Eurobites: Germany sells €2.5B stake in Deutsche Telekom

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: STC considering bid for United Group, claims report; Nokia, Telia trial upper 6GHz spectrum use for better urban coverage; Ericsson hallucinates on AI.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

June 4, 2024

2 Min Read
Deutsche Telekom office buildings
(Source: Deutsche Telekom, Photo: Norbert Ittermann)
  • The German state, via its KfW bank, has sold a a €2.5 billion (US$2.7 billion) stake in Deutsche Telekom as part of a wider strategy to raise cash for the government coffers by offloading some of its corporate investments. As Bloomberg reports, KfW sold 110 million shares to institutional investors yesterday (Monday), effectively leaving the government with a 27.8% stake in the operator – meaning it remains the largest shareholder. The government said the proceeds will be used to bolster rail operator Deutsche Bahn and fund the rollout of Germany's rail infrastructure. Responding to the sell-off, Deutsche Telekom said it would increase its share buyback program by €600 million ($652 million).

  • Back at the telecom coalface, Deutsche Telekom says it has installed a 5G private network for broadcaster RTL Deutschland ahead of the forthcoming Euros soccer championships. The network, using six antennas, covers an area of more than 35,000 square meters, including two studios and a fans' viewing area. It operates on frequencies reserved for RTL in the 3.7GHz to 3.8GHz range. Deutsche Telekom and RTL have already tested live broadcast via the public Telekom 5G SA network.

  • Saudi Arabian operator STC is considering an offer for Europe's United Group, according to Reuters' sources. If a deal goes ahead, it could value United Group at around €8 billion ($8.7 billion), the report claims. United Group is owned by UK-based BC Partners, which acquired it from US investment firm KKR in 2019.

  • Nokia and Telia have completed a trial using the upper 6GHz spectrum range that they hope will improve capacity and coverage in dense urban environments for 5G-Advanced and 6G networks. The trial used a Massive MIMO antenna based on Nokia's AirScale Habrok radio. According to Nokia, the field tests confirmed the "macro-grid-readiness" of the upper 6GHz spectrum used with Massive MIMO.

  • Orange has launched a new cybersecurity service that it says will help protect French citizens against Internet and telephone fraud. Cybersecure, as the service is called, offers a free portal that anyone, regardless of which network they're on, can use to check the legitimacy of a site, link, email or text message that looks suspicious. Those who want to take things a bit further can pay €7 ($7.60) a month to secure up to ten devices in their home against cyber nasties.

  • Want to use AI to digitally clone your friends so you can insert them into "generatively created" movies? Of course you don't. But that is one of the likely scenarios being painted by Ericsson in its latest ConsumerLab report, which tries to predict how the increasingly ubiquitous technology will shape our lives in the coming years. Others include the use of personal AI assistants for shopping, AI dictating fashion trends (if it says legwarmers are back for 2025, it's hallucinating) and, most chillingly of all, the "empower-less employees" concept, which sees AI stripping your work of any meaning. To the sunlit uplands, everyone!

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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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