Eurobites: Nokia Seals HERE Sale

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Mobily swings to a Q2 loss; mobile boosts Telkom's fiscal Q1; BT launches 4K sports content.

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has agreed to sell its mapping services unit, HERE, to a consortium of German carmakers, for €2.8 billion (US$3.06 billion). HERE has been developing a "location cloud" that seeks to harness the data generated by vehicles, devices and infrastructure to deliver real-time data location services. Once the sale is complete, Nokia will consist of just two businesses, Nokia Networks and Nokia Technologies. (See Carmakers Closing In on Nokia HERE – Report and Nokia Networks Enjoys 'Terrific Rebound'.)

  • More bad news for Etihad Etisalat Co. (Mobily) : After last week having to restate its results for the previous 27 months, wiping profits of nearly 1.76 billion Saudi Arabian riyals ($469 million) off its books, the Saudi operator has announced a second-quarter net loss of SAR900.9 million ($240.2 million), reports Reuters. It attributed some of the loss to costs incurred in a dispute with rival Zain KSA (Zain Saudi Arabia) . The good news is that shares in Mobily can resume trading today on Riyadh's bourse -- they were suspended in June in the wake of accounting shenanigans at the operator.

  • Net revenues at South Africa's Telkom SA Ltd. (NYSE/Johannesburg: TKG) crept up 1.7% year-on-year to 6.5 billion South African rand ($510 million) in its fiscal first quarter, thanks mainly to a 68.5% rise in mobile net revenues, to R350 million ($27.47 million). Fixed-line voice usage revenues slipped 13.7% as the number of voice lines declined by 5.3% to a still not inconsiderable 3.39 billion.

  • Wandera, a San Francisco-based mobile data security specialist, has joined forces with enterprise mobility vendor CWSI to supply secure mobile gateway services to 3 Ireland 's business customers.

  • In what is unlikely to be seen as surprise move, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has chosen its own media services unit, BT Media & Broadcast, to deliver BT Sport's new 4K Champions League soccer content. Sunday's FA Community Shield, in which last season's FA Cup winners, Arsenal, defeated Premiership champions Chelsea 1-0, was the first BT Sport match to be shown on the new 4K channel. In July, BT Sport announced that it plans to launch what it claims is the first live sports ultra-high-definition channel in Europe. (See BT Unveils UHD TV Prices in Challenge to Sky.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Susan Fourtané 8/3/2015 | 10:47:12 AM
    Nokia's focus It seems like Nokia is finding out that focusing on less businesses work better. Networks and Technologies complement well. -Susan
    mendyk 8/3/2015 | 10:58:08 AM
    Re: Nokia's focus Yes, but there are plenty of examples of how "focus" can lead to a faster decline if the focus turns out to be on the wrong thing -- Blackberry being one example.
    Susan Fourtané 8/3/2015 | 11:03:59 AM
    Re: Nokia's focus Right. Do you think focusing on networks is the wrong thing? -Susan
    mendyk 8/3/2015 | 11:11:36 AM
    Re: Nokia's focus Not at all -- the challenge is to expand your business into tangential areas that allow you to use your core strengths. But it is important to find those areas of expansion. That's where superior leadership pays off. For instance, Netflix -- which built its core business on distributing video content in different formats -- probably has a better shot at succeeding as a content provider than a network operator that decides to set up a content shop simply to make money or cut content acquisition costs.
    Mitch Wagner 8/3/2015 | 12:09:05 PM
    Re: Nokia's focus Content requires agility that isn't a strength for communications providers. It will be interesting to see how well -- or badly -- Verizon adapts with its AOL acquisition. 
    mendyk 8/3/2015 | 12:13:36 PM
    Re: Nokia's focus There's also a lot of risk and uncertainty involved -- not every content idea results in a Game of Thrones hit. Companies that are risk-averse are not going to do well in the content business.
    Susan Fourtané 8/3/2015 | 12:53:48 PM
    Re: Nokia's focus Of course. Do you think Nokia is going in the right direction? -Susan
    mendyk 8/3/2015 | 1:59:22 PM
    Re: Nokia's focus I would say that Nokia has a lot of work to do over the next two to three years, and much of that work will be difficult. Absorbing Alcatel-Lucent would be a huge challenge on its own, but throw in a rapidly changing global telecom market and what looks like a greater stability among its chief competitors, and it's clear that Nokia can't afford too many missteps. Success is achievable but not guaranteed.
    Susan Fourtané 8/3/2015 | 2:45:25 PM
    Re: Nokia's focus Well, we will have to wait two to three years. In that time, lots of things will change in the global telecom market. Let's not forget all the changes that are expected by between 2018 and 2020. -Susan
    lanbrown 8/3/2015 | 4:15:43 PM
    Re: Nokia's focus It didn't see to help when it was AOL-Time Warner Communications.  Verizon is a very old and stodgy company.
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