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Five telecoms developments to watch from December: Telia divests towerco, NS1 launches internet solution, and World Mobile, Altaeros launch aerostat balloons

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#ICYMI - Capacity shares five key telecoms stories that were making headlines in December!

Telia divests Norwegian and Finnish towerco to Brookfield and Alecta

Telia Company confirms the completion of the sale 49% of its tower business in Finland and Norway, to Brookfield and Alecta.

“The transaction clearly demonstrates the immediate value of, and our leadership in, digital infrastructure," said Allison Kirkby, President & CEO of Telia Company.

"Now we enter into a strategic partnership with Brookfield and Alecta to continue developing our digital infrastructure. Telia, Brookfield and Alecta have a long-term, industrial view on the role of tower infrastructure as a foundation for continued digitalisation of the Nordic and Baltic regions.”

The news follows an announcement on June 30 2021, where Telia announced the sale of 49% of its tower business in Finland and Norway to Brookfield and Alecta, at a price of 1,524 million in cash.

The price corresponding to an enterprise value of FY 2020 EV/EBITDA multiple of 27x.

NS1 launches solution to combat Internet outages

NS1, a provider of application traffic intelligence and automation, has launched a new offering that mitigates user impact in the event of outages. The solution combines Managed and Dedicated DNS solutions, proprietary Filter Chain technology, and data-driven automation capabilities to provide reliability and resiliency for critical systems and applications.

“Internet infrastructure can be unpredictable, especially in the wake of a global pandemic that continues to drive unprecedented traffic and network congestion,” said Kris Beevers, CEO, NS1.

“Organisations are reliant on consistent connectivity and performance to ensure that systems and applications remain functional and that business moves forward. With NS1, companies gain peace of mind, knowing that in the event of an outage, they have the technology in place to keep systems and applications resilient.”

Specifically, NS1’s solution delivers DNS redundancy and failover through NS1’s Managed DNS and Dedicated DNS. Additionally, traffic steering through NS1’s Filter Chain technology enables teams to route traffic among multiple clouds or CDNs to accommodate traffic spikes or divert traffic to available resources in the event a provider is experiencing problems.

GlobalData finds that deglobalisation leads enterprise telecoms re-segmentation

According to findings from GlobalData, enterprise telecoms service providers have shifted to a market focus due to macro-economic changes such as deglobalisation and to make the most of evolving technology.  

In addition, these companies have also chosen to scale back their international ambitions by refocusing and re-segmenting their target customers and selling non-core assets.

“We saw a clear example of this industry shift when BT scaled back its international ambitions by selling its non-UK in-country assets. Further, Deutsche Telekom has developed a hybrid regional and super-global multinational corporations (MNC) strategy for its enterprise business unit T-Systems.

The good news is that ‘super-global’ MNCs need sophisticated, bespoke solutions that are increasingly co-developed with their service providers. This turns them into ‘sticky’ customers for whom a swap out to another provider would be incredibly challenging. Smart service providers are also acting as honest brokers to manage third-party provision – securing ownership of the customer relationship," said Robert Pritchard, senior analyst at GlobalData.

Orange Belgium inks agreement with Nethys to acquire stake in VOO SA

With the approval of the approval of the board of directors of Enodia, Orange Belgium and Nethys have signed an agreement for the acquisition by Orange Belgium of 75% minus one share of VOO SA.

The news follows a previous announcement from both companies in November, indicating that they were in the process of negotiation.

"This acquisition reinforces Orange's leadership in convergence in Europe and confirms the Group's long-term commitment in Belgium," said Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, executive vice president of Orange's Europe operations.

"This operation is based on a strong industrial project, drawing on the complementary nature of Orange Belgium and VOO.”

Under the terms of the deal, Nethys will retain a minority stake in VOO and governance rights to guarantee the implementation of the industrial and social project. Orange is offering Nethys the possibility to convert its stake in VOO into Orange Belgium shares.

The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including the approval of the European Commission expected in 2022.

"25 years after the creation of Mobistar and 5 years after the launch of our first fixed-line offers, this operation reinforces the deployment of Orange Belgium's convergent strategy at national level," said Xavier Pichon, CEO of Orange Belgium.

"Our investment plan will enable us to upgrade the network to multi-gigabit for the benefit of customers and the competitiveness of Wallonia and Brussels. The merger of Orange Belgium and VOO, two companies with highly complementary assets and skills, will benefit the employment and development of the employees of both companies.”

World Mobile and Altaeros launch aerostat balloons to connect Africa

World Mobile, a mobile network built on blockchain, is partnering with Altaeros, a provider of autonomous aerostats.

Through this partnership, Altaeros and World Mobile will provide low-altitude aerostats (tethered balloon platforms) with a coverage area of approximately 8,000 km each, to form part of World Mobile's Dynamic Network.

“We’re on a journey to bring modern infrastructure to billions of un-served and under-served people around the world," said Ben Glass, CEO and CTO at Altaeros.

"We’re driven by a belief that business and technical innovation are the keys to creating a positive, scalable impact. World Mobile is the perfect partner to work with to deliver our vision as they strive to connect the unconnected, everywhere.”

World Mobile plans to launch these balloons across Africa to connect hundreds of millions of people. Several aerostats will be launched in Zanzibar anchoring the network and delivering connectivity near to 100% of the island.

“World Mobile is on a mission to connect the unconnected and build the first mobile network powered and run by the people. Working with leading tech partners who share our values will make us stronger," said Micky Watkins, founder and CEO at World Mobile.

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