Eurobites: Altice teams up with Morgan Stanley for new fiber JV in Portugal | Light Reading

Eurobites: Altice teams up with Morgan Stanley for new fiber JV in Portugal | Light Reading

Also in today’s EMEA regional roundup: UK boosts support for tech startups; Imagination Technologies’ HQ can stay in the UK, says Canyon Bridge; O2 CTO sticks up for his engineers; Arcep joins GSA.

  • Altice Europe has announced the creation of Fastfiber, an FTTH wholesaler incorporating what was formerly known as Altice Portugal FTTH and comprising all of operator MEO’s fiber assets in Portugal. The new entity is a result of a partnership with Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, which has taken a 49.99% stake in Fastfiber. Fastfiber will sell wholesale services to all operators on the same financial terms as Altice Portugal FTTH, while MEO will sell technical services to Fastfiber for the construction and maintenance of the network. The transaction values Fastfiber at 4.6 billion (US$4.9 billion).
  • The UK government has launched a 1.25 billion ($1.55 billion) scheme to support startups that do not qualify for existing state-funded coronavirus support as they have yet to turn a profit. The package includes a new 500 million ($623 million) loan scheme for “high-growth firms,” called the Future Fund, and 750 million ($934 million) of targeted support for small and midsized businesses focusing on research and development The catch is that, to qualify for the help, a company must have raised 250,000 ($311,000) privately in the last five years. Commenting on the scheme, Gerard Brech, CEO of startup hub Tech Nation, described it as “a bold and welcome intervention for the tech sector.”
  • Canyon Bridge, the Chinese state-backed private equity firm that owns Imagination Technologies, has committed to keeping the software company’s headquarters in the UK, according to a Reuters report. Last week UK politicians sought reassurances from Imagination amid concern that the company’s sensitive security software could end up in the hands of the Chinese government. (See Amid COVID-19, China dependence no longer seems such a good idea, Eurobites: Imagination Strikes New Licensing Deal With Apple and Eurobites: Imagination Rocked by Apple Shut-Out.)
  • In face of the mindless sabotage of some of its mobile masts, O2 UK CTO Brendan O’Reilly has underlined his support for the operator’s team of engineers, some of whom have faced abuse from the destructive nitwits. “Our engineers are absolutely crucial to staying connected during the lockdown. To ensure the public appreciates this, we have provided engineers with signs to display in their vans whilst they work, indicating their status as key workers and highlighting the essential nature of their task in hand,” says O’Reilly. Well, it’s worth a try, but it’s hard to reason with unreason. (See Ofcom proves you can’t reason with 5G conspiracy nuts and 5G malaise mounts as COVID-19 morons mangle masts.)
  • UK towers firm Arqiva has appointed Paul Donovan as its new CEO. He succeeds Simon Beresford-Wylie, who has held the reins since August 2015. Donovan’s track record includes a stint as CEO at Eir, Ireland’s incumbent operator.
  • French communications regulator Arcep is one of nine new members and associate members of the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). GSA Associates, of which Arcep is one, get access to all GSA resources including industry reports and access to the GAMBoD databases from which GSA reports are compiled.
  • In a process that sounds like it combines the gothic sorcery of Harry Potter with the soul-sapping dullness of a very long PowerPoint presentation, Telefnica has retained its position for the sixth time in a row in the “Visionaries quadrant” of analyst firm Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Managed Mobility Services, Global.” This year’s Magic Quadrant, says Gartner, evaluates 14 providers, assessing across five categories for core MMS deliverables: sourcing and logistics management, managed UEM, security management, financial management and program management. Not sure there’s a movie in it

    Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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