Although the launch of the iPhone 5 may not have set the fanboy world alight, it has certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons as far as European carriers are concerned. Reason is, as Bloomberg reports, the iPhone 5's much-heralded 4G will not run on the 4G networks of Vodafone or Telefónica in Germany and -- once the networks arrive -- in the U.K., but it will run on the 1800MHz band being used by Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile units for 4G in both countries. This makes the 4G head start given to EE -- the newly re-branded joint venture between Orange UK and T-Mobile (UK) -- look all the more advantageous. iPhone 5 or no iPhone 5, Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) has told the BBC that it is "in discussions" to speed up the rollout of its 4G services, with a spokeswoman saying: "We are hopeful we can come to some agreement to bring the current time line forward." (See Euronews: EE 4G Plan Gets Thumbs-Up and iPhone 5: Which 4G Carrier to Pick?)
Fastweb SpA (Milan: FWB), Swisscom's Italian fixed-line broadband unit, is to invest €400 million (US$523 million) over four years to expand its fiber-to-the-cabinet network. As part of this program, it has also signed a cooperation agreement with Telecom Italia (TIM) , which should enable the pair to share existing infrastructure and better
coordinate their efforts to accelerate the fiber access broadband rollout. (See Fastweb Plans €400M FTTx Investment and T Italia, Fastweb Team Up on FTTX.)
Talking of Swisscom, the operator is hoping to strengthen its management team with a few changes: Mario Rossi is the new CFO, Andreas König becomes CEO of Swisscom IT Services, while Urs Schaeppi will take over management of Swisscom Switzerland from Jan. 1 2013. (See Swisscom Revamps Management Team.)
Further details of Telefónica's planned initial public offering for its German unit have emerged, reports Reuters, with between 10 and 20 percent of the company up for grabs, valued by Telefónica at €10 billion ($12.9 billion). The Spanish giant announced its IPO intentions earlier this year. The operator has also signed what it calls a "jumbo credit facility" with two Chinese banks, giving it access to an additional $1.2 billion. (See Telefónica Plans Regional IPOs.)
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has had to turn to Humax Co. Ltd. , the South Korean vendor, for additional set-top boxes after those from its regular supplier, U.K.-based Pace plc , did not come up to scratch, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). The carrier is in the process of launching its YouView IPTV service and needs all the set-top boxes it can get.
Italy's antitrust authority has launched an investigation into an alleged cartel between Telecom Italia, Vodafone and Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA aiming at preventing startup MVNO Bip Mobile from gaining a foothold in the market, reports Reuters.