20090703

UK 1 down, France 1 up ?

All options on the table for T-Mobile UK ? France Telecom - Orange officially not interested, Vodafone and Telefonica - O2 considering the case, 3 below the radar.

Considering the value suggested by DTAG's own finance czars (less than the fees paid for their 3G license nine years ago), one way of optimizing the garage sale could be to sell chunks of spectrum to North Korean investors (insisting on potential health hazards), infrastructure to Myanmar, and customers to, say, one or two M-VNOs. Or even Three.

T-Mobile UK boasts 16.7 M customers, including Virgin Mobile UK. Virgin Mobile France is still officially hot for France's fourth license, along with partner Numericable-Completel*. I think that just like Iliad-Free, they're even hotter for any deep pocket investor with a MNO background (Orascom ?).

Whether France gets a fourth 3G MNO or not, UK will have to go down to a more reasonable level than the initial 5.

European incumbents will probably get a better ROI in India. Vodafone Essar didn't wait for the upcoming 3G auctions (more spectrum, more markets available), and invested with infrastructure partner Nokia in seven new regions.


You know the heyday of the Empire is over when a portion of India looks more exciting than UK as a whole.

* note that Numericable, a customer service laughing stock a few years ago, has been taking things seriously recently, particularly since Pierre Danon joined.



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