Eurobites: EU Regulators Pooh-Pooh Trump's 5G Plan

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telenor Q4 profits up; KPN hit by drop in international wholesale traffic; Mtel opts for Amdocs for the "customer journey."

  • The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) , the umbrella group for national telecom regulators within the EU, has warned that the Trump administration's plan to build state-funded 5G networks will "end in disaster," Euractiv reports. The chair of BEREC, Johannes Gungl, believes that if such a plan were implemented it would lead to a price war between a nationalized network and one run by private operators. (See Trump's 5G Plan Is Not as Bonkers as They Say, Trump on 5G: It's a 'Gamechanger' and Nationalize 5G in the US? LOL, WTF?!)

  • Nordic operator Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) saw fourth-quarter revenues rise 1% year-on-year to 32.1 billion Norwegian kroner (US$4.16 billion), though on an organic basis they fell by 0.5%. EBITDA rose 11.13% to NOK11.83 billion ($1.53 billion). In a statement accompanying the results, CEO Sigve Brekke said that the company's priorities for 2018 were to deliver on its "digital transformation agenda" while "simplifying" its portfolio. Last week Telenor revealed that it had been approached by a potential buyer of its operations in central and eastern Europe -- if such a deal goes ahead, it would dovetail neatly with Telenor's plan to focus on its key markets. (See Telenor Eyes Eastern European Exit.)

  • Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) is claiming success with its "Simplify, Grow, Innovate" strategy but its fourth-quarter revenues were still down 4.5% year-on-year, to €1.61 billion ($2 billion), while EBITDA slumped 11% to €560 million ($697 million). The operator partly blamed a drop in international wholesale traffic and continued price pressure in the mobile segment for the slide.

  • Bulgarian operator MobilTel (M-Tel) is looking to get more "engaged" with its customers through the deployment of Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX)'s DigitalONE platform, which, the vendor boldly claims, will show Mtel just how far the customer has got on his or her "care and commerce journey." (Presumably listening to holding music equates to being on the starting grid.)

  • FTTH Council Europe is urging companies to send a "gender-balanced delegation" to its conference in Valencia, Spain next month. "Tired of seeing a sea of dark suits?" asks its release, before promoting its "Women in Fibre" cocktail party, which takes place during the conference.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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