Also in today's EMEA regional rollout: Deutsche Telekom soars in Q3; Cellcom Israel agrees to buy Golan Telecom; Finnish emojis.
Orange (NYSE: FTE) has set out its stall on FTTH in Spain, committing to reach 14 million households with fiber by 2020. The operator, which extended its fiber reach with the acquisition of Jazztel, earlier this year, currently reaches 5.2 million households. The planned deployment will represent an investment of between €1.5 billion (US$1.63 billion) and €1.7 billion ($1.85 billion), says Orange. On the wireless side, Orange earmarked €1.5 billion ($1.63 billion) for investment in its 4G network, with the aim of reaching 95% of the population with the technology in 2017. (See Eurobites: Orange Gets EC Nod on Jazztel.)
Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has reason to be cheerful about its third quarter: Net profits climbed almost 60% year-on-year, to €800 million ($870 million), and even adjusted for one-off items they were up 30%. Net revenue increased by 9.3% to €17.1 billion ($18.6 billion). In a statement, CEO Tim Höttges pointed to "high investments in broadband roll-out and connectivity" as the "basis for growth." Things weren't quite so rosy on the wireless side: Mobile revenues on its home turf slipped by 0.4% as competitive pricing took its toll, which, as Reuters reports, sent its shares south by 1.4% in initial Thursday morning trading.
Cellcom Israel Ltd. has edged out rival suitor Pelephone and agreed to buy Golan Telecom, another Israeli mobile operator, for 1.17 billion Israeli shekels ($301 million). Golan, which began life in 2012, has around 900,000 customers, and is expected to end 2015 with revenues of more than NIS500 million.
One-off items that included a CHF186 million ($186.7 million) fine for "improper pricing of broadband services" dented Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM)'s numbers for its first nine months, with EBITDA down 8.1% year-on-year to CHF3.09 billion ($3.1 billion). Net revenues for the period remained more-or-less flat at CHF8.65 billion ($8.68 billion).
The board of Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) is hoping to clear the air by appointing Deloitte to review the Nordic operator's handling and oversight of its troublesome minority stake in Russia's VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP). Last week the then chairman of Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN), Svein Aaser, was forced to step down as a result of Telenor's entanglement with VimpelCom's allegedly corrupt dealings in Uzbekistan. (See Eurobites: Norway Dumps Telenor Chairman.)
Great news for Nokia featurephone fanboys and fangirls (we know you're out there)! Finland has become the first country in the world to launch its own country-themed emoji sticker set, and one of them is a representation of the legendary (it says here) Nokia 3310, renowned for its virtual unbreakability. (Though these days it might be classed as an offensive weapon.)
Here at Eurobites Towers, however, we've a soft-spot for another one in the emoji set, namely the tribute to the famous Finnish naked sauna. It says so much more than a smiley-face…
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading