Wholesale/transport services

Eurobites: BICS bags TeleSign for $230M

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: O2 IPO rumor resurfaces; Orange teams up with Facebook on accelerator program; Telekom Austria's Q1; CityFibre's full year.

  • BICS , the wholesale carrier subsidiary of Belgium's Proximus , is to acquire TeleSign, the US-based specialist in authentication and mobile identity services. In a statement, Proximus says that the $230 million deal will help it expand its presence in the Americas and create the "first global end-to-end Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS)." TeleSign claims more than 500 customers from industry sectors such as social networks, gaming and e-commerce.

  • Will Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) become the subject of an IPO by the end of the year? That is the possibility being mooted in a Bloomberg report, which cites unnamed sources who claim that its Spanish parent has resumed work on a potential listing. It's certainly not the first time this rumor has surfaced -- Telefónica has been exploring options for its UK unit since the planned merger of O2 with Hutchison-owned Three UK was vetoed by the European Commission in April 2016 on competition grounds. (See Eurobites: Telefónica Mulls O2 UK IPO and Brexit Batters Telefónica's O2 Sale Plans.)

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) is collaborating with Facebook on a new startup accelerator program that places the focus on network infrastructure innovation. The program falls within the ambit of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), which itself is part of Facebook's grand vision for a more connected world. The startups selected to take part will be able to draw on the expertise of specialists at Orange, Facebook and the wider TIP community. (See First Year TIPs the Scale Toward Success.)

  • EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) at Telekom Austria Group rose 0.6% to €339.5 million (US$369.8 million) on revenues that rose 4.1% to €1.058 billion ($1.152 billion) in the first quarter. Group outlook for the year, including capex of approximately €725 million ($789.8 million), remains unchanged.

  • UK altnet CityFibre has enjoyed what it describes as a "transformational" fiscal full year, with turnover up 140% to £15.4 million ($19.7 million) and gross profit up 145% to £13.5 million ($17.3 million), though this translated to a net loss after tax of £12.6 million ($16.1 million). CityFibre now claims a "significant" presence in 42 cities across the UK. (See Eurobites: CityFibre Soars Following Hint of Potential Sale, and CityFibre's Gigabit Vision.)

  • The Swedish University Network (SUNET) is to use ADVA Optical Networking 's 100Gbit/s core technology in a new nationwide optical transport network. The research and education network, which stretches 8,000km across Sweden and into Norway, will deliver coherent ultra-high bandwidth connectivity to more than 100 organizations. (See SUNET Deploys ADVA's 100G Tech in National Research & Education Network.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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