Mobile World Live brings you our top three picks of the week, as Saudi Arabian operator stc spent big on a sizeable stake in Telefonica, Vodafone signed-up with Amazon for satellite broadband and Arm continued on the long road to its IPO.
Saudi giant stc splashes €2.1B on Telefonica stake
What happened: stc bought a 9.9 per cent interest in Telefonica for €2.1 billion, though the transaction immediately piqued the interest of Spanish authorities.
Why it matters: The investment is stc’s latest attempt to expand its interests internationally, after splashing out €1.2 billion on tower assets in Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia earlier this year. However, the move is set to come under scrutiny from senior politicians in Spain who are reportedly set to investigate any security implications.
Vodafone seals satellite deal with Project Kuiper
What happened: Vodafone and Africa subsidiary Vodacom signed-up with Amazon’s Project Kuiper as part a drive to improve connectivity in underserved areas.
Why it matters: The move is the operator groups’ latest look to the stars to aid connectivity efforts, having already backed aspiring direct-to-device satellite service provider AST SpaceMobile. Vodafone CEO Margherita Della Valle hopes its work with its new partner will aid attempts to connect remote communities, businesses and public facilities in underserved areas and complement its work with AST SpaceMobile.
Arm secures support for IPO
What happened: Despite touting big name support for its long-anticipated IPO, Arm shares are now likely to be priced below initial market expectations.
Why it matters: Radio Free Mobile founder Richard Windsor suggested the cutting back of the expected price was a sign the process has not been plain sailing, though highlighted much of the success of the eventual sale will be defined by whether owner SoftBank Group can persuade investors to give the chip designer an “AI-like” valuation.