Vodafone has put £537 million on the table to acquire Swedish Tele2's telecoms operations in Spain and Italy. The acquisition will see 2.6 million fixed-line and more than 400,000 broadband customers brought to the group in Italy as well as 550,000 and 240,000 customers respectively in Spain. The deal is expected to be completed by December.
Tele2 offer unbundled telephone services in major cities in Italy and Spain. They provide services elsewhere through a resale service, similar to how most operators implement LLU in the UK. Vodafone plan to increase the coverage over the next year.
This acquisition is consistent with our strategy of meeting our customers' total communications needs. It will generate substantial time to market benefits in Italy and Spain, where low broadband penetration and the market structure make ownership of fixed broadband assets attractive.
We have now established a clear route to delivering fixed broadband services in each of our major European markets.Arun Sarin (Chief Executive), Vodafone
In the UK, the Vodafone@home service launched in January which provides broadband over a fixed-line for £14 a month. In the UK market they have chosen not to expand to the LLU arena but instead offer a resold service using BT Wholesale, similar to other ISPs. This gives them national coverage, something that no LLU providers (such as their competitors Orange and O2) have managed with their own infrastructure.
Tele2 also announced it has sold its Austrian mobile operations to Telekom Austria.
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