Eurobites: Slim Fattens Up Telekom Austria

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ofcom consults on spectrum release; Telecom Italia earnings slip; Swiss sign up to net neutrality.

  • Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecom tycoon who has been busy of late extending his empire into Europe, is investing another $750 million into Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA), Bloomberg reports. Slim's América Móvil S.A. de C.V. took control of the Austrian incumbent in July, when it paid €743.4 million (US$1.01 billion) to acquire an additional 23% of Telekom Austria's capital, and Slim intends to use his Austrian interests as a base camp for further European expansion. (See Eurobites: Carlos Slim Lands Telekom Austria.)

  • UK regulator Ofcom is launching a consultation on plans to release more spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands. The 2.3GHz band is currently being used for 4G mobile broadband, but only in countries outside Europe, including China, India and Australia.

  • Debt-laden Telecom Italia (TIM) has posted a 7.7% year-on-year drop in core earnings, to €6.58 billion ($8.1 billion), for the first nine months of 2014, Reuters reports. Economic slowdown in Brazil, where Telecom Italia operates through TIM Brasil , has not helped its cause.

  • Considering the country's history it seems rather appropriate: Telcos and IT companies in Switzerland have formed a net neutrality pact, formulating a code of conduct and setting up an ombudsman's office to which disgruntled users can complain if they feel that their service provider has contravened said code by inappropriate data blocking or throttling. However, the code does leave the service providers some wriggle room, stating that "network management for the purpose of ensuring quality and provision of services tailored to end users may continue." (See Swiss Operators Form Net Neutrality Pact.)

  • The Finnish government has sold a 2.3% stake in Telia Company to help drive down public debt, Reuters reports.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has formed a partnership with the International Rescue Committee to help provide support to those affected by natural and man-made disasters. Their initial focus will be on the use of mobile devices and apps that help tackle the Ebola crisis.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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