Friday News Round-up: 19/09/2014

Friday News Round-up: 19/09/2014

A summary of the week’s biggest telecoms news stories.

Banking on Spain

Orange made the biggest M&A play this week after striking a deal to acquire Spanish fixed-line player Jazztel in a deal worth approximately €3.4 billion. The deal will raise eyebrows, and some will claim chief executive Stéphane Richard has taken an expensive gamble in a questionable market.

Telefónica’s existing presence in the market is significant, and Vodafone’s recent acquisition of Ono is an indication of its ambitions in the country. Orange has decided to invest in the country, rather than make an exit, and will more than likely make a play to bundle both fixed-line and mobile services. The deal also all but ends Jazztel’s interests in acquiring TeliaSonera’s Yoigo, which has been up for sale since 2012. Orange has since claimed it is now well positioned in all of its operating markets and it will not make any more investments. Across the world, the market waits on the company’s strategy in Africa, with analysts predicting that the company could reduce its scale in the continent..

Telecoms shines in Myanmar

Capacity’s Myanmar Connect conference was held in Nay Pyi Taw this week, and the event brought together local and international players in one of the fastest growing telecoms markets in the world. A government official revealed this week that a staggering 31% of direct foreign investment in Myanmar was generated from the telecoms sector alone between April and August this year.

Such growth in telecoms and energy has led to the government raising its forecasts to a staggering $5 billion for FDI in the fiscal year. And as the economy continues to feel the effects of opening up the country to international investment, it will be interesting to see if Myanmar does indeed reach the forecast, or exceed it by April next year.

The Apple effect

Apple released its much-awaited iPhone 6 yesterday, while also making its latest iOS 8 software update available across a range of devices. The update, dubbed as the biggest update from the company since the app store, offers Apple users with a range of new features including a healthcare application to track fitness and mobile payment capabilities. The device, and indeed the software update, is yet another representation of how technology companies are taking innovation to another level. Analysts believe Apple Pay, in particular, will prove disruptive but positive to the payments industry that has lacked an innovative approach from carriers in particular for years.

The fact that operators have delved into mobile payments, and indeed the healthcare vertical for years will not matter anymore.

Apple has its way, and the world will follow.

Kavit Majithia

News Editor