Also in today's EMEA roundup: Government may protect Telecom Italia network; eircom sales decline; Mexican wrestling -- it's Branson v Slim.
The wholesale division of Orange (NYSE: FTE) has launched "LTE Signalling," a Multiservice IP eXchange service, based on the Diameter signalling protocol, that allows mobile operators to provide international 4G roaming to their customers. Orange says it has set up interconnection agreements with other major carriers and can offer wholesale 4G roaming into most LTE service markets in Asia/Pacific, Europe and the Americas. The launch of LTE Signalling looks to be a significant development in the global 4G roaming services market. (See Orange Offers LTE Signalling, LTE Inches Closer to Roaming the Globe, and Mobile Migraine: Carrier Aggregation Roaming .)
The Italian government is considering designating telecom networks as "strategic assets" over which it has the final say on ownership, according to a report on Bloomberg. The move, which has taken the form of a draft decree, comes in the wake of Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) increasing its stake in Telecom Italia (TIM) via the Telco holding company earlier this week. (See Euronews: Telefónica Ups Stake in Telecom Italia.)
Irish operator eir , which this week announced the launch of 4G services, saw an 8 percent year-on-year decline in revenues to €1.39 billion (US$1.87 billion) in its full-year (to June 30) results. Despite operational savings, EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) was also down 12 percent, to €487 million ($657 million). (See eircom Reports Full Year Dip in Sales, Earnings and eircom Launches 4G In Ireland.)
CityFibre , which describes itself as "the UK’s largest independent fibre optic infrastructure provider to secondary cities," has appointed Peter Manning as chairman. Manning is a former CEO of Colt Telecom and is also chairman of Marston Group.
Haircut-shunning UK tycoon Richard Branson plans to take on Carlos Slim on the magnate's home turf – Mexico. According to this report in the Daily Telegraph, Branson's Virgin Mobile Latin America has shifted its expansion plans from Brazil to Mexico following the passing of new legislation in Mexico that puts a cap on the extent of Slim's telecom holdings.
UK regulator Ofcom has opened the doors again to its Hall of Shame -- or, more accurately, its analysis of complaints about telecom companies. Gripes-wise, TalkTalk still tops the moan-count in the landline sector, Orange/EE edges it in fixed broadband, T-Mobile (UK) reigns in postpaid mobile, while BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) rocks it in pay-TV, with 0.25 complaints per 1,000 customers in the April-to-June quarter.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading