Eurobites: 4G Fires European Recovery

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: TDC looks at Com Hem; Nokia speeds up TDD-FDD LTE; big-name BT shareholder happy with mobile plans.

  • Europe's once-faltering mobile industry is on the road to recovery thanks to the widespread migration to 4G services, according to a new study from the GSM Association (GSMA) . The study found that 4G networks currently cover 63% of the European population, though that figure is expected to reach 83% by 2020. The GSMA says that while European mobile revenues are still expected to shrink over the next two to three years, the financial outlook has improved in 2014, largely due to the "positive impact from 4G deployments."

  • Denmark's TDC A/S (Copenhagen: TDC) is considering a bid for Com Hem AB , the Swedish cable operator that is controlled by BC Partners , according to a Reuters report. Reuters' sources said the deal could be worth more than 11.7 billion Swedish kroner ($1.5 billion). Earlier this year, Com Hem's IPO proved highly attractive to investors, raising more than $900 million. (See Eurobites: Com Hem Sparks Gold Rush.)

  • Nokia Networks says it has teamed up with Ooredoo Qatar and China Mobile Communications Corp. to achieve record-breaking speeds of 4.1 Gbit/s over TDD-FDD LTE. The speeds, demonstrated at ITU Telecom World in Doha, were achieved by combining TDD and FDD-LTE spectrums and aggregating 10 carriers with 200MHz bandwidth.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) 's plans to acquire mobile assets in the shape of either EE or Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2 UK) have, after initial doubts, received the blessing of "star" investment manager Neil Woodford, reports Reuters. "Whilst we were initially sceptical about this plan, after some consideration we find ourselves increasingly supportive of the prospect of an acquisition of mobile assets," his company, Woodford Investment Management, said in a statement. BT is the fifth-biggest fund holding in Woodford's $5.83 billion CF Woodford Equity Income fund.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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