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Two GFP Pieces: America Movil In Europe, Firefox Devices Come To Market

by Richard Guppy | Aug 07, 2013

I’ve just published the GFP Intelligence Report which identifies and interprets key events in the ICT industry over the previous two weeks.  This is truly a labor of love.. a big piece of work to review so many companies, but almost always fascinating for what is changing and new.  Clients can read the Intelligence Report at, and non-clients can contact me to receive a copy direct –  

Among my top picks this time are 1. what America Movil might do in Europe, and 2. a milestone in the development of Mozilla’s Firefox OS smartphones.

So first, Dutch telecoms operator KPN has agreed to sell its German ePlus business to Telefonica.  America Movil (one of the two major operators in South America alongside.. yes, Telefonica) took an  almost 30% stake recently in KPN.  Now, America Movil sees its nice new investment being sold to its arch rival.. and it is not happy.  It tried to block the sale, but with only a 30% stake did not have enough power.

America Movil has several options.  Sell its stake in KPN; continue with no change; or increase its stake in KPN and, using its increased power, cancel the sale to Telefonica in Germany.  If it takes this last option, that would be a major shake-up in Europe, with a new, global-scale operator eager to compete directly in Germany, one of the key European markets.  The impact in Germany on T-Mobile, Vodafone and Telefonica would be huge.  You couldn’t write this script, could you?  Keep watching to see what will happen.

Then second, the launch of Firefox OS products in Europe and South America by Telefonica, Telenor and others.  Mozilla is bringing its mobile operating system Firefox OS to market, to compete with Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows Phone, and Samsung’s Tizen. (Until now, ‘Firefox’ has been Mozilla’s web browser).  The great majority of smartphones today run on iOS and Android, and operators and manufacturers are keen to see alternatives succeed also.. such as Firefox.

Firefox OS runs apps written in HTML5, rather than the ‘native’ apps on other OS.  HTML5 got some bad press recently when Facebook switched to native apps, declaring that using HTML5 had been its biggest strategic mistake.  Therefore Firefox needs to show it can compete, and the launch of these products will be a key early indicator of Firefox’s future – though 2014 may be the big test year for Firefox OS.  Again, keep watching to see what will happen, and whether Apple and Google will have more competition than they’ve had from Microsoft and Blackberry.

More in two weeks!

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