Mobile services

Eurobites: KPN Cashes In Its German Stake

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson forecasts growth; Orange sells Kenyan stake; posh watches get smart.

  • Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) is selling part of its interest in Telefónica Deutschland GmbH , reducing its stake from approximately 20.5% to 15.5% through a sale of 150 million of its shares in the German operator. KPN intends to distribute around 70% of the proceeds to its shareholders in 2016 in the form of a capital repayment. In 2013 KPN sold its German mobile operator, E-Plus, to Telefónica Deutschland for €8.1 billion (US$10.7 billion) in cash and stock. (See Euronews: KPN to Sell E-Plus for €8.1B.)

  • A day after setting the telecom world alight with the announcement of "Ciscosson," Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has been telling those tuning in to its capital markets day how it sees the market for its gear and know-how shaping up over the next three years or so. The vendor is expecting to grow its overall sales in the 2014-2018 period by slightly more than the expected market growth of 2-4%. Some parts of the company will grow faster, though: Ericsson is forecasting an average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% in "targeted areas" (IP networks, Cloud, OSS & BSS, TV & Media, Industry & Society) from 2014-2018, and it intends to outperform this figure. It is also planning to achieve 9 billion Swedish kroner (1.03 billion) in net savings by 2017 as a result of its efficiency program announced in November 2014. (See 'This Industry Will Be Won & Lost In the Next Three Years' – John Chambers and Cisco + Ericsson: Friends With Benefits.)

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) has agreed to sell its 70% stake in Telkom Kenya to Helios Investment Partners. Telkom Kenya is the country's incumbent fixed-line operator and is the third-placed player in the mobile market with 4 million mobile customers. No financial details of the deal were disclosed.

  • French cable/mobile operator Numericable-SFR is launching a new video streaming service, which it is optimistically describing as a rival to Netflix. The service will cost around €9.90 ($10.62) a month, reports Reuters.

  • Tag Heuer, the high-end Swiss watch-maker, has entered the smartwatch market with a $1,500 offering, reports the BBC. The watch runs the Android operating system, though it will connect with iOS handsets to a limited extent.

  • Seventy percent of the Irish population now own a smartphone, up from just 39% in 2012, according to a new survey commissioned by eir (formerly known as eir ). And tablets are on the march too, with 49% now saying they have regular access to one, up from 10% in 2012.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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