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Eurobites: Fastweb considers bid for Vodafone Italy – report

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telefónica makes new emissions pledge; e& offers greener SIM cards; Salt's Q3.

Paul Rainford

November 24, 2023

2 Min Read
Fastweb logo on shop awning
(Source: VividaPhotoPC/Alamy Stock Photo)
  • Swisscom-owned Fastweb is considering a bid for Vodafone's troubled Italian operation, according to a Bloomberg report citing unnamed sources. Last year Vodafone rejected a bid for its Italian unit from France-based Iliad, but said it remained open to "consolidation opportunities." Shares of Vodafone were up 1.5% in early trading on Friday on the London Stock Exchange, though Swisscom shares were little changed in Zurich, Bloomberg added.

  • Telefónica has committed itself to a 90% reduction in its operational emissions and a 56% reduction in its "value chain" emissions by 2030. Its ultimate goal is to reach net zero emissions by 2040. The operator claims to be ahead of schedule, sustainability-wise, having already achieved an 80% reduction on the operational emissions side by 2022. In Brazil, where the announcement was made, the company offsets all its residual direct emissions with conservation projects in the Amazon rainforest.

  • In related matters, Abu Dhabi-based operator e& is introducing SIM cards manufactured from recycled consumer electronics to bolster its green credentials. Half a million of the cards will be available to visitors to COP28, the high-profile eco-summit that starts next week in Dubai.

  • Swiss operator Salt is continuing its run of good form with a third quarter that showed EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) rise 4.2% year-over-year, to 149.4 million Swiss francs (US$169.2 million), on operating revenue up 3%, to CHF240.4 million ($272.3 million). During the quarter Salt added 31,200 mobile subscribers, bringing its total net additions for the first nine months to 92,200, an increase of 27% on the same period last year.

  • Deutsche Telekom has had its attempt to get EU antitrust regulators to pay backdated interest on the reimbursed part of a fine imposed in 2014 rebuffed by an adviser to the EU Court of Justice, Reuters reports. The German operator was originally fined €31 million ($34 million) for charging unfair wholesale prices in Slovakia, but that was reduced on appeal to €19 million ($21 million).

  • Orange is launching what it describes as its "super-app" – a sort of money mobile platform with knobs on – in five African countries. "Max it," as the app is called, offers mobile banking and an e-commerce platform offering digital content such as games and music. You do not have to be an Orange customer to use it. Ambitions are high for the app: Orange expects to have around 45 million active Max it users by 2025. Cameroon, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Botswana will be the first countries to get it, with further launches to follow.

  • Building Digital UK (BDUK) has awarded the latest Project Gigabit network build contract to Freedom Fibre. The £24 million ($30 million) build will provide around 12,000 premises in the northern part of Shropshire with access to gigabit-capable broadband.

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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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