Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telecom Italia clarifies debt forecast; Telefónica Tech revamps cybersecurity offer; IKO Media Group bounces off Eutelsat satellite.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

March 11, 2024

2 Min Read
Altice logo on a smartphone
(Source: Timon Schneider/Alamy Stock Photo)
  • French prosecutors have launched a preliminary investigation into corruption allegations at Altice, following the arrest of company co-founder Armando Pereira in Portugal last July. As the Financial Times reports (paywall applies), the French probe is focusing on alleged money-laundering offenses and subsequent attempts to cover them up. When the news broke of Pereira's arrest last year, Patrick Drahi, the controlling shareholder of Altice International, claimed that it came as a "huge shock" and "huge disappointment" to him. "If these allegations are true, I feel betrayed and deceived by a small group of individuals, including one of our oldest colleagues," he added.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) has sought to clarify its financial position after the announcement of its  "Free to Run" industrial plan last week led to a 14% slump in its share price. Investors were apparently spooked by analyst nervousness over the debt-level outlook. In its latest statement, TIM says that net debt after the expected offloading of its "NetCo" fixed-line network will reach  approximately €7.5 billion (US$8.2 billion) at the end of 2024. As of December 31, 2023, the debt stood at approximately €6.1 billion ($6.6 billion).

  • Telefónica Tech's UK and Ireland unit has launched a new cybersecurity services brand, NextDefense. According to Telefónica Tech, NextDefense focuses on managed security services (MSS), which the company delivers from its network of security operations centers (SOCs), one of which is located in Belfast.

  • Switzerland's IKO Media Group is to use Eutelsat satellite capacity to bring a new esports TV package, eClutch, to screens across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The platform initially includes ten esports and gaming channels, with more due to join in the near future.

  • Saudi Telecom Company (STC) used 18 fixed and portable towers to provide a temporary 5G network via at the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, which bored everyone senseless over the weekend with yet another easy win for Max Verstappen.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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