Mobile services

Eurobites: Ex-VimpelCom Boss Held Over Uzbek Deals

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telefónica sees recovery in Spain; Telecom Italia disappoints; DT's down on the Farm 2.0.

  • The former CEO of VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP), Jo Lunder, is being held by Norwegian police on suspicion of corruption in connection with the Russian operator's dealings in Uzbekistan. As Reuters reports, Lunder will today appear before a judge who will decide whether the police can continue to keep him in custody while they investigate further. He was apprehended by police late Wednesday evening, at Oslo airport. Lunder left VimpelCom in March 2015, and is currently chief executive of the Fredriksen Group, which is involved in shipping and related industries.

  • Telefónica 's Spanish unit achieved year-on-year revenue growth in the third quarter, climbing just 0.2% to €2.99 billion (US$3.2 billion) -- the first time it has recorded year-on-year growth in the third quarter since 2008. OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization), however, declined 2.9% in organic terms, to €1.33 billion ($1.42 billion), hit by the cost of TV content, amongst other things. In Germany, the carrier saw revenues decline by 1.1% year-on-year, to €1.97 billion ($2.11 billion). Overall, and with its Latin American businesses showing growth, Telefónica increased net income by 69.6% to €4.57 billion ($4.9 billion) in the first nine months of the year. For more details, see this press release.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) 's revenues for the first nine months were 3.9% down year-on-year, to €14.9 billion ($15.9 billion), and EBITDA also slipped, by 4.8% discounting one-off charges. In the results statement, CEO Marco Patuano was keen to point to an improved performance in mobile in the third quarter, revenues from which increased 1.5% year-on-year. Investors weren't that impressed, with Telecom Italia's share price dropping by more than 3% in Friday morning trading in Frankfurt.

  • The European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) has appointed Lise Fuhr as its new director-general, effective January 2016. Fuhr, a Dane, is currently COO of DK Hostmaster and DIFO, the company managing the .dk domain name. The organization is also welcoming BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) into the fold -- which sort of makes you wonder why it wasn't a member already.

  • UK broadband provider TalkTalk has been uncovering more details about the hack of its website on October 21, and it seems the number of customers whose personal details were accessed is not as great as was first thought. TalkTalk has around 4 million customers, but the number of customers whose details were stolen is just over 156,000, and, of these, 15,656 had their bank account numbers and sort codes accessed. (See TalkTalk Plummets on Security Woes.)

  • Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) 's third-quarter performance in western Europe was led by its German operation, which delivered 7% rebased revenue growth, its best growth in six quarters. In the UK, Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), now owned by Liberty, achieved 5% rebased revenue growth, driven primarily by improvement in ARPU (average revenue per user).

  • Cattle rustlers beware: Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) is dragging the world of agriculture into the era of "Farm 2.0," which involves "intelligent fences," remote farm surveillance in real time and mobile control of agricultural machinery, amongst other things. The carrier will be displaying its wares in the agricultural, er, field next week at the Agritechnica Trade Fair in Hanover.

    Farm 1.0 (Image by SoCal)
    Farm 1.0 (Image by SoCal)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • nasimson 11/9/2015 | 8:23:58 AM
    Vimpelcom Vimpelcom and Telenor both got a lot of bad press due to Uzbek deal. It seems that bad press is not going away any time soon. Still it seems that Vimpelcom's aggression towards acquisitions is not dampening. They just acquired a 4G operator: Warid from AbuDhabi Telecom.
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