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November 11, 2013
Also in today's EMEA roundup: BT bags Euro soccer rights; Deutsche Telekom buys GTS Central Europe; Swisscom intros 1-Gig service.
A familiar nugget of speculation has resurfaced with the Reuters report that Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is once again actively seeking a buyer for its enterprise unit as part of its ongoing restructuring program. According to the report, CEO Michel Combes has brought in Lazard to help find a buyer for the division, which AlcaLu first tried to sell in 2011. The vendor has stated that, as part of its Shift Plan, certain assets will be sold and the enterprise unit is surplus to requirements as AlcaLu focuses its efforts on "IP Networking and Ultra-Broadband Access." (See Alcatel-Lucent Builds Future Around IP and AlcaLu's Spare Limb.)
Shares in satellite broadcaster Sky fell 8.7 percent Monday morning following the news that it had been outbid by BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) for exclusive rights to broadcast live Champions League and Europa League soccer matches for three seasons from 2015. BT, which is banking on premium sports content to boost uptake of its broadband TV offer, splashed out nearly €1.08 billion (US$1.44 billion) for the rights. (See BT Pays €1B+ for Euro Soccer Rights , Confirmed: BT's Got Euroballs, and BT's Got Balls.)
Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has made a significant acquisition, taking control of GTS Central Europe for €546 million ($731 million) in a move that will be important for its mobile and enterprise services businesses and also strengthen its software-defined networking (SDN) efforts. In 2012, the GTS operations that Deutsche Telekom is buying generated revenues of €347 million ($464 million). (See Deutsche Telekom to Buy GTS CE, DT Boosts Datacenter, SDN Strategy With Acquisition, and Deutsche Telekom: A Software-Defined Operator.)
Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is seeking to capitalize on its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) rollout, and stick to the promises it made in September, by offering a 1Gbit/s broadband service for 100 Swiss francs ($108.66) per month and a 300Mbit/s service for just CHF20 ($21.73). (See Swisscom Launches 1G Broadband and Euronews: Swisscom Unveils 1Gig Plan .)
A new MVNO is entering the fray in Austria, taking advantage of the cheap wholesale access that Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (Hong Kong: 0013; Pink Sheets: HUWHY) was forced to make available as a condition of its takeover of Orange Austria, reports Reuters. The new entrant, Mass Response, is a former unit of Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA). (See Li Ka-shing in the Hunt for EU Telcos.)
The latest Ericsson Mobility Report predicts that mobile subscriptions will reach 9.3 billion worldwide by 2019, 5.6 billion of which will be for smartphones. Around 65 percent of the world's population will be covered by LTE by that time, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) reckons.
Good news for go-ahead sheep farmers and lost ramblers: UK mobile joint venture EE has switched on a 24 Mbit/s (on average) 4G broadband service in a remote corner of the northern English county of Cumbria. The network covers more than 100 square miles, from Wigton in the north to Threlkeld in the south. (See Q&A: EE Evolves Its 4G LTE Strategy.)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
Read more about:Europe
Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.
He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.
During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.
Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.
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