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Eurobites: BT Plans to Close Wholesale Division

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia Networks ups its margin targets; Bouygues Telecom flatlines; UK 4G speeds surveyed.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has appealed to UK regulator Ofcom for permission to fold its Wholesale division into Openreach , the BT-owned unit that controls access to the UK's telecom infrastructure, according to a Daily Telegraph report. BT Wholesale reported revenues of ₤2.4 billion (US$3.7 billion) in its last financial year, and if BT's plan goes ahead, Openreach would become its biggest division in terms of turnover.

  • Nokia Networks has used its Capital Markets Day to raise its margin targets, aiming for long-term operating margin in the 8-11% range, compared with its previously stated target of 5-10%. In a statement, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri pointed to the advent of the Internet of Things as a reason for optimism on the vendor's part -- "we have a powerful role to play in this world," he said. (See Nokia Lays Out Financial, Strategic Plans.)

  • French conglomerate Bouygues raised its full-year sales forecast on the strength of its third quarter, but this had little to do with the performance of its telecom unit, reports Reuters. Bouygues Telecom 's operating profit fell to €420 million ($522.1 million) from €531 million ($660 million) a year earlier, and is expected to do little more than break even over the year.

  • Ofcom has published its latest piece of research into 4G and 3G mobile broadband speeds in the UK market, revealing that the average downlink speed on 4G is 15.1 Mbit/s, more than twice as fast as 3G (6.1 Mbit/s) across all the networks. Joint venture EE had the fastest 4G average speed, at 18.4 Mbit/s.

    Average 4G & 3G Upload Speed by UK Network
    Source: Ofcom
    Source: Ofcom

  • Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF)'s acquisition of pay-TV company Distribuidora de Television (DTS) (which trades under the Canal+ brand in Spain) has attracted the attention of Spain's competition watchdog, reports Reuters. Telefónica closed the €750 million (US$1.02 billion) acquisition in June. (See Eurobites: Telefónica to Buy Pay-TV Player.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Susan Fourtané 11/15/2014 | 2:21:11 AM
    4G Vs 3G According to Ofcom's research paper, the study was conducted to help consumers understand the performance benefits of 4G over 3G. I don't quite understand how come some consumers can't see the benefits by themselves. :/ Aren't better speed and better quality of service not enough? 

    -Susan
    Susan Fourtané 11/15/2014 | 2:03:01 AM
    Great expectations on the IoT Nokia's high bet on the IoT seems to be right. If all goes as Gartner has predicted --and most certainly it will,-- the IoT is becoming mainstream by 2020 with 25 billion of connected things. And how they are going to connect if it's not through networks?

    -Susan
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