Vivendi has appointed its head of telecommunications, Jean-Yves Charlier, as the CEO of SFR in a move that strengthens the leadership of the French operator ahead of a possible initial public offering.
The mobile price war in France continues to have its winners and losers, with both Vivendi and Bouygues Telecom reporting worsening profits in the first quarter as Iliad boasted that its mobile revenue tripled in the same period.
SFR could be the next operator after Maroc Telecom to face the Vivendi axe, although the French media and telecoms group insisted it is in no rush to sell anything, especially at the wrong price.
Vivendi has received two binding offers for its 53 per cent stake in fixed and mobile operator Maroc Telecom, after both Dubai-based Etisalat and Qatari operator Ooredoo submitted bids, as had been widely expected.
Cisco Systems is boosting its small cell and femtocell activity by acquiring UK-based Ubiquisys for $310 million (£205 million). The deal is scheduled to close by the end of 2013 and involves a combination of cash and employee retention incentives.
Vivendi is considering splitting off its French mobile network subsidiary, SFR, into a separate company, according to a Bloomberg report. The SFR discussions follow failed attempts to get acceptable bids for Vivendi's other properties, Activision Blizzard and Brazilian broadband company GVT.
The cost of building Free Mobile's mobile network ate into Iliad's net profit in 2012, although the French fixed and mobile operator said it was still in the black and achieved an almost 50 percent increase in sales to €3.15 billion last year, with over €840 million generated by the new mobile unit.
Shares in Bouygues Telecom jumped 3.5 per cent after news broke that the French telecom regulator Arcep gave it the go-ahead to refarm existing 1800 MHz for LTE services starting this October.
French mobile operators will be able to ink network sharing deals after the country's antitrust authority gave its approval on a limited basis. The antitrust authority said it would closely monitor the market to ensure that competition is maintained.
France Telecom will announce a price increase by April for its LTE service following the launch of the high speed technology in 15 French cities.