Not-so-paltry towers: Vodafone gears up to flog off massive masts business

Seeking to wipe a bit of red ink off balance sheet ahead of €19bn Liberty Global swallow

Vodafone is looking to flog off its towers in the next 18 months, the mobile operator revealed in first quarter results ended 30 June (PDF).

The telco today reported a fall in overall revenue of 2.3 per cent to €10.6bn for the quarter, while total UK sales rose 0.1 per cent to €1.57bn.

Nick Read, Vodafone group chief exec, said the business has started preparations "for a range of monetisation options," including a potential IPO after moving to legally separate the masts.

"We believe there is a substantial opportunity to unlock the embedded value of our towers," he said.

The entity would have earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of around €900m, with its sale helping pay to down Vodafone's debt, said Read.

In its last full year results (PDF) for the year ended 31 March, the group said net debt stood at €27bn.

Under the proposals, the spun-off entity would become Europe's largest tower company, comprising of 61,700 sites, with 75 per cent located in Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

"We will capture industrial efficiencies through network sharing agreements signed in multiple markets, and today we are announcing the decision to create Europe's largest tower company," said Read.

Vodafone has also today launched 5G roaming in 55 towns and cities across Italy, Spain, Germany and the UK. However, coverage remains limited, as the company only switched on 5G in Britain this month.

The mobile operator is also set to close its €19bn acquisition of Liberty Global's cable networks in Germany and central Europe.

Read said: "With the completion of the Liberty Global acquisitions, Vodafone will become Europe's leading converged operator, with growing fixed and converged services contributing around half of our European service revenues."

Yesterday Vodafone and O2 revealed plans to share their 5G radio antennas and joint network sites, run by its joint venture Cornerstone. Vodafone suggested it was looking at ways to monetise the joint venture. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021