Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Europe's cable operators strategize; UK spooks licensed to spy on Facebook et al; Telefonica's new doubles partner.
Was Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) blackmailed over Symbian? That's the claim being made by Finland's MTV news channel, which says that in 2007 -- when Nokia ruled the handsets world -- the vendor paid millions of euros to a blackmailer to prevent an encryption key to the Symbian operating system being revealed to the world. And just like in all the best movies, the ransom money was apparently left in a bag in a parking lot. According to the news channel, Finland's National Bureau of Investigation has confirmed that the case in still unsolved, though Nokia, not surprisingly, has declined to comment.
Back to the present day, and Nokia has signed a contract with Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co. (du) to deploy its IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem), enabling du's customers to experience HD voice and HD video, amongst other mobile wonders. At the last count (Q1 2014), more than 7.5 million customers were on du's books.
Cable Europe, the lobby group that connects broadband cable TV operators and their national trade bodies throughout the European Union, has called for the formulation of a pan-European spectrum strategy for the cable industry. Speaking at the 9th Annual European Spectrum Management Conference in Brussels, Cable Europe Executive Chairman Matthias Kurth urged all sides of the spectrum debate to work together on, amongst other things, "future-oriented planning." (At Eurobites Towers we always find that future-oriented planning works so much better than the retrospective kind.)
Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) has made a binding offer of €295 million (US$400 million) for Mediaset Spain's 22% stake in pay-TV firm Digital+, which last month Telefónica acquired for €750 million ($1.02 billion). Meanwhile, the Spanish giant has signed up indestructible tennis phenomenon Rafa Nadal as its new "global ambassador." As a result of this sponsorship, the "Rafa Nadal Academy By Movistar" will be brought into being in the star's native Majorca, promoting the benefits of sport in general and tennis in particular to children.
Brilliant, super-fit, and a babe magnet: César Alierta has it all.
A study by UK regulator Ofcom has found that the availability of high-speed broadband in cities is affected by the affluence of the particular area. In Glasgow, for example, Ofcom found that in the lowest income area, 57.8% had access to high-speed broadband, markedly lower than the city average of 67%. Go figure.
A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.