Eurobites: Vodafone confirms sale of 18% stake in Indus Towers

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Three UK saves network energy with Ericsson; Enea helps Telecom Egypt slash spoof calls; Orange showers athletes with free SIM cards.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

June 19, 2024

2 Min Read
Vodafone logo on shopfront
(Source: PaulRainford/LightReading)
  • UK-based Vodafone has confirmed the sale of an 18% stake in India's Indus Towers for €1.7 billion (US$1.8 billion). The proceeds of the sale, says the operator, will be used to "substantially repay Vodafone's existing lenders in relation to the outstanding bank borrowings of €1.8 billion [$1.9 billion] secured against Vodafone's Indian assets." Following the deal, Vodafone retains a 3.1% stake in the towerco. Vodafone has for some years been edging out of India – in 2018, after a series of tax disputes, it agreed to merge Vodafone India, wholly owned since April 2014, with Idea Cellular. Vodafone's stake in the merged entity shrank from 47.6% in 2022 to 32.3% last year.

  • Three UK – with whom Vodafone UK is desperate to merge – says its collaboration with Ericsson on improving network energy performance over the last 18 months has resulted in an increase in energy efficiency of up to 70% at selected sites while reducing site footprint and lowering CO2 emissions. More energy efficient radios such as Ericsson's Radio 4490 were deployed, while software features that consume less energy per radio during low traffic hours were also implemented.

  • Virgin Media O2's fiber rollout has reached another 25,000 homes in the eastern English town of Lowestoft following investment by Nexfibre, the joint venture between InfraVia Capital Partners, Liberty Global and Telefónica. Those tempted can sign up for VMO2's Gig2 broadband service, which offers top speeds of 2 Gbit/s.

  • Telecom Egypt claims it's reduced spoof calls by 90% since introducing a voice firewall from Sweden's Enea. Caller ID spoofing means that the number displayed to a subscriber when receiving a call is not the number from which the call is being made. Scammers use this method to hide their identities and trick subscribers into believing the call is legitimate – often pretending to be from a bank, for example.

  • Orange is to shower 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes at the forthcoming Paris games with free SIM cards so that they can use the private 5G standalone network that connects many of the major venues without returning home to bill shock. Orange also says that private 5G SA will be used by broadcasters at several Olympic and Paralympic venues.

  • Swiss operator Salt is touting a new TV box, which runs on Android TV OS, has integrated Wi-Fi 6 technology and is made from 85% recycled plastic. Salt's original TV offering was based on the Apple TV platform.

  • A UK government-funded body dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in the tech sector is to shut up shop, City AM reports. The decision, by Tech Talent Charter, was taken after the organization's 2024 Diversity in Tech Report found that diversity and inclusion initiatives were no longer a priority in the sector.

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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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