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Eurobites: BT Stock Slumps on Q3 Numbers, Huawei Cap Costs

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson gets jiggy with Ziggo for 5G; EU wants a firmer grip on its data; public sector wary of the public cloud.

  • BT's share price took a 6.7% tumble Thursday morning to 163.5 pence following the publication of its fiscal third-quarter trading update that included news of a £500 million (US$651 million) hit associated with revamped 5G network plans. BT reported revenues of £5.78 billion ($7.57 billion) for the three months to the end of December 2019, down 3% year-on-year, while adjusted EBITDA was down 4% to £1.98 billion ($2.6 billion). For the nine months to the end of December 2019, BT reported revenues of £17.2 billion ($22.5 billion), down 2% year-on-year, and adjusted EBITDA of £5.9 billion ($7.7 billion), down 3%. CEO Philip Jansen noted that the operator had "delivered results slightly below our expectations for the third quarter of the year, but we remain on track to meet our outlook for the full [fiscal] year." BT says its Openreach access network division has now passed 2.2 million UK homes with fiber as part of its FTTP (fiber-to-the-premises) rollout plans and has launched 5G services in 50 cities. But its 5G network infrastructure deployment plans now have to be revamped following the UK government's ruling that Huawei can only play a restricted role as an access network technology supplier: for more on that see BT says cap on Huawei's UK 5G role will cost it £500M.

  • Ericsson has joined forces with Dutch operator VodafoneZiggo to create what they are calling a "5G co-creation environment" in Eindhoven. The 5G HUB, as it is formally known, features a test lab, training facility and a demo studio with 5G and IoT capabilities, offering companies and students the chance to explore the potential of the technology. The facility has been granted some spectrum by the authorities, allowing Ericsson and its partners to make use of some 3.5GHz airwaves before the next Dutch spectrum auction takes place, which is expected in September 2022. One pilot already underway sees Ericsson, VodafoneZiggo and Dutch electronics giant Philips collaborating on a connected ambulance service at Eindhoven's Catharina Hospital.

  • The European Union is proposing the creation of a "a genuine single market for data" to counteract what it sees as the excessive hold over the continent's data exercised by US tech titans such as Google and Amazon. As Reuters reports, a 25-page document, compiled by the European Commission with the help of a group of experts, will be presented on February 19, and will push the message that Europe can only stay in the vanguard of technological progress if it gets a grip on its own data.

  • Nearly half of all public sector organizations in the UK still will not consider public cloud for their most secure and sensitive systems, despite the adoption of a "cloud first" policy by the British government in 2013. That's one of the findings of a new study from UKCloud, a cloud services company specializing in the public sector. But this is not to say that the public sector takes a dim view of the cloud generally; 87.2% of those surveyed said they would shift to a cloud-based offering if a "perfect solution" existed.

  • Free, the broadband brand owned by France's Iliad, is offering fiber to more than 4,000 homes in the Aude region that are covered by the Emeraude Public Initiative Network (PIN), which is being rolled out as part of a regional "ultrafast" broadband project. The service is being priced at €14.99 ($16.52) a month for 12 months before rising sharply, like the region's Pyrenees mountains, to €34.99 ($38.57) a month.

  • Colt Technology Services has expanded its voice footprint to Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Hungary, taking its global voice coverage to 29 countries. Colt's global voice services allow businesses to provision freephone or other local numbers and automate complex routing for calls via a single online portal.

  • Virgin Media has brought 516Mbit/s broadband to the denizens of the green and pleasant Test & Dun Valley in the southern English county of Hampshire after local campaigners asked the company to step in following what Virgin describes as "a string of broken promises" from other providers. The cable operator agreed an initiative that required at least 30% of premises to commit to taking up its services once work had been completed, and says that in some villages more than three-quarters of residents signed up.

  • Orange will be displaying its green credentials at the "Change Now" summit, which starts today in Paris, drawing attention to its efforts to recycle old devices and raising awareness of the amount of energy consumed by devices that are plugged in or charging. (See Orange Trumpets Its Green Credentials.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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