BBWN Bites: Billionaire Group Wants Telefónica's LatAm Assets – Report
Also today, Netflix grows bigger, Netflix+ accelerates European invasion, DT and Deutsche Glasfaser pilot FTTH network, UK pub owner pays piracy price, Polish agency fines Polkomtel for bundle boo-boo and more about fixed-access broadband topics such as investment, simplifying smart city infrastructure and German utility EWE.
A consortium of billionaire businesspeople proposed buying a stake in most of Telefónica's Latin American assets for $11.1 billion, El Mundo reported. The investors would create a regional holding company that would own 51% of Telefónica's HispAm Telephone division, with one or two members representing operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, the paper said. Reportedly, Telefónica, which declined to comment, wants to reduce its exposure in those countries due to poor financial results.
Netflix added 8.76 million paid streaming subscribers worldwide in 4Q 2019, beating its expectations of 7.6 million paid subs. In its last quarter, Netflix ended up with 167.09 million streaming subs worldwide, up 20% year-over-year. Revenue for this period reached $5.46 billion, up 31% yoy, with net income of $587 million ($1.30 per share). For full details, please see story on sister site Light Reading here.
Speaking of streaming, Disney+ is already expanding its European presence with planned launches on March 24 in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Austria and Switzerland -- one week earlier than originally planned, reported Light Reading's Jeff Baumgartner on Tuesday. This summer, consumers in Belgium, Nordic countries and Portugal can expect to see Disney+ arrive.
Deutsche Telekom will use wholesaler Deutsche Glasfaser's fiber network for a pilot FTTH deployment in Lüdinghausen. Deutsche Glasfaser, a rumored acquisition target of DT, has rolled out 9,000-plus miles of fiber to residential and business customers in the German city.
Thomas Conneely, owner of Watford pub the Dick Whittington, was convicted in his absence of three offenses of "dishonest reception of a television transmission" and ordered to pay almost £19,000 for illegally screening Sky Sports (his second conviction), according to Advanced Television.
The House of Mouse Expands
Disney+ invades Europe.
Meanwhile, the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKIK) fined Polkomtel more than 50 million zloty ($13.1 million) for charging broadband-bundle customers additional fees for listening to online radio, watching online movies and video content between 2013 and 2017. This ran against Europe's open internet policy and was included in streaming payments, the agency said. It noted the operator could appeal the non-final decision.
TM Forum released a "Smart City Operations Map," designed to help cities and service providers that used the organization's Business Process Framework (eTOM) work together and leverage the system's interoperability with municipal data. The map describes city operations and includes new sections on citizen engagement, communities and myriad stakeholders.
German utility EWE, which recently formed a fiber distribution business with Deutsche Telekom, gained access to $555 million from the infrastructure arm of new anchor shareholder Ardian, Reuters reported today. Ardian, which now owns 26% of EWE, fully supports EWE's key initiatives such as fiber-optic network expansion, digitalization and mobility, Reuters wrote.
Money and bandwidth are pouring into online gaming. Denver-based Konvoy Ventures, which specializes in e-sports and gaming infrastructure, recently raised $11 million for its debut fund, an SEC filing showed.
Piracy in the Pub?
Some UK operators, such as Sky, are cracking down on pirated video-streaming in pubs and other public businesses.
(Photo source: Elevate, Pexels)
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News
(Home page art: Super Kuncheek
Here's where you can find episode links for 'The Divide,' Light Reading's podcast series featuring conversations with broadband providers and policymakers working to close the digital divide.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will present our Cable Next-Gen Europe conference as a free digital symposium on June 21.
Charter has sparked RDOF work in all 24 states where it won bids. The cable op booked about $19 million in RDOF revenues in Q1, and expects to have about $9 million per month come in over the next ten years.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will stage the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference as a free digital event over two half-days in mid-March.
Launch of 2-Gig and 5-Gig FTTP tiers in 70-plus markets puts more pressure on cable ops to enhance their existing DOCSIS 3.1 network or accelerate their upgrade activity centered on the new DOCSIS 4.0 specs.