They may rail against an unfriendly investment environment, but Europe’s network operators keep digging deeper to pay for the likes of 4G and superfast broadband. A recent report from the European Commission said EU telecoms revenue declined in 2013 yet investment grew.
Even arch-critics of Europe’s regulators – Cesar Alierta and Vittorio Colao, the respective chief executives of Telefonica and Vodafone Group – have sanctioned enormous increases in network spending. (more…)
First published on Mobile World Live, 4 November 2013
More M&A involving mobile operators looks on the cards. According to Ernst & Young’s recently-published H1 2013 report on the M&A sector, 35 per cent of company executives surveyed – from all industry sectors, not just telecoms – said they were likely to pursue acquisitions. That compares with just 25 per cent who thought the same a year ago.
The consulting firm further found that 65 per cent of executives expected the global economy to improve over the coming year, up from a miserly 22 per cent a year ago. Growing confidence in the economic outlook should make boardrooms less reticent about taking the M&A plunge.
Softening M&A attitudes will auger well for some mobile operators. It’s often said M&A is one of the few areas of human activity where it pays to be victim. Deep-pocketed predators (or at least ones that can get their hands on plenty of debt financing) invariably boost the share price of their intended target when word gets out. (more…)
India’s mobile sector got a share-price bounce recently. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India, the country’s two biggest operators, reported encouraging top-line numbers for the quarter ended June. With voice and data revenue climbing, is it possible that the Indian mobile market – so long plagued by razor-thin margins and a volatile investment climate – has turned a corner?
The short answer is no. While increases in service revenue are welcome, helped by a growing 3G subscriber base, there are still too many market uncertainties to say with any conviction that India’s operators – many of which are carrying heavy debt – are out of the woods. (more…)
There was a time when the news that Vodafone Group was eyeing a takeover of Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) would have come as a big surprise. The UK-based operator once seemed determined to be thought of as a mobile-only player, shunning investments in the fixed-line infrastructure that is CWW’s speciality. But when Vodafone last week confirmed its interest in exactly such a deal, few were taken aback. Buying CWW would simply mark the continuation of a strategy that Vodafone started to implement several years ago. (more…)