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Eurobites: Google's Nest Eyes Nokia's Withings

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Lycamobile strikes WiFi deal; French government trials home-grown WhatsApp; Com Hem profits down.

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)-owned Nest is one of four companies interested in buying Withings, the medical devices company that Nokia is hoping to offload, according to a report on Wareable. Withings, a French company at birth, was acquired by Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) in 2016 for €170 million (US$210 million) in the hope that it would give the Finnish vendor's presence in the digital health market a shot in the arm. However, in February of this year Nokia announced that it was conducting a "review of strategic options" for its digital health business, which was widely interpreted as code for saying Withings was on the slab. (See Eurobites: Nokia Gets a Case of the Shakes Over Digital Health Market.)

  • Lycamobile, the MVNO that targets migrant workers in Europe and beyond, has struck a seven-figure deal with iPass Inc. (Nasdaq: IPAS) to provide WiFi access to its monthly plan customers at hotspots worldwide. Lycamobile hopes that the WiFi offering will, among other benefits, incentivize its pay-as-you-go customers to upgrade to a monthly bundle.

  • The French government is piloting its own home-grown encrypted messenger service amid fears that the use of the likes of WhatsApp by the country's top officials could leave them vulnerable to nation-state hacking of foreign-based servers, Reuters reports. "We need to find a way to have an encrypted messaging service that is not encrypted by the United States or Russia," a government spokeswoman said.

  • First-quarter operating profit at Swedish cable operator Com Hem AB is down from 232 million Swedish kronor ($25.7 million) in the year-earlier period to SEK222 million ($26.3 million) this time round, a slip largely caused by unusual, non-recurring items such as its merger with Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO), according to the operator. Revenue, however, was up 1.6% to SEK1.78 billion ($211 million). Tele2 is acquiring Com Hem in a deal worth about $3.3 billion. (See Sweden's Tele2 to Swallow Com Hem in $3.3B Deal.)

  • US data center operator Zayo Group Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO) is establishing an outpost of its empire in Feltham, in the outer western suburbs of London. The zColo facility, the company's first data center in the London area, will add 30,000 square feet and 3.6 megawatts of critical power to its portfolio.

  • And, on a similar theme, Telia Carrier has installed a new point of presence (PoP) in DigiPlex's carrier-neutral data center north of Stockholm. This PoP, and another in Oslo, gives DigiPlex customers in Sweden and Norway direct access to the Telia Carrier 100G backbone.

  • Telensa , a smart lighting specialist based in Cambridge, UK, has landed a contract with the Highways Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to deploy its Planet intelligent street lighting system in a pilot program to replace around 600 old-school streetlights in Yuen Long Town with wirelessly managed LED lights.

  • Polish operator Netia has chosen ADB S.A. 's VV 5822 gateway to help power its multimedia broadband services to residential and business customers. The gateway works in conjunction with ADB's Epicentro software to use network bandwidth efficiently and deliver high-quality IPTV services. ADB is based in Geneva.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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