Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wither Orange NL's broadband unit (2)

The balance seems to be tipping in favor of holding on to the former Wanadoo unit.

What is happening? Deutsche Telekom bought Orange NL to merge it with T-Mobile NL. However, Orange NL also operates an LLU unit (the former Wanadoo operations). So far, Deutsche Telekom appears to have either a PTT (eatern Europe) or a mobile-only strategy 'abroad' (even as Vodafone is entering the fixed-line business). I therefore assumed that the BB unit would be put up for sale.

Now Deutsche Telekom has spoken, in Barcelona. It aims to reduce its dependence on the domestic business by expanding abroad - in both mobile and ISP assets. The latter is really new to the strategy. (remember that Club Internet (France) and Ya.com (Spain) were sold). See also the recent Q3 report (page 17, under Group Strategy): "Grow abroad with mobile communications" (which, by the way, is repeated in the Barcelona presentation).

This addition to the strategy could have quite far reaching consequences, as T-Mobile operates (mobile-only) units in the UK, the USA, Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. Deutsche Telekom could be a major consolidating force, but it remains to be seen if the company truly pursues this strategy.

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