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UK, EU tech agreement; O2's 5G launch; United Group, Vivacom deal talks

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UK, EU tech agreement; O2's 5G launch; United Group, Vivacom deal talks

TOP NEWS

* The U.K. and the European Union agreed on a deal that includes cooperation on data protection and cybersecurity, among other technological safeguards. Highlighting the importance of the exchange of information, the EU said it will assess the U.K.'s data protection framework by the end of 2020 in light of its bolstered General Data Protection Regulation laws.

* Telefónica UK Ltd., or O2, rolled out its 5G network in London and five other U.K. locations. The Telefónica SA unit aims to expand its 5G coverage to 20 towns and cities by year-end, and to 50 areas by summer 2020. The mobile operator also launched 5G custom plans, including an unlimited data option.

* Southeast European cable operator United Group BV is nearing a deal to acquire Bulgarian telecom operator Vivacom, London's Financial Times reports, citing sources. The BC Partners-backed company's bid for Vivacom is reportedly close to the latter's expected value of about €1.2 billion based on recent telecom deals.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* The European Commission granted regulatory approval to Infineon Technologies AG's proposed acquisition of U.S. chipmaker Cypress Semiconductor Corp. The €9.0 billion deal is expected to be completed by early 2020 at the latest.

UK AND IRELAND

* Accenture PLC acquired London-based privately owned consulting services firm Happen Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. Happen will be integrated into Accenture's Products Industry X.0 advanced digital technology business.

* A network outage at Hutchison 3G UK Ltd., or Three, resulted in up to 10 million customers experiencing intermittent access to voice, text and data services, London's The Daily Telegraph reports. In a tweet on the noon of Oct. 17, the mobile operator said most of its subscribers were already back on its network.

* Irish telecom operator Eir teamed up with Apple Inc. to launch a TV service via an app on Apple TV set-top boxes, Dublin's Irish Independent reports. The new service offers access to basic TV channels and Eir Sport.

* British public broadcaster Channel 4 (UK) formally opened its new national headquarters in Leeds. The facility will host about 250 jobs spread across a range of creative, digital and technology departments.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* German media company Axel Springer SE launched a global edition of art magazine Blau, which is published six times a year as a supplement to Die Welt. Blau International is being launched in English and focuses more on international content.

FRANCE

* Vivendi SA announced a 16.7% increase in its third-quarter 2019 revenues to €3.97 billion, with an organic growth of 7.2%. Canal Plus SA's revenues reached €1.29 billion, up from year-ago figures of €1.25 billion. For the first nine months of 2019, Universal Music Group Inc.'s revenues increased by 17.5% to €5.06 billion, partly due to a 23.4% growth in subscription and streaming revenues.

* Investors other than Tencent Holdings Ltd. showed interest in buying a minority stake in Vivendi unit Universal Music Group, Reuters reports. The French media group said other unidentified "partners" may be keen on investing at similar price levels.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* T-Mobile Netherlands BV activated the first connection to its new fiber optic network in the Segbroek district of The Hague, TotaalTV reports. The telco has plans to provide almost all homes in The Hague with a fiber optic connection.

* Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport rolled out its own network of internet of things applications fully, which is expected to provide coverage across the airport's area, Emerce reports. The IoT sensors connect the airport's facilities and infrastructure to the internet.

* Eurofiber B.V. acquired the 42 km fiber optic network of former company SensorCity, which was declared bankrupt in 2017, in the Dutch municipality of Assen for an undisclosed amount.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Ericsson raised its sales target for 2020 amid stronger demand in the 5G market, though it recorded a net loss in the third quarter of 2019. The Swedish telecommunications company reported a net loss of 6.9 billion Swedish kronor, or a loss of 1.89 kronor per share, in the three months to September, compared with net income of 2.7 billion kronor, or 83 öre per share, in the year-ago period. The company also unveiled plans to increase investments, including in 5G, to drive business growth.

* South Korean operator LG U+ selected Ericsson as a 5G radio access network vendor. Ericsson will supply services for LG U+'s 3.5 GHz non-stand-alone 5G network.

* Nordic Entertainment Group AB secured exclusive Nordic media rights to the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship for the 2024-28 period. Under the deal, NENT will screen games live on its Viaplay streaming service and Viasat pay TV channels.

* Tele2 AB is conducting a series of core network upgrades, following the completion of its mobile network operations audit. The telco started the audit in July, following several major outages in the first quarter.

* Telia Co. AB's total net income for the third quarter of 2019 dropped to 2.42 billion Swedish kronor, from year-ago figures of about 3 billion kronor. Despite the decline, Telia is forecasting a stronger financial performance in the second half of 2019.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Telefónica is making an investment of an undisclosed sum in network software technology provider Altiostar Networks Inc., as part of a strategic partnership. Following the investment, the Spanish telecom giant will become a full member of Altiostar's technology advisory committee.

* ZTE Corp. agreed to supply 5G-ready base stations for the upgrade of GO Internet SpA's network in Italy's central Marche region, Telecompaper reports.

* Maltese cable operator Melita PLC rolled out a range of connectivity plans and services for the machine-to-machine and internet of things platforms under the melita.io brand.

EASTERN EUROPE

* The Czech Telecommunication Office is delaying the launch of its 5G spectrum auction to early January 2020 from this autumn, Reuters reports, citing a notice on the regulator's website. Frequencies in the 700 MHZ and 3.5 GHz bands will be sold off under the auction.

* Russia is slowly working to restore its cooperation with the U.S. on cybersecurity matters, Reuters reports, quoting a statement by Federal Security Service chief Alexander Bortnikov to TASS.

FEATURED NEWS

The Program Guide: 'Silicon Valley' season 6 gets premiere date; 'Grease' spinoff coming to HBO Max: Comedy series "Silicon Valley" will return to HBO for its sixth and final season on Oct. 27, while Warner Media LLC's upcoming streaming service HBO Max greenlighted "Grease: Rydell High," a musical spinoff of the 1978 film.

Hires and Fires Europe: SAP CEO steps down; Facebook's Libra forms council, names executive team: Bill McDermott stepped down as CEO of German software giant SAP SE, while the Facebook Inc.-backed Libra Association formed its governing council and named the members of its board of directors and executive team.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Multichannel Trends: Databook: Broadband Cable Financial 2019: This edition includes PowerPoint and Excel, a sector overview and a curated selection of more key Kagan analysis.

Technology: VR, AR climbing out of 'disillusionment trough': Developers at XRDC, held Oct. 14-15 in San Francisco, see the industry rediscovering its confidence in consumer and commercial applications.

RECENT EARNINGS

TSMC sees increase in China revenue in Q3'19: The Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer's North America revenues decreased as a proportion of the total in the third quarter, as the company diversifies customers and product portfolios in response to the China-U.S. trade war.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.

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