Eurobites: Deutsche Telekom targets rural areas with fiber JV

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: TIM tries to scotch Vivendi rumors; Ofcom tweaks repeater rules; TDC's Q3.

  • Deutsche Telekom has formed a joint venture with an Australian investor, IFM, which it hopes will accelerate its fiber rollout. As Reuters reports, the deal sees IFM buying a 50% stake in DT's fiber-optic unit, GlasfaserPlus, for €0.9 billion (US$1.04 billion). The report says that the joint venture will start rolling out fiber networks next year, creating around 4 million connections in rural areas of Germany by 2028.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) has issued a response to Thursday's rumors that Vivendi, the French media giant that holds a 28% stake in the Italian incumbent operator, was unhappy with the performance of the CEO and wanted to play a greater role in the company's governance. In a statement, TIM said: "With reference to today's press rumors about possible corporate structures relating to the network, TIM specifies that the subject has not been discussed in the Board of Directors nor have any decisions been made in this regard."

  • Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, has changed its rules on the use of repeaters to improve a poor mobile phone signal indoors, extending the range of static indoor repeaters available for consumers to buy and install themselves without the need for a special license. Specifically, it is allowing the use of two additional types of repeater, namely provider-specific repeaters and multi-operator repeaters. Ofcom has published a list of repeaters that it believes comply with the technical requirements of its license exemption regime. We can only apologize for repeatedly repeating the word repeaters.

  • Danish operator TDC saw third-quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) rise 0.9% year-on-year, to 1.65 billion Danish kroner ($255 million), on revenue that rose 0.3%, to DKK4 billion ($620 million). The decline in demand for landline telephony, DSL broadband and some types of TV packages was partly offset by the growing appetite for 5G, high-speed broadband and digital streaming services, said the operator. TDC maintains its previously announced full-year outlook.

  • UK-based utilities company United Living has acquired Great British Communications, which describes itself as a specialist provider of acquisition, design, build, procurement, installation, commissioning, maintenance and repair services to mobile network operators. The GBC brand will be retained. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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