|Bid||56.450 x 0|
|Ask||56.500 x 0|
|Day's Range||55.950 - 57.250|
|52 Week Range||45.050 - 86.450|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.16|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||5.47|
|Earnings Date||Mar 19, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||3.17 (6.04%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||May 19, 2020|
|1y Target Est||111.06|
(Bloomberg) -- Telecom masts that enable the next generation of wireless communication were set on fire in the U.K. in recent days, apparently by people motivated by a theory that the technology helps spread the coronavirus. Investors are taking note.“Most will laugh at this scientifically unproven claim, but we should not underestimate public worry about potentially adverse health impacts of 5G due to radiation, and thus a possible drag on the 5G progress in democratic countries,” analysts led by Edison Lee at Jefferies Financial Group Inc. said in a note on Sunday.While there’s no evidence to support the idea that 5G airwaves contribute to Covid-19’s spread, the conspiracy is being shared widely on social media. Mast fires were reported in Belfast, Liverpool and Birmingham, according to local media. A video of a telecom tower on fire was circulated on a Birmingham community web page, and Facebook removed a group which encouraged users to share footage of equipment being destroyed, the Guardian reported Friday.At least 20 masts have been attacked in the last few days, according to trade body Mobile U.K.“It’s diverting resources from emergency services dealing with the pandemic, and from the industry ensuring the country remains connected” said Gareth Elliott, head of policy and spokesman for Mobile U.K. “It’s putting people’s lives at risk.”5G is being rolled out by all four U.K. mobile carriers: BT Group Plc, Vodafone Group Plc, Telefonica SA’s O2, and CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.’s Three U.K.The networks denounced the mast attacks in a joint statement on Sunday. Britain’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport tweeted that criminal acts inspired by “crackpot conspiracy theories circulating online” will “face the full force of the law.”Counter-terrorism police are investigating, according to Vodafone U.K. Chief Executive Officer Nick Jeffery.The government has set up special units to combat misinformation about the virus, and says it’s pressing social media companies “for further action to stem the spread of falsehoods and rumors which could cost lives.” Media regulator Ofcom last week sanctioned a small radio station for featuring a guest who claimed 5G caused the pandemic. Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson shared the theory on his Instagram account last week.Concerns about links between 5G and cancer were already slowing its roll-out in countries including Switzerland, Bloomberg Businessweek previously reported, despite a lack of scientific support for the claims. Last month the independent global health body, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, deemed 5G to be safe.“Public fear, even if not fact-based, can pressure governments to act if it is big enough,” the Jefferies analysts wrote. “With so many unknowns as to the nature of COVID-19, it is not surprising that people might believe any theories, no matter how baseless.”(Updates with number of attacks and wireless industry comment from fourth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- U.K. officials are in talks with mobile network operators about using their data to aid government efforts to repatriate Britons stranded abroad because of the coronavirus crisis, said three people familiar with the matter.Britain’s four mobile phone companies and the government are discussing how to use customer roaming data to help charter rescue flights, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. Roaming bills could be used to work out how many customers are in different countries, two of the people said.Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said March 30 the government has made arrangements with airlines to fly home “tens of thousands” of Britons stranded abroad, when it’s not possible for them to return by commercial flights.BT Group Plc, Vodafone Group Plc, Telefonica SA and CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. are working with the data regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office, to ensure compliance with data protection laws, one of the people said.Spokespeople for Vodafone and Telefonica’s O2 referred inquiries to industry lobby group Mobile U.K., which said operators are doing what they can to assist government during the pandemic. A BT spokesman declined to comment. A spokeswoman from CK Hutchison’s Three said the company is in discussions with the government on how it can best assist its efforts to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Spokespeople for the Foreign Office and the ICO weren’t able to provide immediate comment.Raab advised citizens to return to Britain on March 23. The number of canceled flights and grounded planes since then prompted the government to pledge 75 million pounds ($93 million) to arrange transportation for those unable to use commercial routes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Shares plunged Friday in Asia, with Japan’s benchmark sinking as much as 10% after Wall Street suffered its biggest drop since the Black Monday crash of 1987.
(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson risked a rift with President Donald Trump as he gave Huawei Technologies Co. the green light to help develop Britain’s next-generation broadband networks.While the U.K. government announced it will keep what it calls high-risk vendors such as Huawei out of the most sensitive core parts of its 5G mobile networks, the company will be able to supply other equipment that is critical to the roll-out of broadband such as antennas and base stations.That is a blow to the Trump administration, which wanted Johnson to impose an outright ban on the Shenzhen-based tech giant, citing concerns that its gear could be vulnerable to infiltration by Chinese spies. The two men spoke about the U.K. decision on Tuesday, according to Johnson’s office. American officials had warned the U.S. may be forced to hold back secret intelligence from the U.K. in future, if Johnson pressed ahead with giving Huawei a role. The company has always denied it poses any security risk.A key pillar of Johnson’s vision for a future outside the world’s richest single market is a trade deal with the U.S. and the Huawei license risks setting up a clash with Trump. On their call on Tuesday, Johnson “underlined the importance of like-minded countries working together to diversify the market and break the dominance of a small number of companies,” his office said.The initial reaction from Washington was muted.A senior U.S. administration official expressed disappointment at Johnson’s decision, but also hope that the U.S. and the U.K. could still find some way to exclude components from untrusted vendors in 5G systems in future. Trump himself has yet to comment, and is preparing to announce his Middle East peace plan later Tuesday.Read More: U.K. Still Wary of China Hacking Threat After Limiting HuaweiReactions from Congress were more critical. “Here’s the sad truth: our special relationship is less special now that the U.K. has embraced the surveillance state commies at Huawei,” said Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska.Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee suggested curtailing intelligence-sharing with any allies whose networks run on the equipment of “untrusted” vendors. “If we have exhausted our carrots with the Brits, it may be time to use a stick,” Blackburn said in a statement. Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, in a reference to Brexit, said: “I fear London has freed itself from Brussels only to cede sovereignty to Beijing. Allowing Huawei to build the U.K.’s 5G networks today is like allowing the KGB to build its telephone network during the Cold War.”In London, too, senior members of Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party expressed dismay at his decision. Former party leader Iain Duncan Smith, and ex-cabinet minister David Davis warned of the security risks the Chinese company posed. “The size and complexity, the problem we are trying to protect against, is enormous,” Davis told the House of Commons. “Huawei should be banned from our networks.”The widely-expected announcement by Johnson’s government is a compromise between the outright ban on Huawei sought by the U.S. and the access sought by telecommunication companies. While it ends months of political wrangling in the U.K., the process remains fraught with peril for Johnson as he prepares to end Britain’s 47 years of European Union membership and plans to negotiate a new trade deal with the U.S.Market ShareUnder the U.K.’s policy, a cap of up to 35% will be imposed on Huawei’s share of the non-sensitive parts of the next-generation networks, such as antennas, masts and even fixed-line fiber-to-the-home components.High risk vendors, a category which would also include China’s ZTE, which is already banned from the U.K., are also to be “excluded from sensitive geographic locations, such as nuclear sites and military bases.”The 35% cap will be kept under review and could reduce over time, the government said. The cap is roughly in line with Huawei’s current overall market share in 4G, and Huawei said it was expected and reasonable. U.K. officials said the cap could be reduced over time, and the aim is to work with allies to help develop alternatives and get to a stage where the country doesn’t need to rely on high-risk vendors at all.However, the cap may mean that phone carriers like BT Group Plc’s EE, Vodafone Group Plc and Three have to rejig their 5G plans to comply. Three, a unit of Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., had been depending on Huawei to deliver the entirety of its 5G radio-access network, with Nokia chosen to provide the core.Dave Dyson, chief executive officer of Three U.K., said in a statement: “We note the government’s announcement and are reviewing the detail.”Ericsson AB and Nokia Oyj are the primary Huawei rivals in networking equipment now, but the U.K. decision may help create more options for certain segments of wireless networks. Cisco Systems Inc., Juniper Networks Inc., Ciena Corp. and Infinera Corp. may benefit as wireless operators look for alternative suppliers, said Woo Jin Ho, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst.Huawei ReassuredIn a statement, Huawei Vice-President Victor Zhang said it was “reassured” that the U.K. will let the company keep working with carriers on 5G.“This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future,” he said, committing to build on Huawei’s more than 15 years supplying U.K. telecom operators.The Confederation of British Industry, the leading business lobby in the country, said “this solution appears a sensible compromise that gives the U.K. access to cutting-edge technology, whilst building in appropriate checks and balances around security.” Vodafone, which uses Huawei in its U.K. radio network, said “we aim to keep any potential disruption to customers to a minimum.”By curbing Huawei’s access but still allowing the supplier to play a role in 5G, British officials are betting they can manage any security risks at home and still maintain intelligence-sharing ties with the U.S. and other allies.Johnson discussed Huawei in a phone call with Trump on Friday, and clearly wasn’t swayed by the push for a total ban. The prime minister said the U.K. could have the best of both worlds: retaining access to the best technology while protecting the data of consumers. British security services deem the risks manageable.For the U.K. timing of its announcement is particularly sensitive. U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who had warned Johnson’s predecessor not to “wobble” on the issue, is due to visit on Wednesday.Huawei has been a key supplier to the U.K. and many other European phone networks for over a decade so this decision will be closely watched by others. In fact, many European nations are leaning in the same direction as the U.K.QuickTake: Can a 70-Year-Old Spy Alliance Endure in Era of 5G?The EU will publish its own guidelines on Wednesday which give leeway to member states to restrict or ban Huawei without forcing them to do so. According to a draft of the document seen by Bloomberg, countries should consider banning suppliers based in countries with insufficient “democratic checks and balances” from core 5G components.Canada has also indicated interest in a similarly split decision -- allowing Huawei while also pledging to contain any security risk.A key concern of the U.S. is that other countries will copy-and-paste the U.K.’s solution, relying on its regulatory system and high level of access to Huawei technology.“The U.K. model isn’t easily replicated,” warned Ian Levy, technical director of the National Cyber Security Centre, in a blog published alongside the decision. “The approach we’ve come up with for the U.K. is specific to the U.K. context. Others shouldn’t assume they’re getting the same level of protection for modern networks if they do similar things without performing their own analysis.”The market is broken, he added, because it’s not commercially attractive to build good security into networks.(Updates with Huawei alternatives in 16th paragraph)\--With assistance from Olivia Konotey-Ahulu, Josh Wingrove and Kevin Cirilli.To contact the reporters on this story: Thomas Seal in London at email@example.com;Alex Morales in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at email@example.com, Tim Ross, Rebecca PentyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- There’s a fine line between a fudge and a workable compromise. In Britain’s handling of Huawei Technologies Co., Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just about managed to secure the latter.The U.K. has brushed off the U.S.’s complaints and decided to allow its telecoms operators to install equipment made by “high-risk vendors” — read: Huawei — in their networks. But the government drew a line, excluding it outright from sensitive core parts of the network and capping its gear’s presence in the non-sensitive parts at 35% of the total.Outwardly, President Donald Trump won’t like the solution. But if the U.S.’s loudest protestations about security concerns were genuine, and not in fact an effort to stymie Chinese economic influence, then it should be able to stomach the compromise. American concern has focused on the risk of Huawei building backdoors into networks that can be readily exploited by Chinese state-sponsored actors. After all, China passed a law in 2017 obliging companies to assist the state with espionage efforts. And while no such backdoors have yet been found, that isn’t proof that they don’t exist.QuicktakeHow Huawei Landed at the Center of Global Tech TussleBut at the same time, a great deal of capital, both political and actual, has been invested in the promise of fifth-generation networks. Globally, revenue from the so-called Internet of Things will quadruple to $1.1 trillion by 2025, industry body the GSMA estimates. With about a third of the $50 billion global telecoms equipment market, Huawei has become the biggest player, with some of the best technology and lowest prices. Banning it would have ramifications for the pace of the 5G rollout.That is why the U.K. approach is a pragmatic one. It’s allowing Huawei products into the radio-access network — essentially the antenna and base stations — but keeping it out of the core: the server hubs that direct data around the network. Network security focuses on three pillars: confidentiality, integrity and availability. The first one focuses on ensuring that bad actors can’t see your data. The second is about making sure no-one is altering data during transmission. And the third is about guaranteeing network access when it’s needed.By those criteria, the U.K. decision seems to eliminate most, though not all, of the risk. If there are indeed backdoors into the parts of the network using Huawei gear, then they will likely only have access to data from that 35% of the network using it. It should still be possible to keep the equipment out of sensitive networks, such as those running the power grids and police communications. Indeed, France won’t let operators use Huawei antenna in Toulouse, for instance, where the airplane giant Airbus SA is based. BT Group Plc was already stripping Huawei gear out of its existing core networks. It likely would have been hard to secure lucrative government contracts without doing so.At any rate, telecommunications firms’ cybersecurity efforts will be on heightened alert where the slice of their operations that do still contain Huawei products is concerned. It might be easier to spot disturbing anomalies. If a base station is siphoning off gobs of data to somewhere in Asia, that will be more noteworthy than if it’s coming from the core network. As the distinction between core and edge networks blurs in the move toward full 5G, Huawei’s role must be managed even more carefully.Johnson had three sets of interests to navigate: the Americans threatened to cut off intelligence sharing with Britain in response; China’s ambassador warned a Huawei ban would have “substantial” repercussions for investment in the U.K.; and Britain’s own network operators — Vodafone Group Plc., BT, O2 (part of Spain’s Telefonica SA) and Three (owned by Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.) — also had their say.The stakes are higher for these companies than for their U.S. peers, who are already prevented from using almost any Huawei products. That’s because they’re poorer. AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. enjoy average revenue per customer of close to $50 a month. In the U.K., Vodafone gets just 14 pounds ($18.22), according to Bloomberg Intelligence.British carriers are therefore much more cost sensitive. Knocking Huawei out of the running in the radio-access network would have left a duopoly of Nokia Oyj and Ericsson AB, giving the suppliers a huge amount of pricing power. Samsung Electronics Co. is accelerating into the industry, but its gear is often even pricier. And U.S. suppliers such as Juniper Networks Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. compete more effectively in the core network.The European Union looks set to issue guidelines that imitate the U.K. approach. The U.S. may not like it, but Johnson was never going to keep everyone happy.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
KUALA LUMPUR/SINGAPORE, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Under pressure to deliver cash to shareholders after a merger with Norway's Telenor collapsed, Malaysia's Axiata has changed tack: It is now in talks to offload stakes in units and will no longer entertain a group-level deal, sources told Reuters. The strategy's success is crucial for the telecoms firm - majority-owned by sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd and other state-linked funds - as it faces margin-destroying competition across Southeast Asia, huge investment in fifth-generation (5G) networks https://www.reuters.com/article/us-telecoms-5g-malaysia/malaysias-5g-plan-a-potential-boon-for-chinas-huawei-idUSKBN1W90RD and cash-hungry investors. Axiata Group Bhd and Telenor ASA in May began talks for a non-cash deal to create Southeast Asia's largest telecoms operator with 300 million subscribers.
NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN OR INTO OR FROM ANY JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OF SUCH.
(Bloomberg) -- CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., the Hong Kong conglomerate backed by tycoon Victor Li, has made a preliminary approach to Axiata Group Bhd. about a potential combination of their Indonesian telecommunications operations, people with knowledge of the matter said.CK Hutchison informally expressed interest in exploring a combination of its Indonesian wireless business with the Malaysian carrier’s local unit, PT XL Axiata, the people said. The parties haven’t yet started any substantive negotiations, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.Shares of XL Axiata jumped as much as 9.8% in early Tuesday trading in Jakarta, its biggest advance since Feb. 18. The stock has risen about 76% this year, giving the company a market value of $2.65 billion.Axiata, Malaysia’s biggest wireless carrier, and Norway’s Telenor ASA last week ended talks to merge their Asian telecommunications operations in a deal that would have created a company with 300 million customers across nine countries.The Malaysian company has been introducing strategic investors to some of its businesses and pushing into new areas as it seeks to revitalize growth. In July last year, Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. invested in its mobile advertising arm, while Tokyo-based trading house Mitsui & Co. bought a stake in Axiata’s digital services unit this year. Axiata’s wireless tower business has also attracted preliminary takeover interest in recent months, Bloomberg News has reported.The exact structure of any potential deal in Indonesia hasn’t been determined, according to the people. Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said. A representative for CK Hutchison declined to comment.“Axiata has created significant value uplift and attractiveness for its operations and as evidenced in the last one year,” Axiata said in a statement in response to Bloomberg queries. “We have attracted a lot of suitors to partner with us and seeking to acquire our assets including Telenor, Mitsui, Sumitomo, among others.”Hutchison Asia Telecommunications, which houses CK Hutch’s telecom business in Indonesia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, had about 45.7 million active customer accounts across the three countries, according to its latest interim financial report. Indonesia accounted for HK$3.7 billion ($472 million), or 86% of Hutch Asia’s total revenue in the first six months of 2019. It’s the only Hutch Asia’s market that posted positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.(Updates to XL Axiata share performance in third paragraph)\--With assistance from Fathiya Dahrul, Vinicy Chan, Tassia Sipahutar, Thomas Kutty Abraham, Shirley Zhao and Ville Heiskanen.To contact the reporters on this story: Elffie Chew in Kuala Lumpur at firstname.lastname@example.org;Manuel Baigorri in Hong Kong at email@example.com;Joyce Koh in Singapore at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fion Li at email@example.com, Ben ScentFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd is weighing a combination of its Indonesian telecommunications business with that of Malaysia's Axiata Group Bhd, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people with knowledge of the matter. CK Hutchison, the ports-to-telecoms arm of retired billionaire Li Ka-shing's businesses, informally explored a combination of its Indonesian wireless business with the Malaysian carrier's Indonesian unit, PT XL Axiata, the report https://bloom.bg/2kDgC55 said. The companies have not begun any substantive negotiations, it added.
(Bloomberg) -- European phone companies are selling their mobile masts and growth-hungry U.S. tower companies have money to spend -- it looks like a marriage made in heaven.Instead, firms like American Tower Corp. and Crown Castle International Corp. are largely staying away, making it easier for Spain’s Cellnex Telecom SA and infrastructure funds managed by Macquarie Group Ltd., KKR & Co. and others to sweep up the region’s tower assets.Their hesitation is driven partly by price: the global hunt for yield has driven up the premium for these assets, which offer reliable, steady income streams. Independent tower companies also won’t pay top dollar unless they see a path to significant revenue growth -- and that’s where they have a problem with Europe.“The American tower companies say, ‘OK, Europe is fine at the right price, but prices are not where we need them to be, so we think the opportunities elsewhere are more attractive,”’ said Nick Del Deo, senior analyst at U.S. research firm MoffettNathanson.Tens of thousands of European masts are expected to see ownership changes in the next two years as companies such as Iliad SA, Vodafone Group Plc and Telecom Italia SpA bring in new investors to reduce debt and share the heavy cost of rolling out 5G technology.But only a quarter are likely to end up with independent operators, according to TowerXchange. Vodafone and CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. are creating separate units for almost 90,000 towers and the consultancy expects them to maintain control over those businesses. That’s a turn-off for independent companies, which try to maximize revenue by leasing mast space to as many network operators as possible.Many European carriers want to keep some hold on their towers because they see mobile infrastructure as a strategic asset that can help them manage costs and perhaps gain a competitive edge. They’re also mindful of what happened in the U.S., where operators rushed to sell their towers more than a decade ago only to find themselves stuck with a big bill for leases and capacity rights.Vodafone Surges on Possible IPO, Stake Sale of Towers UnitVodafone and Telefonica Ink 5G Terms in Move to U.K. Tower SalesNiel Agrees to $3 Billion of Phone Tower Sales to CellnexCK Hutchison to Separate Out European Phone Towers BusinessSelling full ownership of towers to independent players can spur innovation and reduce expenses by encouraging carriers to share infrastructure, avoiding costly duplication. European carriers’ insistence on maintaining control means the continent’s progress in rolling out 5G will likely continue to be slower compared to the U.S., where towers are largely in independent hands.“There is a risk that the European carriers go too far the other way,” Del Deo said. “The captive tower model, if you look globally, has never proven to be that effective.”For now, American Tower is mostly relying on building towers in Africa, Latin America and India for its international growth.Crown Castle didn’t respond to a request for comment on its future European asset bidding plans. American Tower declined to comment. Its chief executive officer, James Taiclet, told analysts last month that recent large European tower sales didn’t meet its bar for growth prospects and asset costs.Here are some other reasons why U.S. tower firms aren’t piling into Europe:Redundancy: Europe has more cases of towers operated by rival carriers sitting in close proximity. An independent owner may want to remove one to cut costs, but the tower often comes with a ground lease that they must keep paying for years.Less Potential: Europe has lots of rooftop antenna sites, which can’t accommodate as many customers as can a ground-based tower. Many European portfolios include broadcast towers in rural areas that may not be as valuable as mobile towers.Radio Emission Rules: In some countries, rules on maximum electromagnetic radio emissions limit the number of antennas a tower firm can install at a single site.\--With assistance from Scott Moritz.To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Pfeiffer in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at email@example.com, Jennifer Ryan, Anthony PalazzoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
John Lam's safety equipment shop has been spared the global downdraft shaking Hong Kong's economy. In times of crisis, businesses providing basic necessities tend to fare better. In Lam's case, that means hard hats, filtered masks, goggles and other gear that millions of anti-government protesters taking to the streets in the past two months bought to protect themselves as clashes with police turned increasingly violent.
(Bloomberg) -- Swisscom AG’s Italian unit Fastweb is becoming the fifth wireless carrier in an industry that had aimed to reduce the number of mobile phone players in a bid to fight shrinking revenue.Italy’s Development Ministry awarded Fastweb the license last week, a company representative said. Fastweb, which offers high-speed internet services to consumers and businesses wants to attract more lucrative subscribers from rivals such as Telecom Italia SpA and Vodafone Group Plc in one of the world’s most competitive mobile markets.Fastweb had already provided mobile service by renting space on Telecom Italia’s network. Now, it plans to build its own infrastructure. The company paid about 200 million euros ($223 million) for mobile spectrum and towers from Tiscali SpA last year and then bought 5G frequencies for 32.6 million euros. In June, Fastweb also reached a deal with CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.’s Wind Tre to share investments to build 5G networks in Italy.Fastweb’s move goes against the consolidation trend in the Italian telecomunications industry that started in 2015, when VimpelCom Ltd. and Hutchison reached a deal to combine their Italian businesses. Between 2013 and 2018, the Italian mobile industry lost 2.4 billion euros of revenue due to a price war among service providers, according to the country’s communications regulator Agcom.When Wind and Tre agreed to merge, industry executives hoped consolidation would ultimately cut the number of Italian carriers to three from four.Instead, France’s Iliad SA, one of Europe’s most aggressive phone carriers in term of pricing, entered the Italian market last year following a request by the European regulator to maintain competition.To contact the reporter on this story: Daniele Lepido in Milan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at email@example.com, Dan LiefgreenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Vodafone Group Plc switched on the U.K.’s second 5G wireless network on Wednesday, kicking off a commercial battle with dominant rival EE that could shape a decade of sales.The technology’s faster download speeds and more reliable connections give the first movers an opportunity to snatch a bigger share of a saturated market. Back in 2012, EE -- now owned by BT Group Plc -- launched 4G services almost a year ahead of the pack, an edge that cemented its position as the U.K.’s largest mobile carrier.Vodafone isn’t making the same mistake again. Its 5G service went live in seven cities just a month after EE’s launch, giving both companies a chance to grab business with early adopters. Britain’s other two mobile networks -- CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.’s Three U.K. and Telefonica SA’s O2 -- aim to offer 5G by the end of the year.Britain’s mobile price war looks set to continue in the 5G era: Vodafone said Wednesday it would set prices according to connection speed rather than the amount of data consumed, and won’t charge a premium for 5G.“We’ve decided it’s time for the U.K. to be unlimited,” said Vodafone’s consumer director Max Taylor.The stakes are arguably higher now than when 4G was launched. Europe’s phone industry has been stagnating for several years, partly because handsets have become more expensive and offer fewer appealing features with each upgrade. That’s dampened an important source of revenue for the network operators. 5G marks a rare boost in power and speed.“5G is a massive opportunity for the smartphone sales business of operators like Vodafone,” said Canalys analyst Ben Stanton by email. “For the first time in a decade, customers will be compelled to upgrade both their device and their tariff at the same time.”EE has plastered 5G ads across big cities and enlisted rap star Stormzy in its biggest ever marketing effort, a spokesman said. It offered 5G connections at the five-day Glastonbury music festival, where Instagram-happy smartphone users gobbled up 104 terabytes of data, 1,000 times more than at the same event in 2010, according to EE.5G gives Vodafone a chance to reset its brand after a period of intense customer complaints and cancellations that peaked in 2015, said Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight. Vodafone poached Taylor in March from EE, where he was head of marketing.“If you can associate your network brand with being the best for 5G then that’s going to be a big leg-up on your rivals,” said Wood.Huawei RisksEE and Vodafone aim to reach more than 15 urban centers by year end. The networks can handle far more data than 4G and could end up being 100 times faster, pushing down operating costs.Yet the commercial opportunity is still clouded in uncertainty.All the U.K. carriers are rolling out hundreds of 5G radio antennas supplied by Huawei Technologies Co., before the government has decided whether to restrict the Chinese vendor over concerns that its 5G systems are vulnerable to espionage or disruption. If it does, the companies could have to replace Huawei gear with equipment from alternative suppliers.The U.K. is the biggest European market so far to offer competing 5G services. Two Swiss networks, Sunrise Communications Group AG and Swisscom AG, began theirs earlier this year.(Updates first paragraph with network going live, adds detail on pricing.)\--With assistance from Nate Lanxon.To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Seal in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at email@example.com, Thomas PfeifferFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Hutchison China MediTech Limited (“Chi-Med”) (AIM/Nasdaq: HCM) announces that Hutchison Healthcare Holdings Limited (“HHHL”), the largest shareholder of Chi-Med and a subsidiary of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (SEHK: 1), intends to offer 8,500,000 American Depositary Shares ("ADSs"), each representing five ordinary shares ("Ordinary Shares"), par value US$0.10 each of Chi-Med ("Offering").