UK-based operator Vodafone has announced the acquisition of private equity-owned Spanish cable operator Ono for €7.2bn. Ono offers high speed broadband and pay TV services in Spain and Vodafone said that the transaction will accelerate its unified communications strategy “in a highly converged European market”.
UK operator EE has launched a managed service for retailers allowing them to use in-store mobile connectivity in a bid to enhance customer service and revenue. Connected Retail is the first solution announced as part of EE’s Total Enterprise Mobility portfolio. The portfolio will be aimed at businesses and is designed to help private and public sector organisations benefit from opportunities presented by mobile technology.
The European Parliament’s Industry and Research Committee (ITRE) has voted to approve the telecoms single market package proposed by the European Commission. The package, outlined in September 2013, aims to abolish roaming rates within the EU as well as coordinate spectrum assignment across the region. It also calls for consumer rights to be harmonised across Europe, EU-wide protection of net neutrality and simpler rules across the EU to enable companies to invest more and cross borders with their offerings.
European operator group TeliaSonera has confirmed that it is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and has also been approached by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to its operations in Uzbekistan.
European lawmakers have called for a common charger to be used for all mobile handsets sold in the EU. MEPs said that such that introducing a universal charger would reduce waste, cost and hassle for users. A draft outlining the legislation has been informally agreed with the EU’s Council of Ministers.
French conglomerate Vivendi has entered into exclusive negotiations with cable company Altice over the sale of mobile operator SFR. The move rebuffs an alternative proposal from rival operator Bouygues Telecom.
A coalition of 14 European mobile operators has warned of the damaging effects that the European Commission’s plans regarding the abolition of roaming charges could have on competition in the region.
Spanish Cable operator Ono has said it will press ahead with its planned IPO while continuing to engage with Vodafone over a possible acquisition, it has been reported. Citing two people “with knowledge of the matter”, news agency Bloomberg reported that Ono will slow preparations for the IPO, agreed at a board meeting on Thursday, to give Vodafone the option to up its previous bid, which was in the region of €7bn.
French operator Bouygues Telecom has submitted an improved offer to conglomerate Vivendi to take ownership of rival SFR.
The UK National Audit Office (NAO) has claimed that the country missed out on an extra £160m in revenue by reserving spectrum during the 4G spectrum auction in February last year.
UK operator EE has signed outbound LTE roaming agreements with Orange in France and Spain. EE, which is jointly owned by operator groups Orange and Deutsche Telekom, said that the deals are the first of a series of outbound roaming agreements. The operator intends to announce similar deals in the USA, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands in the summer.
A report on the performance of UK mobile operators that named Vodafone as having the poorest overall network performance of the country’s four operators has drawn strong criticism from the firm. Network performance monitoring specialist RootMetrics published its UK mobile network performance review Thursday, ranking Vodafone in last place for network reliability, mobile internet performance and call and text performance.
Nokia Solutions and Networks has revealed plans to open a Mobile Broadband Security Center in the German capital of Berlin. The firm said it wanted to drive awareness of and collaboration on network security between industry, public sector and end users. The new facility will begin operations in the second half of this year.
European operator group TeliaSonera has announced that two of its Dutch holding companies, TeliaSonera UTA Holding and TeliaSonera Uzbek Telecom Holding, are subject to a preliminary investigation concerning bribery and money laundering. The firm said that its operations in Uzbekistan are among the holdings of the entities.
European operator group VimpelCom has announced that it has received a letter from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requesting documents and stating that it is conducting an investigation into the firm’s operations. The group’s headquarters in Amsterdam were also visited this week by representatives of the Dutch authorities, including the Dutch public prosecutor office, which informed VimpelCom that it is the focus of a criminal investigation in the Netherlands.
The UK government has stated that it will further investigate the prospect of encouraging spectrum sharing among operators.
European operator group TeliaSonera has posted a year on year decline in net revenue and net income for the full year 2013. Net sales for the year fell three per cent from SEK104.90bn in 2012 to SEK101.7bn in 2013. Net income dropped 20.8 per cent year on year, from SEK21.168bn in 2012 to SEK16.77bn in 2013. The firm cited the uncertain macroeconomic climate in many of the markets it operates in, regulatory effects and rapidly changing customer behaviour among the challenges it faced over the course of the year.
Telecom Italia has found it can double its network’s peak data rate, and vastly increase network capacity using High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) technology from infrastructure vendor NSN.
European operator group Tele2’s Estonian subsidiary has acquired a second 2.1GHz spectrum licence from operator PGH Raadiovõrk OÜ. Tele2 said that it has doubled its 3G mobile capacity in many areas of the country as a result of the deal.
A project to build a 100Gbps, 20,000km long submarine cable system connecting Europe to Singapore has been backed by 15 operators from around the world. Infrastructure vendors NEC and Alcatel-Lucent will be supplying the equipment, with NEC deploying the segment spanning Singapore to Sri Lanka, and Alcatel-Lucent deploying the stretch from Sri Lanka to France.