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Eurobites: BT Rules Out Global Services Sale

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Huawei does deal on small cell sites; Telkom profits slump; France becoming R&D magnet.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has told the Daily Telegraph that it has no intention of selling off its Global Services outsourcing unit, despite recent internal discussions about doing just that. Global Services is BT's lowest-margin unit, and it is thought that selling it off could raise as much as ₤10 billion for the carrier.

  • Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has followed in the footsteps of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) by striking a deal with JCDecaux, the French firm that controls thousands of high-profile advertising sites in city streets and transport hubs around the world. The deal is intended to give Huawei more options when it comes to working with mobile operators on small cell deployments. (See Alcatel-Lucent Forges Street Furniture Partnership.)

  • South African operator Telkom SA Ltd. (NYSE/Johannesburg: TKG) saw first-half profits fall 62% year-on-year to 1.11 billion rand ($100 million), reports Bloomberg, as falling voice revenues and restructuring costs took their toll. Further job cuts are being planned, while unprofitable stores are being closed.

  • UK quad-play provider TalkTalk has switched MVNO partners, moving from Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) to Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) as it attempts to bolster the mobile element of its quad-play offer. The multi-year agreement will cover 2G, 3G and 4G services.

  • France's tax arrangements are making it an increasingly popular R&D base for telecom firms, according to a Bloomberg report. Huawei, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Gemalto are just three of the vendors that have been attracted to France largely as a result of the generous tax breaks it offers on R&D spend.

  • The Consumers Association, an influential consumer lobby group in the UK, is calling for tighter guidelines on broadband advertising, revealing that companies are promising "up to" download speeds that are guaranteed for just 10% of their customers. This is in line with current broadband advertising guidelines in the UK, but the Association wants advertised speeds to be available to the majority of a provider's customers, and for rather vague terms such as "superfast" to be more clearly defined. (See 'Up To' No Good.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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