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Eurobites: Telefónica Offloads Towers to DT

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT boss threatens legal action over proposed Openreach split; BT's G.fast trials; Tele2 does broadband deal with KPN.

  • Telefónica Deutschland GmbH is to transfer 7,700 mobile-tower sites to Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) as part of a program of infrastructure rationalization following its $10.7 billion takeover of E-Plus, reports Bloomberg. No financial details of the transaction were revealed. (See Eurobites: Telefónica Gets EC Green Light on E-Plus Deal.)

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) CEO Gavin Patterson is threatening "ten years of litigation and arguments" if regulator Ofcom tries to force the UK incumbent to separate itself from its Openreach access division, reports the Daily Telegraph. Ofcom is closely looking at potentially breaking up BT as a way of making the UK broadband market more competitive. (See Ofcom Could Still Make BT Do Splits.)

  • Talking of Openreach, the (for now) BT division is to kickstart its G.fast trials in August and says it has signed up several (unnamed) retail service providers to take part. The initial trials will take place in the town of Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire), where trial customers are currently being recruited. BT believes G.fast is capable of delivering very high-speed broadband services and enable it to extend the life of its existing copper access network for many more years. (See BT Puts G.fast at Heart of Ultra-Fast Broadband Plans, BT, Allied Telesis Foresee Broadband Future and Gigabit Europe: Where Beer & Broadband Come Together.)

  • Swedish operator Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO) has signed a new seven-year contract for fixed-broadband access on KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN)'s network. The VULA (Virtual Unbundled Local Access) agreement will allow Tele2 to offer downlink speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s. KPN has also entered into a similar agreement with Luxembourg-based satellite broadcaster M7.

  • Russia's Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) is to acquire NVision Group, a developer of billing systems and related software, for 15 billion Russian rubles ($263 million). The deal is being presented by MTS as the first step for the company into the IT services market. NVision is currently controlled by subsidiaries of Sistema, which is also the majority owner of MTS.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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