Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: MTN trials 4x4 MIMO; Telecom Italia concerned about its French connection; Ericsson lands Canadian IPTV deal; BT's bad month continues.
Project Lightning has brought stormy weather to Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED). The Financial Times reports (subscription required) that the UK cable operator has suspended four senior employees and launched an internal inquiry after they had been found guilty of misrepresenting the progress made on its Project Lightning fiber rollout in the company's fourth-quarter results statement in February. Virgin said that its network had grown to pass 215,000 UK homes in the three months to December 2016, but it turns out the actual figure is 86,000. (See Virgin Media Plots £3B Invasion of BT Turf.)
On less controversial ground, Virgin has expanded its relationship with Netcracker Technology Corp. by choosing the US vendor's revenue management offering in a multi-year deal.
South Africa's MTN Group Ltd. has completed a field trial of 4x4 MIMO technology on a live network with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM). The trio claim that average download throughput increased by 74% compared to "traditional" LTE 2x2 MIMO and, based on that, MTN now plans to roll out South Africa's largest 4x4 MIMO network in 2017.
Telecom Italia (TIM) 's auditors have warned the operator that its main stakeholder, French media conglomerate Vivendi , is exerting undue influence on other board members at the Italian incumbent, Reuters reports. Vivendi's presence in Italy has been growing steadily of late -- it has also taken a major holding in broadcaster Mediaset S.p.A. .
Sky (NYSE, London: SKY), the UK-based pay-TV giant that has recently got into mobile, has launched what it says is a "radically new" approach to handset upgrades, at least by British standards. Under the Swap12 scheme, customers can trade in their handsets for a new model after a year without incurring any upgrade fees or admin charges. (Swap24 extends the same principle to two years.) For customers who would prefer to hang on to their old-faithful phone, Sky Mobile will reduce their monthly payments until the end of their contract.
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.
During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.
She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.