Expatica news

Yoigo to pull out of Spain, according to Swedish press

6 February 2008

MADRID – Yoigo, Spain’s fourth cell phone license holder, denied Tuesday that its Swedish parent company TeliaSonera is planning to pull out of Spain, contrary to recent speculation in the Swedish media.

"These are nothing but rumours," a spokesman for Yoigo, which began providing 3G cell phone services in Spanish cities in late 2006, said.

On Tuesday, Sweden’s Dagens Industri business newspaper reported that TeliaSonera CEO Lars Nyberg may announce the end of Yoigo’s operations when he presents the telecom group’s 2007 earnings results on Friday.

The end of TeliaSonera’s venture in Spain would be due to Yoigo’s failure to sufficiently expand its scant market share and its low profit margins at a time when TeliaSonera is looking to cut costs, the newspaper indicated.

Since acquiring Spain’s fourth cell phone license through the purchase of 80 percent of now defunct operator Xfera in 2006, TeliaSonera has struggled to compete against Telefónica Movistar, Vodafone and Orange. Though targeted at young penny-pinching urbanites, as of the end of last year Yoigo had only managed to build a client base of 300,000, about 1 percent of the market.

Besides TeliaSonera, constructors ACS and FCC and IT firm Telvent are also stakeholders in the operator.

The Yoigo spokesman said that that Nyberg himself had called the Spanish operator a "long-term project."

[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]

Subject: Spanish news