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Eurobites: Sunrise offloads towers to Cellnex

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: MegaFon enjoys profitable first quarter; WannaCry hits Russia's postal service; EU proposes regional content quotas for OTT giants.

  • Swiss mobile operator Sunrise Communications AG has offloaded 2,239 towers to Cellnex, a Spanish towers company, the Financial Times reports (subscription required). The deal, worth 500 million Swiss francs ($514 million), takes Cellnex's tower count to 23,000 across Europe and follows a trend for operators to sell off physical infrastructure to trim costs.

  • Russia's MegaFon saw group revenue increase by 14.8% year-on-year in the first quarter, to 86.25 billion Russian rubles ($1.53 billion), while operating income was up 6.2% to RUB32.12 billion ($570 million). As of March 31, mobile subscribers had grown 1.2% year-on-year, and now stand at 77.3 million. During the quarter MegaFon acquired a controlling interest in Mail.Ru, one of Russia's leading Internet companies, as it seeks to transform itself from operator to "provider of integrated digital services."

  • Still in Russia, Reuters reports that the Russian postal service's automated queue management system has been zapped by the WannaCry ransomware virus. The virus infected touch-screen terminals that run on the vulnerable Windows XP operating system, said Reuters' source. (See Global Ransomware Attack Strikes 70K Systems (& Counting).)

  • European Union Council ministers have agreed proposals for new requirements that will force the likes of Netflix and Google Play to ensure that 30% of the content they offer is produced in Europe. As EurActiv reports, the decision represents a toughening-up of an earlier 20% threshold proposal. The 30% threshold proposal has divided countries, however: Spain, Germany, Italy and Hungary support it, but Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg and the UK have all given it the thumbs-down.

  • KPMG says it has resigned as auditor of Lycamobile, the network operator that targets migrant communities in the UK and across Europe with cheap international calling rates. As the Financial Times reports, KPMG says it was "unable to determine whether adequate accounting records have been kept by the company."

  • Iskratel d.o.o. , the Slovenian broadband infrastructure vendor, has expanded its partner program with two new signings, namely HFC Technics, which will offer Iskratel's broadband technology to providers in Hungary, and Tantec Digital, which will do likewise in Norway. Iskratel has been busy this week ahead of the ANGA cable broadband event in Cologne, Germany next week. (See Iskratel Unveils New GPON Products.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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