Carrier Class - in Session

Handful of Infrastructure Firms Move to the Front with Carrier Ethernet 2.0

The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) celebrated the fortieth anniversary of Ethernet last month ahead of its quarterly meeting in San Diego. Ethernet’s father, Bob Metcalfe, presided as Metro Ethernet Forum President Nan Chen announced certification of 20 companies whose products passed rigorous testing for Carrier Ethernet (CE) 2.0.

KPN looks to $5.4 billion rights issue to slash debts

Dutch incumbent KPN has announced plans for a €4 billion ($5.4 billion) rights issue as it strives to reduce spiralling debts with its profits and revenues in decline.

The company’s net debt soared to €12 billion for the fourth quarter of 2012 after it spent a whopping €1.4 billion on licenses to provide 4G services in a recent Dutch auction.

As a result, net debt now works out at more than three times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), up from a ratio of 2.3 in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Liberty Global buys Virgin Media for $23.3 billion

Pan-European cable company Liberty Global has announced a $23.3 billion acquisition of the UK’s Virgin Media that looks set to shake up the country’s telecoms, broadband and pay-TV markets.

The transaction includes a mixture of cash and Liberty Global (Amsterdam, Netherlands) shares and values Virgin Media (Hook, UK) at $47.87 a share – 24% higher than its closing price on February 4.

The deal will increase Liberty Global’s customer base to 25 million and give the company a major presence in one of Europe’s biggest markets.

NII Holdings says profits will continue to fall

Latin American operator NII Holdings has said financial results for 2012 are likely to miss expectations and provided a disappointing outlook for 2013.

The company – which runs telecoms operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru – said fourth-quarter revenues were likely to be $1.5 billion, compared with $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Tele2 profits plummet on rising costs, taxation

Sweden’s Tele2 reported a 57% fall in net profit for the fourth quarter, to SEK565 million ($89 million), as rising costs and higher taxes ate into sales.

Revenues at the company – which operates across a number of European markets – rose by 3.9% to SEK11.3 billion.

“Tele2 [Stockholm, Sweden] continued to show sustainable revenue and subscriber growth during the fourth quarter of 2012, although profitability was below our expectations,” said Mats Granryd, the company’s president and chief executive.

Sprint had talks with four other companies before SoftBank deal

Reuters

Sprint Nextel Corp, the No. 3 U.S. mobile service provider, said that it talked to four different companies about a potential deal before it announced its agreement to sell 70 percent of its shares to Japan's SoftBank Corp for $20 billion.

BT revenues drop 6% on regulatory, economic woes

UK fixed-line incumbent BT reported a disappointing 6% fall in third-quarter sales, to £4.5 billion ($7.1 billion), as tough economic conditions, adverse regulation and dwindling revenues from line rentals and calls all took their toll.

Although pre-tax profit was 7% higher than a year earlier, at £675 million, the increase was partly attributed to “the reduced cost of sales due to the decline in revenue”, plus lower depreciation and amortisation charges as the company reins in capital expenditure.

KPN's debt-cutting solution could be a new share issue

Reuters

Dutch telecoms group KPN is widely expected to announce steps to cut debt when announcing full-year results next week, with some analysts bracing for a share issue.

KPN (The Hague, Netherlands), which will report 2012 results on February 5, breached its own debt target of 2.0-2.5 times debt to core profit (EBITDA) in the second quarter. The ratio hit 2.7 in the third quarter.

Carrier Ethernet 2.0 - Changing the World, Again

CE 2.0 is Makes it easier for Carriers to meet and exploit rising demand

First generation Carrier Ethernet already dominates WAN equipment revenue, and now Carrier Ethernet 2.0 is making it easier for Carriers to meet and exploit the demand that Carrier Ethernet has already fuelled

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Ten years ago The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) was founded to develop and promote a new generation of Ethernet called Carrier Ethernet. Since then Carrier Ethernet has transformed WAN and enterprise connectivity as well as providing an infrastructure to fuel soaring user expectations for mobile applications.

AT&T rating cut by Moody's on concern about debt-financed buyback

Ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded AT&T on concern about debts the operator has incurred to finance its share repurchase program.

Lowering the credit rating from A3 to A2, Moody’s says it believes the debt- financed program will result in “materially higher leverage for several years before it can be offset by organic growth”.

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