BT Openreach chief executive to quit in Spring 2014

UK operator BT has announced that Liv Garfield, the chief executive of its Openreach division, will step down in Spring 2014 to join water company Severn Trent.

Garfield has been responsible for overseeing a £2.5 billion ($4 billion) commercial rollout of fiber broadband services by Openreach, BT’s (London, UK) local access network business.

BT also says she played a “pivotal role” in developing the business case for that fiber deployment in her previous role as Group Strategy Director.

Chorus withdraws dividend guidance on regulatory uncertainty

New Zealand’s Chorus has withdrawn its full-year dividend guidance, blaming the ongoing regulatory uncertainty over wholesale pricing for its move.

The company – which rents capacity on its broadband network to retail service providers, including Telecom New Zealand (Auckland, New Zealand) – had previously issued dividend guidance of NZD0.25 per share, but its financial plans have recently been thrown into disarray by regulatory proposals to lower the price of it services.

Deutsche Telekom agrees 546 million euros takeover of GTS Central Europe

Germany’s Deutsche Telekom has announced a €546 million ($731 million) takeover of GTS Central Europe aimed at allowing it to provide fixed-line services in parts of central Europe where it is currently a ‘mobile-only’ player.

The German incumbent said the takeover would also allow it to provide cross-border services to business customers – addressing an important pillar of its strategy for European regeneration.

Chorus says regulation will jeopardize fiber investment plans

New Zealand network player Chorus has lashed out at new pricing regulations for jeopardizing its plans to invest in a new fiber-optic network.

In a statement published on its website, the operator described recent regulatory proposals as a “black hole” that would put funding at risk.

Numericable unveils plans for initial public offering: report

France’s Numericable is reported to have announced plans for an initial public offering valuing the cable company at some €5.57 billion ($7.69 billion).

According to a report from Dow Jones Newswires, the operator plans to raise around €652.5 million in new capital, including €250 million from a capital increase.

Meanwhile, private-equity owners Carlyle and Cinven are looking to sell another €402.2 million as part of the offering, which would give Numericable (Paris, France) an enterprise value of between €5.06 billion and €5.57 billion, including €2.75 billion in debt.

Orange earnings fall 7% on competition, regulation

French telecoms incumbent Orange has reported a slump in earnings and revenues for the three months ending September, with regulation and competition weighing heavily on the operator in its economically challenged European heartlands.

The operator witnessed a 4% drop in revenues, to €10.16 billion ($14 billion), and saw restated earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fall by 7%, to €3.37 billion, in its third quarter.

Interoperability remains key GPON challenge: Informa

Telecoms industry executives have rated interoperability as the key challenge they face in deploying superfast broadband networks, according to a recent survey conducted by Informa Telecoms & Media.

The market-research company surveyed a total of 237 so-called “broadband stakeholders” and said that 54% of respondents cited interoperability as one of the top three challenges they face, with 25% of operators viewing it as the main challenge.

Spain's mobile market shows signs of further recovery in August

Reuters

The number of mobile phone connections in Spain increased for a fourth straight month in August, data published on Tuesday showed, marking a tentative recovery after two years of client losses.

Cash-strapped consumers in Spain, where one in four of the workforce is jobless, have been cutting mobile usage and switching to cheaper deals to save money as recession dragged on. Yet the economy is expected to have returned to growth in the second half of the year, prompting a gentle pick-up in consumer confidence.

Vodafone completes Kabel Deutschland takeover

The UK’s Vodafone has completed its €7.7 billion ($10.43 billion) takeover of Kabel Deutschland, according to a statement on the German cable company’s website.

The deal puts Vodafone (Newbury, UK) in control of 76.57% of Kabel Deutschland’s (Unterfoehring, Germany) shares and will aid its push into Germany’s high-speed broadband market and allow it to better compete against telecoms incumbent Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) on bundled packages that include fixed, broadband and mobile services.

Alcatel-Lucent cuts 10,000 jobs in 'last chance' for turnaround

Reuters

Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent said on Tuesday it would cut 10,000 jobs worldwide, calling it the last chance to turn the company around from heavy losses.

It was the latest step in a plan to focus on high-growth areas ranging from 4G mobile to high-speed broadband, and to lower fixed costs by more than 15 percent, saving a total of 1 billion euros ($1.36 billion).

The product of a 2006 Franco-U.S. merger aimed at creating a global giant, Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) told a European works council meeting it intends to axe nearly one in seven of its employees.

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