Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Oi rejects dos Santos bid; happy TalkTalk; KPN ditches set-top box.
Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) used a results call to announce that it was launching a fixed-line UK broadband and TV service in the spring of 2015, buffing up its quad-play credentials in the face of bundled competition from the likes of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) and EE , reports Bloomberg. Vodafone has already executed a similar strategy in some of its other territories, including Spain and Germany. The news comes only one day after BT
announced an aggressive bundled services marketing campaign. As for its half-year results, group revenues were up 8.9% to £20.75 billion (US$32.9 billion), while EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) was up 5.5% to £5.88 billion ($9.32 billion). Investors liked the numbers, as Vodafone's stock added 6.7% to 221.7 pence on the London Stock Exchange in Tuesday morning trading.
Brazil's Oi has firmly rebuffed the €1.20 billion ($1.49 billion) bid from Angolan entrepreneur Isabel dos Santos for a slice of the combined Oi/Portugal Telecom carrier, reports Reuters, calling it "unacceptable." Oi prefers to deal with France's Altice, which has shown interest in Oi's Portuguese assets.
TalkTalk , the UK broadband and pay-TV provider, has posted decent growth in its half-year results, with revenue up 3.3% year-on-year to £871 million ($1.38 billion) and EBITDA up 44.7% to £110 million ($174 million). TV was particularly strong, with more than 300,000 net additions, while more than 25,000 broadband subscribers and 64,000 mobile subs were added in the same period. Nine percent of TalkTalk's customers now opt for its mobile offer.
Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) is to launch IPTV sans set-tops, according to a report on Broadband TV News. KPN has worked with SMiT, a conditional access specialist, to create a CI Plus module that allows KPN to deliver its services directly to selected smart TVs. The commercial launch of the service could happen in the second half of 2015.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading