March 16, 2015
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT/EE merger under scrutiny; Rostelecom's fixed-line loss; small is beautiful for UK's ISPs.
The German government plans to invest more than €10 billion (US$10.6 billion) in high-speed broadband, with €8 billion ($8.4 billion) of that coming from the country's telecom industry, according a Deutsche Welle report citing an interview in the Rheinische Post. According to Alexander Dobrindt, Germany's Transport and Infrastructure Minister, at least €1 billion of the total will be generated by the country's forthcoming mobile spectrum auction.
The UK's competition authority has begun scrutinizing BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s proposed acquisition of mobile operator EE , reports the Financial Times (subscription required). A letter sent to interested parties and seen by the newspaper pinpoints several areas of potential concern, among them how BT provides backhaul for what will be its mobile rivals, and the provision of quad-play packages. (See BT Locks Down £12.5B EE Takeover Deal.)
Naguib Sawiris, the founder of Egypt's Orascom Telecom and the former owner of Italy's Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA , is weighing up an acquisition in Italy's Internet sector and planning a new data center in Milan, reports Reuters, citing Corriere della Sera. Sawiris already controls Italiaonline, an Internet company.
Rostelecom is the latest Russian operator to feel the effects of the economic uncertainty engulfing the country, recording a fourth-quarter net loss from its fixed-line business of 2 billion rubles ($32.2 million), reports Reuters. The operator expects overall revenues to be flat in 2015.
New research from Which?, the UK's influential consumer rights organization, has revealed that the larger Internet service providers tend to be near the bottom of the pile in terms of customer satisfaction, while smaller providers are winning the plaudits from their subscribers. In its latest broadband satisfaction survey, BT, Sky and TalkTalk all received a customer score of less than 50%.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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