Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia upgrades Qatar network; Kudeski buys US security firm; Zain Kuwait buys Sudanese operator.
The "increasingly saturated" mobile market is taking some of the blame for a slight year-on-year fall in first-quarter revenues at Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM), down 0.3% to 2.88 billion Swiss francs (US$2.95 billion). One bright spot, however, was the growth of Swisscom TV, which increased customer numbers by 13.8% year-on-year, to 1.36 million. Its Italian broadband subsidiary, Fastweb SpA (Milan: FWB), also held its end up, increasing revenues by 2.6% in the quarter to €440 million ($509.5 million). Swisscom's outlook for the full year remains unchanged, with expected net revenues of more than CHF11.6 billion ($12.2 billion) and EBITDA of around CHF4.2 billion ($4.4 billion).
Table 1: Swisscom Q1 Comparison
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has landed a three-year network upgrade contract with Qatar's Ooredoo , which will allow the operator to roll out its Supernet 375Mbit/s mobile broadband service -- currently available in parts of the capital, Doha -- right across the country.
Switzerland's Kudelski Group , of which set-top box security specialist NAGRA forms a part, has acquired Milestone Systems, a US-based provider of network security software. According to a Kudelski statement, the acquisition adds "specific domain expertise, technology partnerships, and strong services capability" to the vendor's armory.
Reuters reports that Kuwait-based Zain Group has agreed to buy a 92.3% stake in Canar, the Sudanese fixed-line operator, for 349.6 million dirhams ($95.2 million). Canar is currently owned by Etisalat.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is providing its technology to underpin Easypaisa, Pakistan's mobile money service, which was jointly launched by Telenor Pakistan and Tameer Micro Finance Bank. Pakistan has a population of around 199 million, only 15% of which are reckoned to have a bank account.
Soundcloud, the Berlin-based music streaming platform of choice for hipsters worldwide, is launching a paid-for version of its service in the UK to challenge Spotify and others. SoundCloud Go, which failed to set the world alight when it launched in the US in March, will cost £9.99 ($14.65) a month.
|Net revenue (in CHF million)
|Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) (in CHF million)
|Operating income (EBIT) (in CHF million)
|Net income (in CHF million)
|Swisscom TV access lines in Switzerland (in thousands as at 31 March)
|Mobile access lines in Switzerland (in thousands as at 31 March)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading