Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: new rules get tough on BT's Openreach; AlcaLu signs 4G overlay agreement with Telenor; UK studies how mobiles affect kids.
Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD)'s full-year EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) declined by 7.4% to £12.8 billion (US$21.5 billion), reflecting its "Project Spring" investment to turn around failing business areas, reports Bloomberg. Shares were down 4.4% at 207.6 pence in early London trading. Looking ahead, Vodafone predicts that EBITDA for 2015 will be somewhere between £11.4 billion ($19.1 billion) and £11.9 billion ($20 billion), buffeted again by anticipated Project Spring spending. (See Vodafone Ups 'Project Spring' Capex to $11B+.)
Just a day after BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) announced it was recruiting 1,600 extra engineers to help it cope with its backlog on connections and related troubleshooting, UK regulator Ofcom has introduced draft measures that it believes will persuade BT's Openreach access division to pull its socks up. Under the proposed changes, 80% of phone and broadband faults would have to be repaired within two working days, while 80% of customers wanting a new line must receive an appointment within 12 working days. The changes, which have been notified to the European Commission, are expected to come into force this summer.
Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has signed a global agreement with Norway's Telenor ASA (Nasdaq: TELN) which offers Telenor's subsidiaries AlcaLu's 4G LTE Overlay solution as a way of deploying 4G on their existing mobile infrastructure without the need for equipment upgrades. Telenor has subsidiaries in 13 countries in Europe and Asia. In other AlcaLu news, Bloomberg reports that the vendor is opening a Bell Labs research center in Israel, the focus of which will be cloud-related technology.
The UK is about to embark on a major government-funded study of the effect of using mobile phones on children's mental development, reports the BBC. The plan is to enrol 2,500 11- and 12-year-olds, assess their cognitive abilities now and then test them again in 2017 to see if their brains have been fried by a zillion apps. (We're paraphrasing.)
It's too late for this kid -- he's been Whatzapped.
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.