Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Zain Q3 profits down 18%; Vivendi ups stake again in Telecom Italia; Russia's Fridman sees Brazilian opportunity.
UK regulator Ofcom has confirmed that it is to auction 190MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands in early 2016. This short-reach spectrum, which has been freed up by the Ministry of Defence, will enable the operators to expand their available capacity for 4G. The spectrum was originally planned to be auctioned off in 2015, but the sale has been put back, possibly so that Ofcom can see how the ongoing deals between BT/EE and O2/3 play out.
Kuwaiti operator Zain Group has seen an 18% fall in third-quarter profit, down from 46 million dinars (US$151 million) a year ago to KWD38 million ($125.5 million) this time round, reports Reuters. A combination of tougher competition, service interruptions, higher costs and foreign exchange volatility has been blamed for the slump.
Vivendi , the French media conglomerate that last year sold mobile operator SFR to Numericable, has increased its holding in Telecom Italia (TIM) , from 14.9% to 20.3%. (See Vivendi to Sell SFR to Altice/Numericable and Eurobites: Vivendi to Up Stake in Telecom Italia.)
An investment firm controlled by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman may be about to invest up to $4 billion in Brazilian operator Oi, according to a Reuters report. The investment would apparently depend on Oi combining with rival TIM Participacoes S.A. .
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading