Mobile services

Eurobites: Telefónica Presses Ahead With Dividend

...despite EU veto of 3 deal. Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Proximus reorganizes in Luxembourg; Ericsson smooths mobile commerce in Rwanda; Virgin offers fiber-to-the-business-unit in Leeds.

  • Telefónica 's executive chairman, José María Álvarez-Pallete, yesterday confirmed that the operator would be paying a promised €0.75 dividend per share for the 2016 financial year, despite the apparent collapse of the sale of its Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) unit to Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (Hong Kong: 0013; Pink Sheets: HUWHY) earlier this week. Álvarez-Pallete was speaking at the company's annual general shareholders meeting, which also ratified the appointment of four new independent board members -- Ignacio Cirac, Javier Echenique, Sabina Fluxà and Peter Loschër. (See Eurobites: EU vetoes O2/3 combo and Telefónica Eyes Alternative Buyers for UK Biz – Report.)

  • Belgium's Proximus has combined its two Luxembourg subsidiaries, Telindus and Tango, to create Proximus Luxembourg, which it describes as a "convergent organization" that will offer mobile, fixed-line voice/Internet and TV services, as well as ICT services. The new organization will fall under the leadership of CEO Gérard Hoffmann.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has signed an agreement with the Rwandan government for the launch of a "national interoperability switch" which will, they say, enable payments service providers in the country to connect to one common platform to streamline the mobile payment and transfer system. The system, dubbed the Rwanda Interconnect Switch (RIS), will be based on Ericsson's M-Commerce Interconnect, a global clearing house and international remittance hub.

  • Nearly 1,500 small businesses in the northern British city of Leeds will get the chance to benefit from "ultrafast" (up to 100 Mbit/s in this case) broadband courtesy of Virgin Media Business Ltd. The cable operator, now owned by Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), says the package is specifically designed to support the needs of those businesses based in multi-tenanted buildings. A 1Gbit/s connection will be installed into the building and the businesses sharing it can choose to have either a 50Mbit/s or 100Mbit/s service. (See Eurobites: Virgin Sticks 300 Mbit/s Up to BT.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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