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Euronews: No Respite for Europe's Telcos

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone springs into action; Swisscom gets chatty; TalkTalk reports TV growth; connecting with Somalia.

  • Moody's Investors Service isn't offering much to lift the November gloom in its latest outlook for the EMEA telecom industry: It believes that though revenue will stabilize in 2014, the sector as a whole will "remain on negative outlook due to the slow pace and uncertain sustainability of the revenue recovery." It also predicts that integrated incumbent operators -- the big boys, in other words -- will fare better than those that just offer mobile or fixed-line services.

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD)'s half-year group services revenues fell 4.2 percent year-on-year to £20 billion ($31.76 billion), with Southern Europe being the biggest problem area -- a revenue decline of 14.9 percent. The operator used its earnings announcement to provide details about "Project Spring," its plan to invest an additional £7 billion ($11.11 billion) in its networks by March 2016, using some of the proceeds from the sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless . (See Vodafone Ups 'Project Spring' Capex to $11B+.)

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) has added group chat and video sharing capabilities to iO, the OTT app it launched in June this year. The operator says the app has been installed on more than 400,000 devices since its launch. And to address the security concerns of users worried about their communications being intercepted by uninvited international third parties, the operator notes that "sensitive user data shall also remain in Switzerland in future, saved on Swisscom servers." Will that make any difference? (See Euronews: Swisscom Opts for Some OTT Action and Euronews: Spain Joins Prism Club.)

  • UK broadband provider TalkTalk now claims it is the "fastest-growing TV business in the UK," adding 167,000 TV subscribers in its second quarter, taking its user base to 557,000. For the six months to September 30 its revenues climbed 1.8 percent year-on-year to £843 million ($1.33 billion), though EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) fell from £147 million ($233.4 million) in the year-ago period to £76 million ($120.7 million), reflecting an investment of £86 million ($136.5 million) in new products. See this press release for more details.

  • Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF)'s German subsidiary has struck what it claims is the first M2M (machine-to-machine) insurance telematics deal in Germany, with insurance company Sparkassen DirektVersicherung. Drivers who opt for the service will have a telematics box installed in their car, which will be able to automatically report accidents and provide feedback on driving behavior, offering up the possibility of reduced insurance premiums. More details can be found here.

  • Liquid Telecom has completed what it says is the first fiber link into the war-torn state of Somalia, connecting from across the Kenyan border to Hormuud Telecom Somalia's network. Liquid Telecom's network spans more than 17,000 km across ten African countries.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Kruz 11/13/2013 | 10:07:08 AM
    Re: EMEA outlook What sparked the increased number of subscribers to TalkTalk Mobile TV offering? Was it due to an offer change?
    DOShea 11/12/2013 | 8:48:39 AM
    EMEA outlook This might give some further dimesnion to the initially cautious short-term outlooks we have been hearing recently from network equipment vendors.
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