More unrest in Italy, a JV investigation in the UK, a flying auto land grab (air robbery, surely?) in South Korea and some excess cash in Sweden are on top of today’s news pile.
vivendilargest single shareholder of Tim (Telecom Italia), would “never” support the sale of the fixed line to a merged entity open fiber at the reported valuation of €17-21bn, a price tag that undervalues the asset, reports Reuters. earlier this week, TIM and Open Fiber announced a preliminary agreement to merge its fixed-line assets into a single entity to hand over control of the single national broadband network to state-owned investment bank CDP, with various media reports putting the expected valuation of the fixed-line assets at up to €20 billion. The merger will be supported by Vivendi, but only if the price is right for the TIM fixed line, which would have to be sold from TIM to the merged company as part of the process. The Reuters report quotes a Interview by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica with Arnaud de Puyfontaine, CEO of Vivendi, who stated that merging with Open Fiber “is the best option”, but “Not the only one.” TIM’s landline “is worth more than 21 billion. If the correct price isn’t recognized, we’ll evaluate something else,” the Vivendi CEO explained, though he didn’t seem to indicate what the “correct price” might be. This proposed merger looks set to get messy… even ahead of any regulatory investigations! If Vivendi refuses to agree to a price that all other parties, particularly the Italian government/CDP, deem fair, the creation of a single national fixed broadband network for Italy could be put on hold once again.
The proposed establishment of a sports broadcasting joint venture between BT and Warner Bros. Discoveryannounced in early May is set to be investigated by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). government agency has announced. The investigation, which will focus on whether the formation of the JV has become a “significant reduction in competition” is taking comments until June 17th and is due to make an initial decision by July 28th. The formation of the joint venture would bring the BT Sport and Eurosport channels together under one roof. “This was expected and is standard practice in this context of rights assets,” notes industry analyst Paolo Pescatore, founder of PP foresight. “The big concern is whether retail prices will increase, so the parties need to give assurances that this will not happen. Both services [BT Sport and Eurosport] are widely available on multiple platforms including Sky, NowTV and of course BT and the CMA will want to be sure that BT does not receive preferential treatment once the JV is formed. Another consideration is the future strategic direction of the joint venture, with BT expected to exit at some point in the future. I don’t expect any major concerns, but there are legitimate questions about pricing and platform availability. I don’t expect any major problems at the moment,” said Pescatore.
SK Telecom (SKT) The company is reportedly forming a consortium aiming to develop the first commercial flying car operation in its home market of South Korea. This was reported by the local newspaper The Korea Herald. The telecommunications company has partnered with South Korea-based companies Hanwha Systems, Korea Airports Corp. and the Korea Transport Institute to leverage its expertise in operating 4G and 5G services and developing a real-time communication environment for urban air mobility (UAM). The operator is said to have conducted a test on planes co-developed with US manufacturer Overair, which media sources say positions SKT ahead of rivals in the field such as Hyundai Motor Group and Kakao Mobility. Along with its peers, the telecom operator has reportedly submitted a business proposal to participate in the K-UAM Grand Challenge, a government program to select a UAM entrepreneur who can develop the sector, which is valued at more than 1,800 trillion won ( 1, $4 trillion) by 2040.
Telia has completed the sale of a 49% interest in its Swedish tower unit to Brookfield and Alecta for SEK 5.5 billion (USD 564 million), as first announced in Januaryand also completed sale of business services minnow Telia Latvia for 10.75 million euros. As a result of these and other asset sales, Telia has now initiated a SEK 5.4 billion (US$553 million) share buyback program to “return excess cash to shareholders”. For details on how he managed to load himself with too much cash, see this announcement.
ETSI has a new open source group called TeraFlowSDN, which will “develop an open-source, cloud-native SDN controller for high-capacity IP and optical networks, supporting use cases such as autonomous networks and cybersecurity, and helping service providers and telecom operators meet the challenges of future networks. ” The first meeting of the group will take place on June 20th. The group’s founding members, Atos (Bull), CTTC, NEC Europe, Telefonica, Telenor and SIAE Microelettronica, have since been joined by Globe Telecom, NTNU, Old Dog Consulting, Peer Stritzinger and Ubitech. Continue reading.
Capgemini has started a new collaboration with King’s College London focused on “building new architecture frameworks as well as developing trustworthy and human-centric AI systems for 6G networks”. The research project will “explore the possibilities that 6G opens up as a central lever for an intelligent industry with a significantly smaller energy footprint”. Continue reading.
Rumors are circulating in India about it Amazon and some private equity firms are preparing an investment proposal to take a 200 billion rupee ($2.6 billion) stake in a troubled mobile operator Vodafone ideabut the operator has issued a statement that the board is not currently considering any such proposal, reports mint. What do you say about no smoke without fire?
– The staff, TelecomTV