Eurobites: Cell C Plans $660M LTE Investment

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Transmode Q1 optimism; Slovenia bids expected; One Direction latest.

  • South African operator Cell C has announced it is to invest 8 billion South African rand ($663 million) over the next three years in the building of an LTE network. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) are Cell C's primary partners in the project, which will be focused on South Africa's metropolitan areas. The first commercial services are expected to be launched later this year.

  • Swedish metro core specialist Transmode Systems AB , which this week became the subject of a $350 million takeover bid from Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN), has unveiled its preliminary first-quarter results, with revenues predicted to be in the range of 285-290 million Swedish krona (US32.2-32.8 million), a growth of 23-25% year-on-year. Operating profit is expected to be in the range of SEK46-51 million ($5.2-7.7 million), more than doubling last year's equivalent figure. The final first-quarter results will be published on April 29. (See Infinera Coming Closer to Mastering the Metro and Infinera Makes $350M Offer for Sweden's Transmode.)

  • State-owned Telekom Slovenije is set to become the target of binding bids from Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) and investment fund Cinven Ltd. , according to a Reuters report. Reuters' source says the bids are likely to fall below the market price of €132.6 ($140.1) per share, not least because of uncertainty created by recent court cases brought against the Slovenian operator for alleged anti-competitive behavior.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) , Italtel SpA and Invitalia have signed a development contract worth €71 million ($75 million) to accelerate the rollout of fiber-based "ultra-broadband" networks in the regions of Campania, Puglia, Calabria and Sicily. Telecom Italia is bearing the lion's share of the investment, with €48 million ($50.8 million).

  • French TV station TV5 has resumed broadcasting following the cyber attack thought to be carried out by followers of Islamic State, reports Broadband TV News. The attack took down TV5's broadcast systems and its online presence worldwide.

  • And finally… As well as being a slave to telecom news, the team at Eurobites Towers likes to be thoroughly immersed in the zeitgeist of contemporary cultural developments. And we don't just mean watching The X Factor. So naturally our interest was piqued by the announcement by Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) that it had commissioned a number of "urban artists" to "re-imagine" a number of classic masterpieces to form part of a show in Shoreditch, the hipster enclave in east London. Here's one result, combining Edvard Munch's "The Scream" with, erm, the departure of Zayn Malik from boy-band One Direction. It's what Edvard would have wanted…

    Munch Monstered
    Edvard Munch's 'The Scream', re-imagined by Paul Karslake for O2.
    Edvard Munch's "The Scream", re-imagined by Paul Karslake for O2.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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