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Eurobites: Sigfox Gets Its Teeth Into UK IoT

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Free not happy with Netflix speed rating; Virgin Media customers put on hack alert; new CEO for Wind Tre.

  • Sigfox , the France-based provider of connectivity to the Internet of Things, is to expand its reach in the UK with the appointment of WND-UK as an official Sigfox operator. The move will bring the Sigfox network to 95% of the UK population, says Sigfox, and builds on the coverage already established in urban areas by Arqiva , which has been a Sigfox operator in the UK since 2014. Sigfox's network is already being used in the UK for various applications, including smart metering, facilities management and healthcare. Its network uses low-power, wide-area network (or LPWAN) technology to wirelessly connect low-powered, ultra-low-cost devices to the Internet.

  • Iliad (Euronext: ILD)-owned Free is unhappy with Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), which has given the French broadband provider a duff rating for the speed of its Internet connections, BFM Business reports (in French). According to Netflix's rating, Free delivers its service at only 2.3 Mbit/s, a lowly figure that contradicts other, similar measurements from nPerf and others. Free says it intends to sue for damages from the US-based streaming giant -- no figure has been specified but it is thought it could amount to hundreds of millions of euros.

  • UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) has been in touch with 800,000 of its customers who use its Super Hub 2 router to change their default network and router passwords immediately to protect against a potential hack. As the BBC reports, an investigation by consumer organization Which? found that the router could be hacked, granting access to users' smart appliances connected to it. The investigation, which used a team of "ethical" security researchers called SureCloud, also found some home CCTV camera systems, such as Fredi Megapix, were disturbingly easy to hack, while a "smart" children's toy called CloudPets was also easily hijacked and made to play voice messages it shouldn't. Creepy!

  • Wind Tre, the Italian joint venture between CK Hutchison Holdings and VEON (formerly VimpelCom), has appointed Jeffrey Hedberg as its new CEO, succeeding Maximo Ibarra. Hedberg has extensive telecom management experience in the US, Africa and Asia, including stints at Mobilink, Cell C and Deutsche Telekom.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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