Tom Leins

Tom Leins is a Senior Research Analyst for TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. Based out of the company’s UK office, he also contributes to the company’s daily CommsUpdate newsletter, which includes his popular weekly MVNO Monday round-up. MVNO industry aside, Tom has developed a strong specialization in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean, tracking mergers and acquisitions, spectrum auctions, regulatory developments, market opportunities, and growth trends.

Recent Posts

The Companies Competing to Break One of Africa’s Last Mobile Monopolies

After years of speculation that market liberalization was coming in Ethiopia, in May 2020 authorities kick-started the long-awaited licensing process. The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) issued a request for expressions of interest (EoI) for two new telecom licenses.

With the deadline now passed, we look at the bidders vying to disrupt one of Africa’s last mobile monopolies.

The Billion Dollar Bidding War for America’s 5G Spectrum

Following back-to-back 5G-suitable spectrum auctions, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revealed the registered bidders ahead of this summer’s planned 3.5GHz sale.

Today, we look at 5G auctions to date and identify the operators who are spending big to strengthen their spectrum portfolios.

A Maverick Operator is Hoping to Challenge the Status Quo in Colombia

With a wireless population penetration rate exceeding 120% and a competitive landscape that includes five mobile network operators and several prominent MVNOs, few people would consider Columbia an enticing target market.

One intrepid telco disagrees.

The Little-Known European Telecom Group That Completed 100 Takeovers in 20 Years

Headquartered in Amsterdam, United Group is a multiplay telecom and media provider that's developed a large footprint across southeast Europe. Last month, the company secured the acquisition of Tele2 Croatia from Sweden’s Tele2 Group.

The deal is valued at EUR220 million—easily one of United Group’s most notable takeovers.

The Great British Sell-Off: How BT Intends to Dismantle Its Global Empire

In December 2019, UK telecom giant BT Group agreed to sell BT Espana to investment fund Portobello Capital. This was the first part of its plan to dismantle and sell off its sprawling BT Global Services unit. This month, BT agreed to offload its Latin American businesses to CIH Telecommunications Americas, marking the second confirmed transaction.

Today we examine BT’s motivations and take a closer look at other businesses that are likely to be sold off.

How a Mega-Merger Nearly Destroyed a Brazilian Telecom Giant

The ill-advised merger between Brazilian telecom giant Oi and Portugal Telecom—a union that we first heard about in October 2013—ranks as one of the more disastrous telecom tie-ups in recent memory. While Oi’s subsequent financial issues have been well-documented, the slow unraveling of the enlarged company is altogether less clear-cut.

Today we look closer at the fallout.

The French Billionaire Who Quietly Amassed an International Telecom Empire

French billionaire Xavier Niel rose to prominence in the telecom world for his ownership of domestic telco Iliad. You might know Iliad for sparking a price war in the mobile sector when Iliad’s Free Mobile launched in January 2012. (Niel employed a similar price-war tactic when Iliad Italia launched in May 2018.)

But these companies only represent the tip of the iceberg.

Indeed, the size and scale of Niel’s empire are often overlooked due to convoluted shareholder structures and the lack of a unified brand name across markets.

Today we piece it all together to appreciate the bigger picture.

The Biggest Telecom Headlines From 2019: Part 2

We've been celebrating the launch of our beautiful new CommsUpdate site by taking a closer look at the year’s major global developments—the highs, the lows, the mergers, the auctions. All of it.

One thing is certain: there was more than enough telecom news to go around in 2019. If you haven't had a chance to peruse our wrap-up of January-June 2019, click here and have a read. Keep scrolling to take in the biggest news from the back half of the year.

The Biggest Telecom Headlines From 2019: Part 1

A year is a long time in telecommunications–something that our CommsUpdate correspondents know all too well.

To celebrate the launch of our beautiful new CommsUpdate site, we’re taking a closer look at the year’s major global developments, including a few things that you might have missed along the way.

Keep scrolling to catch up on the biggest headlines from early 2019.

How a Slough Company Quietly Secured 5G Spectrum in Major Markets Around the World

While all eyes are on the 5G plans of the world’s largest mobile network operators, a little-known UK-based player has built up a significant stockpile of valuable 5G-suitable spectrum in a number of key markets globally.