Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson extends UK managed services deal; Vodafone cozies up to SoftBank, chooses Huawei's OpenStack offering; ETSI forms augmented reality group.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has landed a major customer analytics deal with MTN Nigeria, and the operator will deploy Nokia's laboriously named Cognitive Analytics for Customer Insight offering in combination with Nokia Service Quality Manager (SQM) software. MTN Nigeria, which services the needs of some 52 million customers, hopes to use Nokia's analytics combo to speed up the identification of service problems such as poor voice call and data session quality.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has extended its managed services deal with MBNL, the UK mobile joint venture between EE and 3 Group , for another two years, from June 2018 to May 2020. The Swedish vendor will continue to provide central operations, network performance and optimization, field services and multivendor spare parts management for the JV. MBNL says it based its decision on network performance as measured against "key performance indicators" (KPIs) and the perceptions of 3 and EE subscribers.
Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has entered into a mobile services group hug with SoftBank Corp. in a deal that is intended to offer enhanced "commercial and operational support" for Vodafone's multinational enterprise customers operating in Japan.
In separate Vodafone news, the operator has chosen Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd 's FusionSphere OpenStack platform to support the operator's global rollout of NFV and SDN. According to Huawei, FusionSphere offers standard OpenStack interfaces and open access to third-party VNFs.
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has formed a new Industry Specification Group (ISG) focused on augmented reality, which will aim to synchronize industry efforts and identify key opportunities for developing an AR framework with appropriate components and interfaces. The group is being headed up by Muriel Deschanel of b<>com (yes, they really write it like that), a French research institute that specializes in hypermedia, network security and e-health. For more details, see this story on our sister site, Telecoms.com. (See also Mobile AR to Rocket Past Other Immersive Formats.)
Ireland expects that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) will begin paying what the European Commission says it owes in back taxes to the country in the first quarter of 2018, according to a Reuters report. Apple has been ordered to pay €13 billion (US$15.4 billion) in back taxes after having been deemed to have received unfairly favorable tax treatment from the Irish government over a period of several years. (See Eurobites: Don't Pick On Apple, Says Irish Telecom Tycoon.)
A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.