Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Com Hem socked by Boxer under-performance; Samsung buys Spanish AI startup; KPN invests in CUJO; Colt tunes in to blockchain for LSO Sonata.
Allison Kirkby's final set of quarterly results as CEO of Sweden's Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO) -- before she heads across the bridge to Denmark's TDC A/S (Copenhagen: TDC) -- have proved a worthy swansong, with Q3 adjusted earnings up 12% year-on-year to 2 billion Swedish kronor (US$223 million) on revenue that climbed 7% to SEK6.5 billion ($725 million). On the strength of these results, which take into account the imminent acquisition of cable operator Com Hem, Tele2 upgraded its full-year guidance on adjusted EBITDA, predicting a figure in the range between SEK7.0 and 7.2 billion (previously between SEK6.8 and 7.1 billion). (See Eurobites: Kirkby Leaves Tele2 for Denmark's TDC (And Not BT) and Sweden's Tele2 to Swallow Com Hem in $3.3B Deal.)
As for Com Hem AB , whose last day of trading is November 1, it saw a 0.2% year-on-year decline in its third quarter, largely driven by a 7% decline in revenue at its Boxer broadband unit. However, group underlying EBITDA increased by 4.2% to SEK795 million ($88.7 million), with the number of consumer subscribers rising by 7,000 to an all-time high of 999,000.
Zhilabs, an "AI-powered" networks analytics startup based in Barcelona, is to be bought by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC). The South Korean giant, which is making a big push into AI and related areas, is planning to use Zhilabs' knowhow to help it launch new services in industrial IoT and smart cars. Youngky Kim, the head of Samsung's networks business, said the deal would also help it meet new carrier demands as traffic levels grow. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. (See Samsung to Pump $22.3B Into AI, 5G, New Tech.)
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Also hoping to get in on the AI act is KPN Ventures, the investment arm of the Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN). It has provided growth capital to US-based CUJO AI, which uses machine-learning algorithms to help network operators protect the connected homes of their customers.
The UK's Colt Technology Services Group Ltd is combining with Zeetta Networks, a company that has its roots in the University of Bristol, to deliver a proof-of-concept demonstration of a blockchain-based offering that enables network carriers to buy and sell network services in a secure, distributed marketplace. The "Blockchain-Based Carrier Marketplace for LSO Sonata" -- branding guys, you totally nailed it! -- will be put through its paces on October 29 at the MEF18 show in Los Angeles.
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has launched a new service that offers organizations direct access to the Google Cloud Platform, with interface speeds ranging from 50 Mbit/s to 2 Gbit/s. BT Cloud Connect for Google Cloud is currently available at Google Cloud's Ashburn and Chicago points of presence in the US, as well as in Frankfurt, Germany and London.