Test & Measurement

Euronews: July 27

8:50 AM -- Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN), and Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) are just some of those in the spotlight in today's roundup of European telecom news.
  • UK ISPs get a hammering in a new report commissioned by regulator Ofcom , which reveals in stark tabular form how Britain's DSL broadband providers are comprehensively failing to live up to their advertising when it comes to actual connection speeds. (See ISPs Shamed by UK Broadband Speed Tests and Ofcom Tests Broadband Speeds.)

  • In fact, it's only cable company Virgin Media that emerges from the Ofcom study with any credit. To add to its broadband offerings, Virgin has today announced it is to trial superfast broadband delivered over electricity poles in the Welsh village of Crumlin -- the first time existing commercial infrastructure has been used for this "aerial" fiber deployment method. Earlier this year, the cable operator announced an aerial fiber trial using purpose-built infrastructure. (See Virgin Trials FTTH and Virgin Trials Aerial FTTx.)

  • Perhaps BT would be better off sticking to mobile broadband -- rumor has it that the UK giant is planning to launch a femtocell service offering, using the same femto devices as Vodafone through an MVNO relationship. (See Rumor: BT Preps Femto Offer.)

  • Talking of Vodafone, the UK-based mobile behemoth holds its annual general meeting today. According to a Reuters report, the operator's management team is getting support from a "top ten investor," which will come as welcome respite following recent criticism from other leading shareholders, namely The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. (See Euronews: July 22.)

  • A world away from besuited fatcats, dividend-obsessed investors, and stuffy conference halls, the European Athletics Championships start in Barcelona today, and Telia Carrier is delivering the action in glorious high definition to the Swedish audience for broadcaster TV4. Viewers will no doubt be praying that home-grown heptathlon legend Carolina Kluft can pull off a miracle comeback and win them gold yet again. (See TeliaSonera IC Carries HD Content.)

  • KPN reported its second-quarter results, with revenues of €3.35 billion (US$4.36 billion), down 1.7 percent from a year ago, and net income of €465 million ($605 million), up by 26 percent. While the Dutch incumbent’s domestic revenues continue to dip, by 2.3 percent year-on-year, its international mobile operations (in Germany, Belgium, Spain, and France) are generating revenue growth, up 1.4 percent. (See KPN Reports Q2.)

  • Over in France, operator Bouygues Telecom is preparing for a smartphone-fueled "data deluge" (a case of "après moi, le data déluge," perhaps?) by selecting Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) to provide it with an IP/MPLS-based mobile backhaul solution. Every home should have one. (See Bouygues Backhauls With AlcaLu.)

    — Paul Rainford, freelance editor, special to Light Reading

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