Kip Meek confirmed as Project Canvas chairman

Kip Meek confirmed as Project Canvas chairman
(Telecompaper) The partners in Project Canvas, the proposed joint venture between the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, Talk Talk and Arqiva to build a standards based, open internet-connected TV environment, have announced the appointment of Kip Meek as Non-Executive Chairman. As Chairman, Kip Meek will lead the Board of the new venture and oversee the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer, who will have day to day operational responsibility for the new organisation. He will step down from his full time role at Ingenious Media and his non-executive positions at the Broadband Stakeholder Group and Phorm. He assumes the role with immediate effect and succeeds BBC Director of Future Media and Technology Erik Huggers who has acted as project chair for the last year.[Lees verder]

Vodafone reports return to underlying revenue growth
(Telecompaper) Vodafone reported a return to underlying revenue growth in the three months to June, its first quarter of growth since the global economic recession hit. Organic service revenues, excluding currency and M&A effects, were up 1.1 percent from a year earlier, a 1.7 point improvement from the previous quarter. Reported service revenues increased 4.9 percent to GBP 10.59 billion, and total sales, including equipment, were up 4.8 percent to GBP 11.26 billion, helped by growth in data services and the acquisition of full control of Vodacom. In Europe, organic service revenue was still down 1.7 percent, as a return to growth in the UK and Germany as well as in the enterprise market was offset by lower sales in Spain and Italy. Total revenue in the region fell 4.2 percent to GBP 7.14 billion, including a negative effect of 2.4 points from exchange rates. Data and fixed-line revenue in Europe showed organic growth rates of respectively 23.3 percent and 5.2 percent. The Africa and Central Europe division posted underlying sales up 3.7 percent, driven by a strong performance in Turkey and data services growth at Vodacom. The Asia Pacific and Middle East remained the star performer, with organic service revenues up 10.5 percent thanks to continued strong growth in India. Vodafone also reported capital expenditure of GBP 1.04 billion for fiscal Q1 and free cash flow of GBP 1.77 billion. Its customer base totalled 331.39 million at the end of June, up by 7.533 million from three months earlier. The mobile operator reiterated its outlook for the year to March 2011, for a smaller EBITDA margin decline than last year; the imrpovement should come mainly in the second half of the year, the company said. The outlook issued in May also called for positive organic service revenues growth, stable capex, operating profit of GBP 11.2-12.0 billion and free cash flow of at least GBP 6.5 billion.[Lees verder]

Ericsson Q2 sales hurt by component shortages
(Telecompaper) Ericsson reported second-quarter sales of SEK 48.0 billion, down 8 percent from a year earlier. Sales of network equipment were down 12 percent to SEK 25.5 billion, while services revenues were flat at SEK 20.1 billion. The company said the continued industry component shortages and supply chain bottlenecks took an estimated SEK 3-4 billion off quarterly sales. The market conditions were similar to the second half of 2009, with mixed operator investment behavior, Ericsson said. All regions, except North America, showed lower year-over-year sales in Q2, although sequential sales showed a more mixed picture, with growth in regions such as the Mediterranean, North America, Northern Europe and Central Asia, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. Ericsson managed to improve its gross margin to 39 percent from 36 a year ago, while operating profit, excluding joint ventures, was down 12 percent to SEK 5.3 billion. The company said the integration of the acquired Nortel businesses, higher investments in certain R&D areas and a growing number of LTE trials resulted in an increase in operating expenses in the quarter. Ericsson said its cost-reduction programme was completed in Q2, which should lead to SEK 15-16 billion in annual savings from the second half. Net profit improved to SEK 2.0 billion from SEK 0.8 billion a year ago, thanks to improved profitability at Sony Ericsson.[Lees verder]

Safaricom CEO to retire after 10 years at helm
(Telecompaper) Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom’s CEO Michael Joseph is set to retire from 1 November after a decade at the helm of the company he helped turn into east Africa’s biggest by market capitalization. Safaricom’s board chairman Nicholas Nganga said Joseph will be replaced by Bob Collymore, 52, who has worked in the telecommunications industry for more than 30 years in a variety of roles including that of Global Purchasing Director in Vodafone and Consumer Marketing Director for Asia based in Japan. Collymore has for the last four years been living in South Africa where he worked as Governance Director for Africa. In 2009, he joined the Vodacom management team as Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs and has been on the board of Safaricom for more than four years and sits on the boards of a number of Vodacom’s subsidiary companies in Africa.[Lees verder]

AT&T raises FY outlook, adds record number of iPhone users
(Telecompaper) AT&T added a record 3.2 million Apple iPhone users on its network in Q2, helping to nearly double the number of postpaid customers using smartphones. Just over a quarter of the iPhone additions were customers new to AT&T. The net increase in 3G smartphone users in the three months was 2.9 million to 29.7 million, an increase of 98.2 percent year-over-year. Total net subscriber additions numbered 1.6 million Q2, to reach a base of 90.1 million at the end of June. The retail postpaid base grew by 496,000 to 67.0 million, of which 53.2 percent used smartphones, up from 36.3 percent a year earlier. Connected devices net adds were 896,000 in the quarter to reach 6.7 million. The growing number of smartphones led to a 27.2 percent annual increase in mobile data revenues to USD 4.4 billion, helped by a 42 percent rise in SMS volumes. Total mobile revenues increased 7.7 percent to USD 13.2 billion, with services revenues up 10.3 percent to USD 13.2 billion. This was helped by a 3.4 percent increase in postpaid ARPU versus the year-earlier quarter to USD 62.63. Mobile operating profit grew 24.7 percent to USD 4.1 billion, with the margin improving to 28.8 percent from 24.9 a year ago. The wireline division posted revenues down 3.7 percent from a year ago, the smallest decline in five quarters amid signs of stabilisation in the business market, to USD 15.4 billion. A 4.3 percent cut in operating expenses helped keep operating profit flat at USD 1.9 billion and improve the margin to 12.2 percent from 11.6 a year ago. The operator lost a net 783,000 consumer revenue connections, mainly in voice, for a total 44.3 million at end-June. The broadband base fell by 93,000 to 17.43 million, while video susbcribers increased by 159,000 to 4.558 million. AT&T’s total revenues rose 0.6 percent from a year ago to USD 30.6 billion, and operating profit increased to USD 6.1 billion from USD 5.5 billion. Net profit jumped to 25.9 percent to USD 0.68 per share, including a 7 cent gain from the swap of Telmex Internacional shares. This helped the company raise its full-year outlook to strong EPS growth, improved operating margins and free cash flow above 2008 levels. AT&T previously forecast stable to slightly higher results in 2010.[Lees verder]

Nokia underperforms market growth in Q2
(Telecompaper) Nokia reported second-quarter results in line with its reduced targets, with revenues up 1 percent from a year ago to EUR 10.0 billion and EPS falling 40 percent to EUR 0.06. The Devices & Services division posted sales up 3 percent to EUR 6.8 billion, in line with the outlook issued in June for a result at the low end of the earlier guided range of EUR 6.7-7.2 billion. The handset division’s adjusted operating margin fell to 9.5 percent from 12.2 percent a year ago, and operating profit including exceptional items tumbled 16 percent to EUR 643 million. Nokia said the adjusted operating margin for the full year is now estimated at 10-11 percent, after the profit warning in June called for a margin at the low end or below the earlier range of 11-13 percent. Nokia said the upside is the market continues to show healthy growth, especially in less-mature markets where the company is strong. The Finnish group shipped 111.1 million phones in the quarter, up 8 percent from a year ago and up 3 percent from Q1. That was below the estimated market growth of 14 percent year-on-year and 5 percent sequentially. With the market shipping an estimated 338 million phones in the quarter, Nokia’s market share was at 33 percent, in line with Q1. Smartphone market share was also stable, at 41 percent, with Nokia shipments up 42 percent year-on-year and 12 percent from Q1 at 24.0 million. Despite the gowth in high-end devices, Nokia’s average selling price fell to EUR 61 from EUR 64 a year ago and EUR 62 in Q1, due to price pressure and a higher proportion of lower-priced smartphones. Nokia maintained its outlook for market volumes to grow around 10 percent this year, while its own market share should be unchanged in volume terms and slightly lower in value terms. The company forecast Q3 sales at the Devices & Services division of EUR 6.7-7.2 billion., and an adjusted operating margin of 7-10 percent. The company downgraded its outlook for Nokia Siemens Networks, saying it now expects the network equipment company to maintain its market share in 2010 rather than outpace the market. NSN recorded Q2 sales of EUR 3.0 billion, down 5 percent from a year ago, while the operating loss showed little improvement at EUR 179 million versus EUR 188 million last year.[Lees verder]

Vodacom posts quarterly sales up 0.7%
(Telecompaper) African mobile operator Vodacom Group said its revenue and service revenue for the three months ended 30 June increased in constant currency by 3.0 percent and 3.1 percent respectively, with a continued robust performance in South Africa and a 43.2 percent increase in group data revenue. The company said in a trading statement that the South African rand strengthened against all the other functional currencies in the international operations, resulting in lower reported revenue growth of 0.7 percent to ZAR 14.41 billion. Group customers increased by 1.1 million in the quarter, excluding the reduction of 3.3 million call-forward Sims in South Africa on 1 April, resulting in a total customer base of 37.7 million at 30 June. The South African customer base declined by 3.1 million to 23.16 million in the quarter, mainly due to the change in the disconnection policy of 13 months to seven months for call-forward Sims. Excluding the impact of the disconnection policy, prepaid customers declined by 15.1 percent from March to 18.49 million, due to the RICA registration drive. Prepaid ARPU increased 19.7 percent from a year ago to ZAR 79, largely as a result of the lower customer base. Contract customer growth in South Africa was 3.9 percent versus March to 4.67 million customers, and postpaid now represents 20.2 percent of the South African customer base, versus 17.1 percent in March. Contract ARPU declined 7.4 percent year-on-year to ZAR 411 due to the strong growth of lower-end contract packages and reduced out-of-bundle spend. Revenues in South Africa grew 3.8 percent to ZAR 12.57 billion, despite a 18.3 percent decline in interconnect revenue. Service revenue growth of 8.2 percent (excluding the impact of MTRs) was supported by the increasing contribution from data revenue which now comprises 11.9 percent of service revenue. Data revenue increased 43.2 percent to ZAR 1.307 billion due to data traffic growth of 54.5 percent, which was driven by more than 50 percent growth in smartphones, lower device and usage prices and improved coverage through continued investment in 3G and fibre networks. The international operations recorded customer growth of 15.8 percent year-on-year to 14.6 million, adding almost 1 million customers in the quarter mainly from Tanzania where the market has responded well to the newly introduced tariff plans. Revenue in the international mobile operations in constant currency declined by 0.4 percent. Including the effect of foreign exchange movements, revenue declined 14.5 percent to ZAR 1.92 billion.[Lees verder]

Orange to offer Deezer Premium on mobile and PCs, eyes stake
(Telecompaper) Orange has joined forces with European music streaming service Deezer to offer Orange customers the latter’s Premium advertising-free subscription service and is in advanced talks to buy a minority stake in the company. Ultimately, Orange intends to folds its Wormee music streaming brand into Deezer, a company spokesman told Les Echos. The first fruit of the partnership will be the September introduction of Deezer Premium on the Orange mobile and ADSL offers. The tie-up will expand Deezer’s over 7 million-track catalogue and boost the pay service’s user base by offering it to Orange’s massive customer base. The EUR 9.90 per month unlimited streaming service has attracted 20,000 subscribers to date. The companies did not reveal their pricing plans for the autumn. Orange’s intention to buy a minority stake of Deezer fits within its new content strategy of not going it alone. The move will also bring welcome funds to Deezer, whose CEO, Axel Dauchez, recently told Les Echos had broken even and expected a EUR 15 million turnover this year. Newspaper reports speculate that Orange could purchase 20 percent of the streaming service, whose full value is around EUR 80 million. When asked by AFP, the operator declined to coment on these figures.[Lees verder]

Televisa-Nextel sole bidder in Mexico’s 2nd mobile tender
(Telecompaper) The consortium comprising media group Televisa and Nextel Mexico, a unit of NII Holdings, has emerged as the sole bidder in Mexico’s auction of 90MHz spectrum in the 1.7GHz frequency band. The consortium offered the minimum bid price of MXN 180.3 million for 30MHz in the 1710MHz to 2170MHz frequency band in each of the country’s nine mobile operating regions, the Mexican telecoms regulator Cofetel announced. Televisa plans to invest USD 1.44 billion for a 30 percent stake in Nextel Mexico if the partners obtain enough spectrum to deploy a 3G network. Cofetel declared the sale of a second nationwide license deserted. The requirements imposed by the Federal Competition Commission meant that only Televisa-Nextel could bid for one of the two nationwide licenses. America Movil offered MXN 3.79 billion for 21 blocks of 10MHz in all operating regions. Telefonica offered MXN 1.27 billion for six 10MHz blocks in six regions. Cofetel is expected to announce the tender winners within the next 30 days. A separate auction of blocks in the 1850MHz to 1990MHz frequency band ended on 18 July, with combined bids reaching MXN 2.98 billion.[Lees verder]

Colt H1 revenues drop 2.8%, sees better H2
(Telecompaper) European carrier Colt reported first-half revenues of EUR 794.2 million, down 2.8 percent from a year earlier. Data revenue was down 0.4 percent to EUR 396.8 million, and voice revenue fell 9.0 percent to EUR 314.4 million, hurt by spending cuts at large enterprises due to the weaker economic environment. Managed services revenue was up 13.1 percent to EUR 83.0 million. Colt maintained a roughly unchanged EBITA, at EUR 158.2 million, while EPS fell to 5 cents a share from 7 a year ago. Free cash flow dropped to EUR 7.8 million from EUR 32.4 million, and the company finished June with net funds of EUR 265.6 million. Colt said it has seen positive signs that confidence is returning to some customers who had delayed or reduced their IT expenditure plans. Consequently the company expects to make some progress in the second half of the year as customer decision making accelerates and the impact of contracts signed in the first six months of this year starts to flow through to revenues. Colt also announced changes to its board. Frans van den Hoven, a non-executive director, will retire from the board on 31 December 2010, and Tony Bates will resign as COO and executive director on 31 July. Van den Hoven and Bates have been members of the board for 13 and 6 years respectively. No successors were named.[Lees verder]

Kip Meek confirmed as Project Canvas chairman
(Telecompaper) The partners in Project Canvas, the proposed joint venture between the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, Talk Talk and Arqiva to build a standards based, open internet-connected TV environment, have announced the appointment of Kip Meek as Non-Executive Chairman. As Chairman, Kip Meek will lead the Board of the new venture and oversee the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer, who will have day to day operational responsibility for the new organisation. He will step down from his full time role at Ingenious Media and his non-executive positions at the Broadband Stakeholder Group and Phorm. He assumes the role with immediate effect and succeeds BBC Director of Future Media and Technology Erik Huggers who has acted as project chair for the last year.[Lees verder]

Vodafone reports return to underlying revenue growth
(Telecompaper) Vodafone reported a return to underlying revenue growth in the three months to June, its first quarter of growth since the global economic recession hit. Organic service revenues, excluding currency and M&A effects, were up 1.1 percent from a year earlier, a 1.7 point improvement from the previous quarter. Reported service revenues increased 4.9 percent to GBP 10.59 billion, and total sales, including equipment, were up 4.8 percent to GBP 11.26 billion, helped by growth in data services and the acquisition of full control of Vodacom. In Europe, organic service revenue was still down 1.7 percent, as a return to growth in the UK and Germany as well as in the enterprise market was offset by lower sales in Spain and Italy. Total revenue in the region fell 4.2 percent to GBP 7.14 billion, including a negative effect of 2.4 points from exchange rates. Data and fixed-line revenue in Europe showed organic growth rates of respectively 23.3 percent and 5.2 percent. The Africa and Central Europe division posted underlying sales up 3.7 percent, driven by a strong performance in Turkey and data services growth at Vodacom. The Asia Pacific and Middle East remained the star performer, with organic service revenues up 10.5 percent thanks to continued strong growth in India. Vodafone also reported capital expenditure of GBP 1.04 billion for fiscal Q1 and free cash flow of GBP 1.77 billion. Its customer base totalled 331.39 million at the end of June, up by 7.533 million from three months earlier. The mobile operator reiterated its outlook for the year to March 2011, for a smaller EBITDA margin decline than last year; the imrpovement should come mainly in the second half of the year, the company said. The outlook issued in May also called for positive organic service revenues growth, stable capex, operating profit of GBP 11.2-12.0 billion and free cash flow of at least GBP 6.5 billion.[Lees verder]

Ericsson Q2 sales hurt by component shortages
(Telecompaper) Ericsson reported second-quarter sales of SEK 48.0 billion, down 8 percent from a year earlier. Sales of network equipment were down 12 percent to SEK 25.5 billion, while services revenues were flat at SEK 20.1 billion. The company said the continued industry component shortages and supply chain bottlenecks took an estimated SEK 3-4 billion off quarterly sales. The market conditions were similar to the second half of 2009, with mixed operator investment behavior, Ericsson said. All regions, except North America, showed lower year-over-year sales in Q2, although sequential sales showed a more mixed picture, with growth in regions such as the Mediterranean, North America, Northern Europe and Central Asia, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. Ericsson managed to improve its gross margin to 39 percent from 36 a year ago, while operating profit, excluding joint ventures, was down 12 percent to SEK 5.3 billion. The company said the integration of the acquired Nortel businesses, higher investments in certain R&D areas and a growing number of LTE trials resulted in an increase in operating expenses in the quarter. Ericsson said its cost-reduction programme was completed in Q2, which should lead to SEK 15-16 billion in annual savings from the second half. Net profit improved to SEK 2.0 billion from SEK 0.8 billion a year ago, thanks to improved profitability at Sony Ericsson.[Lees verder]

Safaricom CEO to retire after 10 years at helm
(Telecompaper) Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom’s CEO Michael Joseph is set to retire from 1 November after a decade at the helm of the company he helped turn into east Africa’s biggest by market capitalization. Safaricom’s board chairman Nicholas Nganga said Joseph will be replaced by Bob Collymore, 52, who has worked in the telecommunications industry for more than 30 years in a variety of roles including that of Global Purchasing Director in Vodafone and Consumer Marketing Director for Asia based in Japan. Collymore has for the last four years been living in South Africa where he worked as Governance Director for Africa. In 2009, he joined the Vodacom management team as Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs and has been on the board of Safaricom for more than four years and sits on the boards of a number of Vodacom’s subsidiary companies in Africa.[Lees verder]

AT&T raises FY outlook, adds record number of iPhone users
(Telecompaper) AT&T added a record 3.2 million Apple iPhone users on its network in Q2, helping to nearly double the number of postpaid customers using smartphones. Just over a quarter of the iPhone additions were customers new to AT&T. The net increase in 3G smartphone users in the three months was 2.9 million to 29.7 million, an increase of 98.2 percent year-over-year. Total net subscriber additions numbered 1.6 million Q2, to reach a base of 90.1 million at the end of June. The retail postpaid base grew by 496,000 to 67.0 million, of which 53.2 percent used smartphones, up from 36.3 percent a year earlier. Connected devices net adds were 896,000 in the quarter to reach 6.7 million. The growing number of smartphones led to a 27.2 percent annual increase in mobile data revenues to USD 4.4 billion, helped by a 42 percent rise in SMS volumes. Total mobile revenues increased 7.7 percent to USD 13.2 billion, with services revenues up 10.3 percent to USD 13.2 billion. This was helped by a 3.4 percent increase in postpaid ARPU versus the year-earlier quarter to USD 62.63. Mobile operating profit grew 24.7 percent to USD 4.1 billion, with the margin improving to 28.8 percent from 24.9 a year ago. The wireline division posted revenues down 3.7 percent from a year ago, the smallest decline in five quarters amid signs of stabilisation in the business market, to USD 15.4 billion. A 4.3 percent cut in operating expenses helped keep operating profit flat at USD 1.9 billion and improve the margin to 12.2 percent from 11.6 a year ago. The operator lost a net 783,000 consumer revenue connections, mainly in voice, for a total 44.3 million at end-June. The broadband base fell by 93,000 to 17.43 million, while video susbcribers increased by 159,000 to 4.558 million. AT&T’s total revenues rose 0.6 percent from a year ago to USD 30.6 billion, and operating profit increased to USD 6.1 billion from USD 5.5 billion. Net profit jumped to 25.9 percent to USD 0.68 per share, including a 7 cent gain from the swap of Telmex Internacional shares. This helped the company raise its full-year outlook to strong EPS growth, improved operating margins and free cash flow above 2008 levels. AT&T previously forecast stable to slightly higher results in 2010.[Lees verder]

Nokia underperforms market growth in Q2
(Telecompaper) Nokia reported second-quarter results in line with its reduced targets, with revenues up 1 percent from a year ago to EUR 10.0 billion and EPS falling 40 percent to EUR 0.06. The Devices & Services division posted sales up 3 percent to EUR 6.8 billion, in line with the outlook issued in June for a result at the low end of the earlier guided range of EUR 6.7-7.2 billion. The handset division’s adjusted operating margin fell to 9.5 percent from 12.2 percent a year ago, and operating profit including exceptional items tumbled 16 percent to EUR 643 million. Nokia said the adjusted operating margin for the full year is now estimated at 10-11 percent, after the profit warning in June called for a margin at the low end or below the earlier range of 11-13 percent. Nokia said the upside is the market continues to show healthy growth, especially in less-mature markets where the company is strong. The Finnish group shipped 111.1 million phones in the quarter, up 8 percent from a year ago and up 3 percent from Q1. That was below the estimated market growth of 14 percent year-on-year and 5 percent sequentially. With the market shipping an estimated 338 million phones in the quarter, Nokia’s market share was at 33 percent, in line with Q1. Smartphone market share was also stable, at 41 percent, with Nokia shipments up 42 percent year-on-year and 12 percent from Q1 at 24.0 million. Despite the gowth in high-end devices, Nokia’s average selling price fell to EUR 61 from EUR 64 a year ago and EUR 62 in Q1, due to price pressure and a higher proportion of lower-priced smartphones. Nokia maintained its outlook for market volumes to grow around 10 percent this year, while its own market share should be unchanged in volume terms and slightly lower in value terms. The company forecast Q3 sales at the Devices & Services division of EUR 6.7-7.2 billion., and an adjusted operating margin of 7-10 percent. The company downgraded its outlook for Nokia Siemens Networks, saying it now expects the network equipment company to maintain its market share in 2010 rather than outpace the market. NSN recorded Q2 sales of EUR 3.0 billion, down 5 percent from a year ago, while the operating loss showed little improvement at EUR 179 million versus EUR 188 million last year.[Lees verder]

Vodacom posts quarterly sales up 0.7%
(Telecompaper) African mobile operator Vodacom Group said its revenue and service revenue for the three months ended 30 June increased in constant currency by 3.0 percent and 3.1 percent respectively, with a continued robust performance in South Africa and a 43.2 percent increase in group data revenue. The company said in a trading statement that the South African rand strengthened against all the other functional currencies in the international operations, resulting in lower reported revenue growth of 0.7 percent to ZAR 14.41 billion. Group customers increased by 1.1 million in the quarter, excluding the reduction of 3.3 million call-forward Sims in South Africa on 1 April, resulting in a total customer base of 37.7 million at 30 June. The South African customer base declined by 3.1 million to 23.16 million in the quarter, mainly due to the change in the disconnection policy of 13 months to seven months for call-forward Sims. Excluding the impact of the disconnection policy, prepaid customers declined by 15.1 percent from March to 18.49 million, due to the RICA registration drive. Prepaid ARPU increased 19.7 percent from a year ago to ZAR 79, largely as a result of the lower customer base. Contract customer growth in South Africa was 3.9 percent versus March to 4.67 million customers, and postpaid now represents 20.2 percent of the South African customer base, versus 17.1 percent in March. Contract ARPU declined 7.4 percent year-on-year to ZAR 411 due to the strong growth of lower-end contract packages and reduced out-of-bundle spend. Revenues in South Africa grew 3.8 percent to ZAR 12.57 billion, despite a 18.3 percent decline in interconnect revenue. Service revenue growth of 8.2 percent (excluding the impact of MTRs) was supported by the increasing contribution from data revenue which now comprises 11.9 percent of service revenue. Data revenue increased 43.2 percent to ZAR 1.307 billion due to data traffic growth of 54.5 percent, which was driven by more than 50 percent growth in smartphones, lower device and usage prices and improved coverage through continued investment in 3G and fibre networks. The international operations recorded customer growth of 15.8 percent year-on-year to 14.6 million, adding almost 1 million customers in the quarter mainly from Tanzania where the market has responded well to the newly introduced tariff plans. Revenue in the international mobile operations in constant currency declined by 0.4 percent. Including the effect of foreign exchange movements, revenue declined 14.5 percent to ZAR 1.92 billion.[Lees verder]

Orange to offer Deezer Premium on mobile and PCs, eyes stake
(Telecompaper) Orange has joined forces with European music streaming service Deezer to offer Orange customers the latter’s Premium advertising-free subscription service and is in advanced talks to buy a minority stake in the company. Ultimately, Orange intends to folds its Wormee music streaming brand into Deezer, a company spokesman told Les Echos. The first fruit of the partnership will be the September introduction of Deezer Premium on the Orange mobile and ADSL offers. The tie-up will expand Deezer’s over 7 million-track catalogue and boost the pay service’s user base by offering it to Orange’s massive customer base. The EUR 9.90 per month unlimited streaming service has attracted 20,000 subscribers to date. The companies did not reveal their pricing plans for the autumn. Orange’s intention to buy a minority stake of Deezer fits within its new content strategy of not going it alone. The move will also bring welcome funds to Deezer, whose CEO, Axel Dauchez, recently told Les Echos had broken even and expected a EUR 15 million turnover this year. Newspaper reports speculate that Orange could purchase 20 percent of the streaming service, whose full value is around EUR 80 million. When asked by AFP, the operator declined to coment on these figures.[Lees verder]

Televisa-Nextel sole bidder in Mexico’s 2nd mobile tender
(Telecompaper) The consortium comprising media group Televisa and Nextel Mexico, a unit of NII Holdings, has emerged as the sole bidder in Mexico’s auction of 90MHz spectrum in the 1.7GHz frequency band. The consortium offered the minimum bid price of MXN 180.3 million for 30MHz in the 1710MHz to 2170MHz frequency band in each of the country’s nine mobile operating regions, the Mexican telecoms regulator Cofetel announced. Televisa plans to invest USD 1.44 billion for a 30 percent stake in Nextel Mexico if the partners obtain enough spectrum to deploy a 3G network. Cofetel declared the sale of a second nationwide license deserted. The requirements imposed by the Federal Competition Commission meant that only Televisa-Nextel could bid for one of the two nationwide licenses. America Movil offered MXN 3.79 billion for 21 blocks of 10MHz in all operating regions. Telefonica offered MXN 1.27 billion for six 10MHz blocks in six regions. Cofetel is expected to announce the tender winners within the next 30 days. A separate auction of blocks in the 1850MHz to 1990MHz frequency band ended on 18 July, with combined bids reaching MXN 2.98 billion.[Lees verder]

Colt H1 revenues drop 2.8%, sees better H2
(Telecompaper) European carrier Colt reported first-half revenues of EUR 794.2 million, down 2.8 percent from a year earlier. Data revenue was down 0.4 percent to EUR 396.8 million, and voice revenue fell 9.0 percent to EUR 314.4 million, hurt by spending cuts at large enterprises due to the weaker economic environment. Managed services revenue was up 13.1 percent to EUR 83.0 million. Colt maintained a roughly unchanged EBITA, at EUR 158.2 million, while EPS fell to 5 cents a share from 7 a year ago. Free cash flow dropped to EUR 7.8 million from EUR 32.4 million, and the company finished June with net funds of EUR 265.6 million. Colt said it has seen positive signs that confidence is returning to some customers who had delayed or reduced their IT expenditure plans. Consequently the company expects to make some progress in the second half of the year as customer decision making accelerates and the impact of contracts signed in the first six months of this year starts to flow through to revenues. Colt also announced changes to its board. Frans van den Hoven, a non-executive director, will retire from the board on 31 December 2010, and Tony Bates will resign as COO and executive director on 31 July. Van den Hoven and Bates have been members of the board for 13 and 6 years respectively. No successors were named.[Lees verder]