14/03/2005

Ones to watch

There are two companies that could make interesting moves in the months to come that look to emerge from the pack.

One.tel who were set-up by Centrica and once looked to be dumped by Centrica may now be an exciting bet. I'd guess that Centrica decided that the market wouldn't support a sensible sale, so their best move would to be invest more in the company and it looks like that One.tel have now got between £250M and £300M to go buy someone. Since consilidation is the game this may be actually be pretty perfect timing to buy a network or a competitor who are ailing and so gain by economies of scale.

Wanadoo are also investing heavily in their own infrastructure (to the detriment of Energis) and it seems France Telecom is funding Euros 1bn over 3 years for LLU roll-out. That's likely to make Wanadoo the largest LLU entrant in the UK and they have plans for unbundling around 1,000 exchanges. LLU is all about scale, but with this kind of cash to play with it will give them a very good fighting chance.
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