Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Pompeo heads for London to sound the Huawei alarm (again); Proximus revenue down in Q1; big-buttoned phones still rockin' it for Doro.
In what will be seen as a significant challenge to incumbent Telecom Italia, Open Fiber has extended its network fiber access agreement with Swisscom-owned Fastweb to 80 Italian cities, Reuters reports. The deal will include what are described as "uneconomic areas," where Open Fiber is rolling out broadband through a process of state tenders. Open Fiber uses the ducts of Enel, the state-owned utility company that, together with state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), owns Open Fiber. (See Eurobites: Italy's Open Fiber Secures €3.5B Loan for Mega-Rollout.)
As if she didn't have enough on her plate with the ongoing Brexit debacle, UK Prime Minister Theresa May now faces getting well and truly mired in the controversy surrounding the potential use of Huawei equipment and expertise in the rollout of the country's 5G network. As the backwash from this week's sacking of the Defence Secretary over Huawei-related leaks from the National Security Council threatens to submerge the UK government's more urgent business, the Daily Telegraph now reports (paywall applies) that Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump's US Secretary of State, is coming to London next Wednesday to once again bang the drum about how dangerous it could be for the UK, in the eyes of Team Trump at least, to use Huawei in its next-gen network. It sounds like it's shaping up to be another long week for Prime Minister May… (See Eurobites: Huaweigate Triggers Political Earthquake in UK.)
Belgium's Proximus saw domestic underlying revenue fall 2.25%, to €1.096 billion ($1.222 billion) in the first quarter, despite EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) growing by the same percentage. A decline in handset sales was largely blamed for the revenue decline, and because of this, Proximus has taken the decision to "refocus" its revenue outlook to "domestic revenue excluding terminals."
It's not all about high-end smartphones with three cameras and a pocket-busting price tag. Doro, the Swedish maker of feature phones aimed mainly at the older market, has enjoyed a successful first quarter, with net sales up 11% year-on-year to 466.2 million Swedish kroner ($48.5 million). A closer look at the figures, however, reveals that Doro's principal growth area is actually services, such as its Welbeing subsidiary in the UK, which sells a monitoring system that helps elderly people contact friends or family at a time of crisis.