speaking at a press conference
Carlos Slim and his family control Mexico's América Móvil.(Source: ZUMA Press Inc/Alamy Stock Photo)
  • Mexican moneybags Carlos Slim has taken a 3.16% stake in BT worth around £408 million (US$52 million), Reuters reports. Slim and his family control América Móvil, which has its headquarters in Mexico City but operates under its Claro subsidiaries in many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. BT isn't Slim's only European interest, however; last year América Móvil increased its overall stake in Telekom Austria by 5.55%, to 56.55%, and it also owns a 16.08% stake in KPN, the Dutch incumbent operator.

  • Ricky Corker, who has been with Nokia for more than 30 years, is to leave the company, stepping down from his position as chief customer experience officer on June 28. His departure, says the Finnish vendor, follows a decision by Nokia to, in the words of the company statement, "empower its business groups with increased operational autonomy and move into a streamlined operating model, where the Customer Experience organization has been embedded into the business groups from the start of 2024." In other Nokia staff news, Lorna Gibb has been appointed a chief people officer and joined the inner corporate sanctum that is the Group Leadership Team.

  • A quarter of all paid SVoD (subscription video on demand) subscriptions in the Central and Eastern Europe region now originate from pay-TV and telco bundles, says a new piece of research from Omdia (which is a sister company to Light Reading). This trend, says Omdia, highlights the growing importance of "strategic partnerships" in the region's streaming market. And, it adds, such indirect net additions – those stemming from partnerships rather than direct-to-consumer channels – will dominate SVoD net additions in the region from now until 2028.

  • Sparkle, the international services arm of Telecom Italia, has signed an agreement with Telecom Namibia for the provision of capacity services on the Equiano subsea cable connecting Portugal to South Africa, with the ultimate aim of accelerating Namibia's "digital transformation journey," as current telecom corporate-speak puts it. Wholly owned by the Namibian government, Telecom Namibia runs the largest network in the country, providing more than 619,000 customers with voice, text, data and video services.

  • Virgin Media O2 has hooked up with Freshwave for a small-cell coverage boost in the northern English city of Manchester. Following an agreement reached with the city council, Freshwave will be deploying more than 20 outdoor small cells on behalf of VMO2 in busy areas, such as shopping malls and railway stations.

  • Vodafone has entered a partnership agreement with Azerconnect, an ICT company based in Azerbaijan. The agreement is intended to help Azerconnect get moving on digitization and improve its security operations centers, network technologies and commercial services.

  • Investment banks are struggling to get their staff to comply with bans on using messaging service WhatsApp for business-related communications, City A.M. reports, citing a new study from Canadian company Global Relay. According to compliance experts at the banks surveyed, 62.5% of them said that getting staff to comply with the relevant strictures on so-called "off-channel communications" was their greatest challenge – up from 61.5% last year. Banking giant Morgan Stanley was fined £54 million ($69 million) by regulator Ofgem last August, adds the City A.M. report, when its traders were caught using WhatsApp to discuss potential deals.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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