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Eurobites: RAD Commits to NFV R&D

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Hutchison's Irish deal gets EC green light; Ofcom explores 700MHz possibilities; EE wields its MobileIron.

  • Carrier Ethernet access technology specialist RAD Data Communications Ltd. has opened a new R&D center in Beer Sheva, Israel, to capitalize on the growing interest in SDN and NFV by developing what it calls "programmable network solutions." RAD and Israel's Office of the Chief Scientist are co-funding the center, which has already hired 30 new software engineers, to the tune of US$32 million during the next three years. RAD, which is promoting its own take on the virtualization of network functions ("Distributed NFV"), has revamped itself to adapt to the changing nature of communications networking, said Head of Strategic Development and Innovation Yuri Gittik during the Network Virtualization and SDN World event in London Wednesday. "We used to be only a hardware company," but NFV "has really changed the company." (See RAD Opens New $32M R&D Center, ESDN: RAD Rolls Out Distributed NFV Strategy, and Telekom Austria Picks Harmonic.)

  • Mobile giant Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (Hong Kong: 0013; Pink Sheets: HUWHY) has been given the go-ahead by the EC for its proposed takeover of Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF)'s Irish business, reports Reuters. The approval is conditional on Hutchison selling 30% of the merged company's network capacity to two MVNOs.

  • UK regulator Ofcom is launching a consultation on proposals to make spectrum in the 700MHz band available for mobile broadband from 2022, or possibly earlier. It believes it can do this without sacrificing near-universal access to the digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform, which rides on the same 700MHz band and is currently used by more than 75% of UK households through the Freeview and YouView services.

  • Mobile joint venture EE has teamed up with MobileIron to offer business customers the device management specialist's MobileIron Cloud, an enterprise mobility management platform for SMBs. MobileIron Cloud allows businesses to configure and manage mobile apps, content, and devices, automatically enforce usage policies, and "retire" mobile devices when they are lost or when an employee leaves the company. EE claims the offer is a first for the UK market.

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) CEO Stephane Richard is in the mood for M&A. Reuters reports that Richard told a French radio station that further consolidation is "urgent" in the wake of the deal done between rivals SFR and Numericable-SFR . (See Eurobites: Orange in French M&A Talks and Eurobites: Numericable Wins SFR M&A Tussle.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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