Mobile services

Eurobites: Bouygues Seeks €2B Comp Payout From French State

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: European Commission poses questions on 3/O2 deal; Nokia and Allot combine for Swisscom; 3G for Gaza and West Bank.

  • Bouygues Telecom , the operator that this week was reported to be in Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s takeover sights, is seeking more than €2 billion (US$2.2 billion) from the French state in compensation for what it says was unfair competition from rival Iliad's entry into the mobile market in 2012. As Reuters reports, Bouygues believes regulator Arcep failed to adequately oversee a roaming agreement between Iliad and Orange. (See Eurobites: Orange in M&A Talks With Bouygues – Report and Iliad Disrupts the French Mobile Scene.)

  • More details have emerged of the European Commission 's investigation into the proposed takeover of Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) by Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (Hong Kong: 0013; Pink Sheets: HUWHY), the Financial Times reports (subscription required). The FT has seen a document that has been sent to affected parties, in which the Commission poses a set of questions related to four key areas: retail competition, sales channels, infrastructure and the provision of wholesale services. Since Margrethe Vestager took charge of the Commission's competition watchdog, it is thought that the regulator is taking a harder line on deals that reduce the number of players in any given market from four to three -- and the O2/3 deal, if approved, would do exactly that in the UK. (See UK Needs O2/3 to Challenge BT/EE – Analyst.)

  • Nokia Networks and Allot Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT) have joined forces to deliver to Swisscom a system designed to assure the quality of cloud services. Allot has supplied its Cloud Access Optimization system, while Nokia Networks acted as the systems integrator. "The Allot solution, delivered together with Nokia Networks, has the ability to virtualize and flexibly manage physical access resources so our enterprise customers can match cloud application performance to user and business requirements and enjoy a better overall user experience," stated Thomas Wacker, Swisscom's Teamleader of Datacenter Core Networks, in the official press release. (See Nokia, Allot Team to Deliver Cloud QoS to Swisscom .)

  • Palestinians are going to get an upgraded mobile network, albeit a 3G one, following an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, reports Reuters. Palestinian operators PalTel Corp. and Wataniya Telecom have earmarked a combined $150 million for the upgrade from 2G, with services expected in the West Bank by the second half of 2016 and in Gaza sometime later.

  • Danish incumbent TDC A/S (Copenhagen: TDC) is reorganizing itself, creating three Danish retail business, namely Online Brands, Households Brands and TDC Business, where there used to be just two. A number of staff changes have also been announced as part of the reorganization. For details of those, see this press release.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is to deploy Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD)'s Steelhead acceleration software in the core of its global network as part of its "Cloud of Clouds" vision. The new service will use NFV to enable BT's cloud customers to take advantage of broader virtualized functions, such as application performance management, according to BT.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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