Eurobites: MasOrange promises €4B investment over three years

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone-Three merger update; Telecom Italia claws back license fees and more; Elisa acquires Leanware.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

April 4, 2024

3 Min Read
Orange booth at MWC 2024
(Source: Tereza Krásová/Light Reading)
  • MasOrange, the clumsily named offspring of the merger between Orange's Spanish unit and what was MásMóvil, has been setting out its stall, announcing investments of around €4 billion (US$4.3 billion) over the next three years in 5G, fiber deployments and unspecified "new services." The plans involve the rollout of up to 6 million "real estate fiber optic units," while 5G coverage will be extended to more than 90% of the Spanish population. At a regional Spanish level, Euskaltel, R and Telecable will continue to be the reference brands in their respective markets, but it appears Guuk and Embou will bite the dust. Nationwide, MasOrange says it has more than 37 million mobile and broadband subscribers and 2.3 million TV users.

  • Vodafone and Three have failed to come up with any "meaningful solutions" to what the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) perceives as problems raised by the proposed merger of the two companies. Given they were allowed five working days to come up with said solutions, this is hardly surprising. So on we go to a full-strength phase 2 investigation into the £13 billion ($16.4 billion) deal, which is guaranteed to take considerably longer than five working days.

  • A court judgement in its favor means that Telecom Italia (TIM) will claw back around €1 billion ($1.08 billion) from the Italian government for license fees (plus interest) it was forced to hand over in 1998, the year following the liberalization of Italy's telecom sector. TIM has a lot to thank the EU's top court for – it ruled that the EU's regulatory system did not allow a national regulation to extend to 1998 the obligation to pay a license fee calculated on the basis of its revenues, but only permitted the demand for payment of the administrative costs associated with the issuing of the license.

  • Finland's Elisa is to acquire Leanware, a provider of production, supply chain and logistics software. The acquisition is intended to boost Elisa IndustrIQ, Elisa's own industrial software business. Leanware is headquartered in Tampere, Finland, and employs around 90 people.

  • The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance (NGMN) has published a new report that looks at how to more accurately measure energy consumption in virtualized networks. Among other conclusions, it says that the use of open source technology for determining or virtual network functions is progressing very quickly. The report also makes several recommendations to standards development organizations to speed up the development of improved measurement frameworks.

  • Germany-based nLighten has acquired seven edge data centers from EXA Infrastructure, expanding nLighten's European presence in Belgium, Switzerland and Spain and boosting its offer in Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands. Both companies are owned by I Squared Capital, a global infrastructure investor.

  • EE, the mobile operator owned by BT, has improved its 4G coverage in the Welsh rural county of Ceredigion after upgrading or building more than ten 4G masts there. The work forms part of the UK government's Shared Rural Network program.

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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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