Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone UK pushes roaming offer; Orange Egypt chooses Openet; KPN invests in telemedicine; Germany and Israel collaborate on cybersecurity.
European Internet of Things (IoT) startup Actility has raised a juicy $75 million in a fresh round of funding, bringing the total it has now received to more than $100 million. The company's Thingpark platform provides back-office functionality for a range of low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) technologies, including LoRa, LTE-M and NB-IoT, and is used by telcos including France's Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN), both of which are among the company's investors. Actility CEO Mike Mulica said the company would use funds to speed up its expansion, particularly in the US and China, and also raised the prospect of acquisitions. The latest funding round attracted private equity firm Creadev, appliances manufacturer Bosch and satellite operator Inmarsat plc (London: ISAT) as new investors, and may be an endorsement of the LPWAN technologies in Actility's mix as well as the company itself. Mulica has previously been extremely dismissive of a rival LPWAN technology developed by France's Sigfox , arguing that its approach of acting as a "global operator" is off-putting to partners. (See IoT Startup Actility to Add 3GPP Support in 2016.)
Vodafone UK has launched a new advertising campaign trumpeting the fact that it has abolished roaming charges in 40 countries -- more than any other UK mobile operator, it says. It is also publicizing its new upgrade deal, whereby customers can upgrade to a new phone after just six months, and its new artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, TOBi, which it claims will help speed up responses to online queries from its customers.
KPN Ventures, the venture capital arm of KPN, has invested an unspecified amount in Sensara, a provider of systems for monitoring the health and wellbeing of elderly people. Sensara's systems are intended to help care homes and home-care organizations prevent crises through early detection of behavior changes. The investment forms part of a €3.8 million (US$4 million) financing round by Sensara.
Germany's Cyber-Security Council has initiated what it hopes will be a fruitful relationship between German and Israeli cybersecurity communities by forming a collaboration with Israel's Checkmarx, Reuters reports. Checkmarx provides application security testing products to customers including Samsung and SAP.
Telekom Austria Group is launching its A1 brand in Slovenia, applying the moniker to its existing subsidiary, Si.mobil. And guess what? "Synergies" are being predicted.
Openreach , the network access arm of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), which is in the process of being "legally separated" from its parent, has called in consultants to help it establish a formal structure for sharing relevant network information with the likes of Sky and Vodafone, according to a Daily Telegraph report.
Tigo Tanzania has opened what it describes as a "state of the art" call center, which comes complete with "embedded data security measures" to protect customer information. The facility is managed by the PCCI Group.
Nuvias is hoping to accelerate the rollout of unified communications (UC) products supplied by Siphon Networks across the EMEA, with the opening of a dedicated UC practice for the region. Expansion in Germany will be the practice's first focus.
danielcawrey, User Rank: Light Sabre 4/12/2017 | 12:32:15 PM
IoT Hot IoT is clearly a hot sector for venture capital, along with areas such as AI, VR and blockchain. The payoff is clear: Huge IoT deployments are on the way, and investors know this could be a huge revenue generator that could give them the 1000X payoff they seek.
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.