Tue, Mar. 10, 9:10 PM
- It's a headline you've heard a few times before, but VimpelCom (VIP +1.7%) and Hutchison Whampoa (OTCPK:HUWHY -1.2%) are in the advanced stages of merging their Italian units, the Financial Times reports.
- For more than a year, the two firms have been discussing how to merge VimpelCom's Wind Telecomunicazioni and Hutchison's Three Italia, the third- and fourth-largest of four competitors in Italy. But a breakthrough may mean Hutchison might get a 51% share of the combination and finally bring it to closure.
- Sound familiar? In a four-competitor market, the smallest two have launched a damaging price war that's pressured everyone in the market. If the two merge, they'd have about a third of the space, roughly equal to that of Telecom Italia (TI -3.4%) and of Vodafone (VOD -1.7%).
- Previously: VimpelCom, Hutchison reportedly closer to merging Italy operations (Feb. 17 2015)
Fri, Feb. 27, 6:21 PM
- Dropbox and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) have made a deal to bring Dropbox's file storage to the wireless carrier's customers -- a key market for Dropbox, who get 70% of its users and about half its revenue outside the U.S.
- With more than 440M subscribers as of year-end, Vodafone can provide a boost to Dropbox, which currently sports more than 300M users. Eventually, the carrier's Android phones will come pre-installed with Dropbox. For its part, aside from any payment considerations, Vodafone can offer its users 25 free GB of storage.
- Terms of the deal were undisclosed, though Dropbox's Marc Leibowitz says it's not just a "pay for play."
- The rollout is scheduled to happen for most Vodafone customers by the end of 2015.
- Vodafone Q4 earnings
Tue, Feb. 24, 8:02 PM
- U.K. mobile firms are likely looking at a license fee increase as regulator Ofcom follows its government mandate to ensure spectrum fees reflect market value.
- EE (ORAN, OTCQX:DTEGY) -- on its way to becoming part of BT Group (NYSE:BT) -- Three (OTCPK:HUWHY), O2 (NYSE:TEF) and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) could see fees for the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands rising to a total £223.3M/year ($345.5M/year) -- up from the combined £64.4M/year they pay now.
- Considering proportional increases, EE might see its current £24.9M/year rise to £75.6M.
- Related mobile stocks were up today, with the exception of Vodafone, which saw a downgrade from Bank of America: ORAN +1.7%; OTCQX:DTEGY +1.9%; TEF +1.4%; OTCPK:HUWHY +0.3%; VOD -3.3%.
- Previously: Vodafone lower after BofA downgrade (Feb. 24 2015)
Tue, Feb. 24, 3:00 PM
- Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) ADRs are trading 3.4% lower in the wake of a downgrade by Bank of America, to Underperform from Neutral.
- That's despite a reiteration today by JPMorgan Chase of its Overweight rating, and its price target on London shares of £265/share. (Vodafone closed in London today at £226.52, -2.7%.)
- ADR shares are trading at $34.76 and are down 15.6% over the past year.
Fri, Feb. 20, 9:23 AM
- Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) -- in a tussle over German customers with Unitymedia KabelBW (NASDAQ:LBTYA) and Kabel Deutschland (NASDAQ:VOD) -- is planning to offer fast Internet to another 5.9M homes.
- The move to expand its VDSL network there means raising the bar on Deutsche Telekom's 2018 plans -- to have 80% of homes connected to fast Internet, up from 65%.
- Kabel Deutschland owner Vodafone has been focusing on broadband as it plays catch-up on bundling, and it's a frequent subject of chatter as a Liberty Global buyout partner.
Wed, Feb. 18, 11:14 AM
- In more details from 13Fs: John Paulson's Paulson & Co. closed its entire stake in Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) by Dec. 31.
- Paulson had a stake of 26.7M shares ($927.6M at today's price), which made up 3.65% of the fund's portfolio.
- The fund did add nearly 320K shares to its T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) stake.
- Paulson also added to stakes in Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), boosting that stake by 18%, and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV), adding 9% to that stake.
- VOD shares are down 2.1% today, and are now up just 1.6% YTD.
Thu, Feb. 12, 3:01 PM
- Top British wireless firm EE -- which has agreed to a $19B takeover by BT Group (NYSE:BT) -- is committing to a £1.5B (about $2.3B) investment in its 4G network, with particular emphasis resting on rural UK upgrades -- which never hurt when it comes to regulatory approvals.
- The company expects its 4G footprint to surpass its 2G footprint by 2017 and reach 99% of the populace. The rural investments are targeting voice/data enhancements for 90% of UK geography.
- Competitor Vodafone (VOD +1.8%) was already under pressure, behind on an entry to UK's broadband market, but its network was freshly rated inferior to EE's, increasing the heat for continued investment.
- RootMetrics called Vodafone's and O2's speeds "much slower" outside metro areas.
- Previously: EE tops network mobile tests in UK; Three close behind (Feb. 11 2015)
- Previously: BT Group up 6.2% as it seals $19B EE purchase (Feb. 05 2015)
Wed, Feb. 11, 3:36 PM
- Data firm RootMetrics recently pronounced AT&T and T-Mobile tops in U.S. network testing, but for the UK, it's EE and Three beating out O2 (TEF -1.8%) and lastly Vodafone (VOD -0.6%).
- EE ((ORAN -1%), (OTCQX:DTEGY -1.2%)) -- freshly headed into a takeover by BT Group (BT +1.7%) -- was first in five of six categories and tied with Three in the sixth (network reliability).
- Three (owned by Hutchison Whampoa, which is pursuing a takeover of O2) was a close second to EE and its strong showing in network speed was impressive considering its 4G footprint isn't as broad as that of competitors.
- Overall: "The networks are getting better, period. We saw improvements across the board in speed, mobile internet performance, and network reliability."
- Previously: BT Group up 6.2% as it seals $19B EE purchase (Feb. 05 2015)
- Previously: FT: Telefonica set to sell O2 to Hutchison for $15B+ (updated) (Jan. 22 2015)
Thu, Feb. 5, 9:54 AM
- BT Group (NYSE:BT) running fast at +6.2% today in the wake of news of its agreement to buy EE for £12.5 billion ($18.98 billion) in cash and stock.
- The combo of the country's biggest fixed-line telecom and biggest mobile operator allows for bundle sales of communications services, and gets BT more than 30M customers (24.5M direct mobile, 834K broadband) not to mention a phalanx of 580 retail stores.
- The UK has been slow to offer customers "quad" bundles of fixed telephony, mobile, broadband and TV -- but it's getting there.
- BT expects the deal will pass regulatory muster and go through by the end of its fiscal 2016.
- Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), playing catch-up in the UK broadband market, will still press for heavier regulation of a BT-EE combination that will have significant market share. “The important thing is that the regulator has an eye [on] how the new, large BT continues to grant access to their network,” said Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao.
Thu, Feb. 5, 4:22 AM
- A steady recovery in Europe helped Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) stem the rate of sales decline in its third quarter, as revenue rose 13.5% to £10.88B, beating market forecasts of £10.4B.
- Group service revenue, a key metric based on telecom-services sales, fell 0.4% excluding acquisitions and disposals, and on a constant currency basis. That compares with a 4.8% decline in the same period last year.
- Vodafone also reiterated its fiscal-year guidance of adjusted operating profit of £11.6B-£11.9B.
- VOD +1.2% premarket
Wed, Feb. 4, 9:36 PM
- BT Group (NYSE:BT) has reportedly put the finishing touches on its £12.5B purchase of EE, the UK's largest mobile operator.
- EE's joint-venture partners each get their piece of the deal: Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) will get a board slot and 12% stake in BT, and Orange SA (NYSE:ORAN) gets more cash and a 4% BT stake.
- The pressure's now on Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), who recently abandoned an effort to get BT broken up and now must try a square-one entry into the British broadband market even as competitors are consolidating (Hutchison Whampoa plans a £10.25B buyout of O2).
- Vodafone will likely pursue forcing the now-giant BT/EE to sell spectrum. “Whatever the regulatory approach it is crucially important that all providers must be able to compete effectively with a combined BT-EE," says a Vodafone spokesman.
- Previously: BT Group profits up; pensions weighing on firm (Jan. 30 2015)
Thu, Jan. 29, 6:44 PM
- In an SEC filing, Elephant Talk (NYSEMKT:ETAK) notes the resignation of Floris van den Broek as VP of Mobile Platform Activities, and names two co-presidents to the role: current CTO Martin Zuurbier and Armin Hessler.
- Zuurbier gives up his other role as COO; Hessler joins the firm from Vodafone's (NASDAQ:VOD) data-center unit.
- The moves are effective April 1.
Thu, Jan. 22, 5:20 PM
- The FT reports Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) is "poised to agree a cash deal of more than £10bn ($15B)" to sell British mobile carrier O2 to Hutchison Whampoa, owner of rival carrier Three. A deal could be announced "as early as Friday morning."
- The paper notes the deal would create the U.K.'s largest mobile carrier, claiming 31M+ subs and a 41% market share. EE, which BT is in talks to acquire from Orange (NYSE:ORAN) and Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY), claims a 32% share, and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) a 24% share.
- U.K. telecom regulator is bound to closely scrutinize a sale, given its historical preference for wanting four mobile carriers and Three's history of aggressive pricing.
- Telefonica/Hutchison reportedly are looking to argue BT, which (like Vodafone) is looking to offer quad-play bundles, is "already changing the boundaries of how telecoms should be judged alongside TV and broadband services." The FT states regulators are likely to push for O2/Three to sell some of its spectrum for use by MVNOs such as TalkTalk, Tesco Mobile, and Virgin Media.
- TEF +0.6% AH. An O2 sale would further Telefonica's efforts to lower its huge debt load. The carrier's net debt stood at €41.2B ($46.8B) as of September.
- Previously: Hutchison in talks for O2 mobile network
- Update: Hutchison says it's in "exclusive talks" to buy O2 from Telefonica for over £10B. Telefonica has confirmed.
Mon, Jan. 19, 4:03 AM
- Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) earmarked €23.5B ($27B) in the next five years for its German landline and mobile networks, small cells and the digitalization of infrastructure, CEO Timotheus Hoettges said on Sunday.
- The spending puts pressure on Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), whose CEO Vittorio Colao said in November that he wants to reduce outlays when he completes a £19B ($29B) global network upgrade program dubbed Project Spring next year.
Thu, Jan. 15, 6:51 AM
Mon, Jan. 5, 9:57 AM
- With Greece and oil-related fears once more taking a toll, The Euro Stoxx 50 is down 2.1%, and many continental indices posting ~2% declines. U.S.-traded European tech and telecom names are performing much the same way.
- Tech decliners: NOK -4.2%. ALU -3.3%. SAP -2.9%. STM -2%.
- Telecom decliners: VOD -2.4%. TEF -4%. ORAN -3.6%. TI -2.2%. PT -6%.
Vodafone Group PLC is engaged in providing voice and data communications services for all types of customers. The Company has presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific region and the United States.
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