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Mobile services

Eurobites: Telecom Italia Offloads Towers

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Slim sells off KPN shares; TalkTalk walks the Gigabit walk, in York; Finland tops mobile data survey.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) is to sell up to 40% of its INWIT towers unit through an IPO, according to a Reuters report. INWIT operates 11,500 tower sites for Telecom Italia and others.

  • Mexican moneybags Carlos Slim has raised around €3 billion (US$3.3 billion) from the sale of shares owned by his América Móvil S.A. de C.V. group in Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN), reports the Financial Times (subscription required). Slim attempted a takeover of KPN a couple of years ago but it failed in the face of opposition from a foundation associated with KPN, which exercised an option to award itself around 50% of the voting stock. (See Euronews: Slim Abandons KPN Bid.)

  • UK broadband provider TalkTalk has confirmed to Light Reading that it will offer 1Gbit/s services to consumers in York, where it is building out a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network, from "day one" of the launch. The company, which operates the UK's fourth-biggest broadband network, is rolling out the FTTH network in partnership with Sky , the number-two broadband retailer, and CityFibre , a networks business that already maintains some fiber-optic infrastructure in York. Earlier this week, TalkTalk and Sky unveiled Ultra Fibre Optic (or UFO) as the brand name for the new service and launched a website where customers can register their interest in it. "We need to achieve a certain level of take-up for this to work," said a spokesperson for TalkTalk. The consortium's plan is to cover 20,000 premises during an initial phase of the rollout, but TalkTalk's spokesperson would not share details of pricing or indicate when services will go live at this stage. We'll keep pestering. (See Eurobites: Orange Gets EC Nod on Jazztel.)

  • A survey by Finnish consultancy Rewheel has revealed the wide disparity in the number of 4G data gigabytes that €35 ($39) per month will get you in different EU countries across Europe. The Nordic and Baltic countries come out on top, offering at least 20GB, while Germany and Spain can only muster 1GB and 3GB respectively.

    Want mobile data? You're better off in Finland. (Source: Rewheel)
    Want mobile data? You're better off in Finland. (Source: Rewheel)

  • Sigfox is partnering with T-Mobile Czech Republic a.s. and Blue Cell Network to develop an Internet of Things network in the Czech Republic. A pilot will run in Prague, and the hope is that it will be rolled out across the country if this proves successful.

  • Scottish businesses are feeling hard done by when it comes to Internet services, according to a new survey commissioned by CityFibre, the UK fiber infrastructure provider. More than half of "IT decision makers" questioned in the survey feel that the country's broadband infrastructure is inferior to other parts of the UK. The findings, funnily enough, coincide with the official launch of Edinburgh as a Gigabit City next week -- a project with which CityFibre is closely involved. (See Eurobites: Scotland Gets a Gigabit City.)

  • Spotify , the Sweden-based music streaming service, is introducing video and radio podcasts into its mix, reports the BBC. It has also introduced technology that seeks to match the music tracks to the activities users engage in during their day -- for example, a running mode is intended to match the music streamed to the pace of the subscriber via feedback from the subscriber's smartphone's sensors. Here at Eurobites Towers, where Spotify frequently gets an airing, we prefer the "sitting hunched in front of the laptop" mode.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • kq4ym 5/25/2015 | 7:58:49 PM
    Re: Moneybags Pretty amazing what the world's richest man has access to and the disparity between him and us. And what about "The Nordic and Baltic countries come out on top, offering at least 20GB, while Germany and Spain can only muster 1GB and 3GB respectively" for $39. That seems like a wild disparity, and what would cause that?
    Mitch Wagner 5/21/2015 | 12:06:59 PM
    Moneybags Carlos Slim:

    mendyk 5/21/2015 | 11:42:34 AM
    Sensor engaged C'mon, Paul -- I know you're eager to hear what Spotify comes up with when you are in "picking wildflowers in a dewy, sunlit meadow" mode.
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