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Eurobites: Deutsche Telekom's Q4 Bottom Line Hit by BT Shares Slump

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson teams up with Telecom Italia on 5G, brings its virtual network function to Egypt; Telefónica goes Nano with LTE, chooses Teoco for spectrum refarming; French regulator gets new director-general.

  • A fall in the value of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) shares hit Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s fourth-quarter results, despite an overall full-year 5.6% growth in revenues to €73.1 billion (US$76.8 billion) at the German giant. DT owns a 12% stake in BT, so the slump in value of the UK incumbent's shares, brought about by accounting irregularities at BT's Italian subsidiary, resulted in a net loss of €2.1 billion I$2.2 billion) in Q4. EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) for the full year grew 7.6% to €21.4 billion ($22.5 billion). In its results statement, DT highlighted fiber broadband progress on its home turf, with 674,000 net fiber-based broadband additions in the fourth quarter alone.

  • Another day, another bit of cozying up on the 5G front. This time it's Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Telecom Italia (TIM) , who have signed a memorandum of understanding intended to "speed up evolution toward the new network of the future." The collaboration will focus on the design and testing of access infrastructure.

  • Ericsson also says it has helped Vodafone Egypt launch the first commercial virtual network function in the Middle East, with the deployment of the Swedish vendor's Serving GPRS Support Node -- Mobility Management Entity (SGSN-MME). The SGSN-MME supports multi-access technologies such as GSM, WCDMA and LTE, and also works with WiFi.

  • Telefónica has been using Mobile World Congress to demonstrate its LTE Nano initiative, which offers rescue teams and other organizations a portable LTE network for private communications in a small backpack. For technical specification fans, LTE Nano runs on a 40 grams SBC (single board computer), on a Quad Core Cortex-A53 processor and 2GB of RAM.

    LTE Nano: Fits in your backpack, along with your sandwiches.
    LTE Nano: Fits in your backpack, along with your sandwiches.

  • In other Telefónica-related news, the Spain-based group has chosen Teoco Corp. to be its main provider of spectrum refarming and frequency planning services for all of its operator businesses around the world.

  • French telecom regulator Arcep has appointed Cécile Dubarry as its new director-general, replacing Benoît Loutrel. Since 2009 Dubarry has been head of the digital economy department for the Ministry of the Economy and Finance’s Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry (DGE).

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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