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Eurobites: Vodafone Plans Triple-Play in UK

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: ARM unveils energy-saving chip; Vodacom revenues slip; Sky's half-year report.

  • Vodafone UK is about to make the move into fixed-line broadband and TV services, according to a report in the Financial Times (subscription required). The report says that Vodafone will probably provide details of its plans on Thursday, when it publishes its third-quarter results. The mobile operator acquired a large national fiber network when it bought Cable & Wireless Worldwide in 2011, and the FT says it is planning to link this network to around 1,000 of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s exchanges to reach more than 80% of the UK by the summer. With BT in the process of buying EE and Sky planning to launch mobile services, it seems true telecom convergence has finally arrived in the UK. (See Convergence: All the Rage in 2015.)

  • ARM Ltd. , the UK-based chip designer, has unveiled its latest processor, which it claims is 75% more energy-efficient than its rivals' equivalent offerings. As the Daily Telegraph reports, ARM is banking on the Cortex-A72 calming the nerves of investors, who are concerned about falling royalty rates for ARM as China, with its typically sub-$200 smartphone prices, becomes the focal point of device sales growth.

  • Third-quarter revenue at South Africa's Vodacom Pty. Ltd. was down 1.1% to 19.99 billion rand ($1.76 billion), reports Reuters, as lower mobile termination rates and fierce competition took their toll on the Vodafone-owned operator. Vodacom is currently working on acquiring Tata Communications Ltd. 's Neotel to bolster its broadband offer.

  • Shares in Sky rose more than 2% on the London exchange this morning following half-year results showing revenue up 5% to ₤5.6 billion ($8.5 billion) and operating profit up 16% to ₤675 million ($1 billion) year-on-year. The pay-TV giant garnered 204,000 new customers in the UK and Ireland during the period, and 214,000 in Germany and Austria. It is investing heavily in original content, not least its new drama series, Fortitude, a frosty stars-in-parkas affair that recently made its debut.

  • Sunrise Communications AG , the Swiss triple-play provider that is owned by CVC Capital Partners , has narrowed the guide price for its IPO, according to a Reuters report. It will now sell its shares at between 65 and 70 Swiss francs ($70-76) each in the stock market listing, which is due later this week, says the report.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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