Eurobites: Tele2 sells small German unit

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: more on Vodafone's edge deal with AWS; better times lie ahead, says Analysys Mason; blockchain gets a telecom workout.

  • Sweden's Tele2 agreed to sell its barely noticeable German business to the German management team in a deal that values it at just €22.8 million (US$27.7 million). The unit sells broadband services but made only €95 million ($116 million) in revenues for the July-to-September quarter as well as an underlying operating profit of €39 million ($47 million), down a fifth on the year-earlier figure. Tele's overall third-quarter sales were €6.6 billion ($8 billion). The German unit has been losing customers and is said by Tele2 to sell products that are in "structural decline," a reference to the copper-based products used by its broadband subscribers. Kjell Johnsen, Tele2's CEO, said the managers buying the company "are clearly best suited to manage the business going forward, while Tele2 can continue its focus on core markets and products." (See Tele2 cost-cutting cushions Q2.)

  • Vodafone UK disclosed a few more details about its forthcoming 5G edge service with AWS, announced earlier in the week. Network functions will be located alongside the AWS Wavelength platform as the operator starts its shift to 5G standalone technology in the core. Vodafone also said it plans to adopt a cloud model of charging customers based on usage. It intends to provide a range of professional and managed services alongside the edge offer. Pricing details are to be published when the service is launched in early 2021. (See Vodafone touts UK's first 5G 'edge' service with AWS.)

  • The telecom industry will return to growth next year with overall revenues up 1%, or $13 billion, on the 2020 figure, according to the latest research from UK-based Analysys Mason, a market-research company. Revenues are expected to drop 2.7%, or $43 billion, this year. While the outlook is for improvements, the analysts say global telecom revenues will not exceed 2019 levels until 2023 after the pandemic hurt parts of the industry this year, including mobile roaming. Stephen Sale, a research director at the company, said "fixed broadband has helped to offset declines in mobile revenue for many operators and will support growth in 2021."

  • Germany's Deutsche Telekom and France's Orange hailed the success of a recent blockchain project aimed at boosting IPX, a technology that facilitates international roaming. Blockchain was used on the project to support the transfer of key performance indicators (KPIs) between different providers. By sharing KPIs, the operators believe they can improve quality-of-service and develop better forecasting tools. "We now have proof that IPX service management can benefit from improved levels of efficiency and reliability using blockchain," said Emmanuel Rochas, the CEO of Orange International Carriers, in a statement. "This is both timely and relevant because the forthcoming integration of 5G into mainstream telecoms services requires efficient, reliable data transfer, so these advances will bring confidence to operators and end-users alike."

    — Iain Morris, International Editor, Light Reading

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