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Eurobites: Virgin Media Boosts Liberty Global's Second Quarter

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: NTT seeks to offload Italian mobile content specialist; Allot, McAfee and Telefónica España team up on SMB cybersecurity; Tele2 blip prompts Dutch security scare.

  • Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) helped buff up Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY)'s second-quarter results, with the UK cable operator seeing 'rebased' revenue rise 4.1% year-on-year to £1.27 billion (US$1.73 billion), reflecting a 2.5% growth in its residential cable business and higher revenue from mobile handset sales. In terms of RGUs (revenue generating units), Virgin added 112,200 (net) in the second quarter, well up from 78,100 additions in the equivalent quarter a year ago. It will be interesting to see how the loss of UKTV channels, including the popular Dave channel, from its TV line-up affects Virgin's fortunes going forward.

    Things were less rosy at Liberty's other European operations, with RGU numbers down at its Belgian, Swiss and remaining central European units. Overall, rebased revenue for the group was up 2.7%, to $3.04 billion.

    Earlier this year Liberty announced it was planning to sell its operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania to Vodafone. (See Liberty Stages European Retreat.)

  • Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) wants to say goodbye to Buongiorno, the Italian mobile content company it acquired in 2012 for $267 million, the Financial Times reports. According to the FT's source, NTT will probably continue to work with the company in some way, even if it manages to make the sale.

  • Israeli packet inspection and security solutions specialist Allot Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT) has teamed up with security giant McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE) to develop a "cybersecurity solution for small and medium businesses (SMBs) which covers both fixed and mobile networks as well as device (PC and mobile) security." The managed service, which is based on the integration of Allot's NetworkSecure and McAfee Multi Access products, will be pitched to SMBs in Spain by Telefónica . "We believe that this advanced prevention solution, based on the unification of two robust security platforms, can contribute a lot to SMBs in the field of cybersecurity," noted Jose Luis Gilperez, executive director of Public Administrations, Defence and Security, at Telefónica España. "In addition, we see the huge potential of Telefónica to achieve very high penetration rates with this type of service," he added optimistically.

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has completed the first phase of an optical LAN deployment at a hotel that forms part of the massive Jeju Shinhwa World theme park complex in South Korea. The deployment supports 1,326 hotel rooms and the hotel's facility management system, including in-room IT services such as IPTV, VoIP, room control and WiFi. According to the Finnish vendor, its approach provides a LAN that is more flexible and scalable than its traditional, copper-based equivalent, and can be upgraded to 10G or 40G speeds with minimal disruption.

  • A technical hiccup at Tele2 Netherlands Holding NV led to hundreds of ankle monitors used by the authorities in the Netherlands to track the movements of offenders to stop working over the course of last weekend, the NL Times reports.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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