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Eurobites: Qualcomm Eyes WiFi Chip Specialist

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Huawei enables 400G for Broadnet; Ericsson swallows Red Bee; 5G latest; BSkyB's M&A ambitions.

  • Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), the US comms chips giant, is in talks to buy Israel's Wilocity , reports Reuters, citing financial news website The Marker. Wilocity develops chipsets that comply with the IEEE 802.11ad standard and which, in theory, will allow wireless connectivity of up to 5 Gbit/s. Last year Light Reading identified Wilocity as a company to watch in the carrier WiFi sphere. Dell, among others, is a Wilocity customer.

  • Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has switched on what it says is Europe's largest commercial 400G-enabled IP core network for Broadnet Norge AS , a Norwegian fiber network operator. The Huawei NE5000E 400G core router supports combinations of 100GE, 40GE, and 10GE boards. In January Huawei announced that 53 operators worldwide had deployed its 400G core router over the preceding five months. (See Broadnet Gets 400G-Ready With Huawei and Huawei Claims 400G Router Success.)

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has completed its takeover of Red Bee Media Ltd. , a UK-based media services firm, further staking out its territory in the global media landscape of the future -- a landscape described by Ericsson in its Media Vision 2020 project. Red Bee's broadcast services customers include the BBC, BSkyB, BT Sport, and Virgin Media. Around 1,500 employees will join Ericsson as a result of the deal. (See Ericsson Completes Red Bee Media Acquisition and Euronews: Ericsson Buys Media Services Firm.)

  • The 5G bandwagon gathers momentum: Ascom Network Testing has become the latest vendor to join the 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey, which is located near London. Other members include Huawei, BT, EE, and Telefonica. (See Ascom Joins 5G R&D Project and Euronews: 5G Ahoy!)

  • Telstra Global has hooked up with GTS Central Europe , which provides connectivity for enterprises and data centers across central and eastern Europe. The new Network-to-Network Interconnection (NNI) agreement will add to Telstra's existing IP VPN service coverage of around 1,900 PoPs in 230 countries worldwide.

  • Spooked, perhaps, by Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY)'s recent European advances, Sky (NYSE, London: SKY) has confirmed it is interested in acquiring Sky Deutschland Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG and Sky Italia, reports the BBC. The German and Italian companies are currently owned by 21st Century Fox, which is run by Rupert Murdoch. If the deal went ahead, the combined group would boast around 20 million subscribers, doubling BSkyB's current total. BSkyB suffered a setback over the weekend, when subscribers to its pay-as-you-go Now TV streaming service found their video transmission went down just minutes before the start of the climactic game of the English Premier League's season, and stayed down for the next hour or so. The predictable Twitter "storm" of disgruntled subscribers ensued.

  • Bouygues Telecom , which recently failed in its bid to acquire Vivendi 's SFR , may lay off up to 2,000 workers (around a fifth of its workforce), reports Reuters, citing Le Figaro. (See Eurobites: Numericable Wins SFR M&A Tussle.)

  • Weve, the UK mobile advertising and financial services company set up by Vodafone UK , EE , and Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2), has recorded a loss of around £25 million (US$42.1 million) in its first year of business, according to a report in the Financial Times. The joint venture was intended to provide a means of using subscriber data collected by the mobile operators to better target marketing activities.

  • Philippines operator Globe Telecom Inc. is expanding its empire to Spain, where it has set itself up as a mobile virtual network operator and has plans to launch services (voice, SMS, and mobile data) within the next year. The services will be offered to Filipinos based in or visiting Spain.

  • Atomico Ventures , the venture capital firm set up by Skype Ltd. founder and Light Reading Hall of Famer Niklas Zennstrom, is suing a former staffer and a former consultant over claims they abused their positions at Atomico to set up and promote their own fund. See this Reuters report for more details.

  • Stofa, a Danish pay-TV operator, is to deploy "software-defined" knowhow from Elemental Technologies Inc. (ETI) for multiscreen content delivery. The video infrastructure provided by Elemental customizes 150 TV channels -- including 38 in high definition -- for delivery to Stofa subscribers.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Beer
    5/24/2014 | 2:29:27 AM
    Great Step by Qualcomm
    If it is true that Qualcomm is going to buy Wilocity then it is a great step taken by the company. I also accept that Qualcomm is a giant in WiFi that's why if the company buyes Wilocity then it will gain the ability to produce the most standardized WiFi chips in the world. As a fan of Qualcomm, I support it to continue the journey of technology.

    Jenny from an iPhone App Developer
    Sarah Thomas
    Sarah Thomas,
    User Rank: Blogger
    5/12/2014 | 12:36:21 PM
    Qualcomm's WiFi action
    Qualcomm is really serious about the WiFi space, and wants to play a role in all different angles -- LTE-U to combine WiFi and LTE, CnE to make handoff between the two better (which is somewhat opposed to LTE-U), and advances in WiFi speeds and quality. A Wilocity buy makes sense for the latter angle it is pursuing.
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