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Mobile services

Eurobites: Vodafone Returns to Growth

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Iliad Q1 revenues up 6.6%; Liberty completes CWC acquisition; Nokia lands managed services deal in Ireland.

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD)'s underlying full-year revenues rose 2.3% on the previous year to £40.97 billion (US$59.31 billion), while underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) climbed 2.7% to £11.61 billion ($16.80 billion). This, said Group CEO Vittorio Colao, marked a return to organic growth in terms of both revenue and EBITDA for the first time since 2008. Within Europe, the Group achieved its first quarter of revenue growth since December 2010. Having concluded its Project Spring investment program, Vodafone now lays claim to 46.8 million 4G customers, with 4G coverage reaching 87% in Europe. On the broadband side, the operator now counts 13.4 million customers, and high-speed broadband is available to 30 million homes in Europe.

  • First-quarter revenues at French challenger Iliad (Euronext: ILD) rose 6.6% year-on-year to €1.14 billion ($1.29 billion), with the mobile element of that total, trading under the Free Mobile brand, jumping 10.4% to €483.6 million ($547.4 million) and adding 215,000 subscribers during the period. Free's share of the mobile market in France now stands at more than 17%. (See Iliad Plans Next Assault on French Rivals and Eurobites: Iliad Eyes UK Market.)

  • Cable giant Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) has completed its $7.4 billion acquisition of Cable & Wireless Communications , the UK-based telco that serves customers in Latin American and the Caribbean. CWC will become a part of Liberty's Latin American and Caribbean (LiLAC) group, and the merged group will count 10 million video, voice, broadband and mobile subscribers in more than 20 countries, from whom it expects to generate over $3.5 billion in revenues annually. (See Liberty Global to Buy CWC in $5.3B Deal.)

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has landed a five-year managed services deal with 3 Ireland . Under the terms of the agreement, Nokia will upgrade the mobile operator's radio access network operations and put forward a simplified management structure.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (NYSE: TKC) have combined to deliver what the vendor describes as the first "immersive live HD mobile experience" using LTE Broadcast over Turkcell's LTE network. The pair streamed a local-derby basketball game in Istanbul between Fenerbahce and Galatasaray Odeabank.

  • New research commissioned by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and undertaken by Navigant has named London and Bristol as the UK's leading smart cities. London scored with its transport strategy, while Bristol's achievements include the "Bristol Is Open" project, which has brought together the University of Bristol, Bristol City Council and industry partners to create a "city-scale network for innovation." (See Smart Cities: Power to the People.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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