Following disappointment in the most recent auction of mobile spectrum in Norway, Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO) has decided to sell its Norwegian unit to rival Telia Company for SEK 5.1 billion (US$744 million). Bengt Nordstrom, an analyst with Northstream , has some strong words on the matter: "This is the predictable result of a pretty miserable and failed spectrum licencing process, which has resulted in pretty dramatic consolidation," he says in a statement emailed to Light Reading. "Norway now essentially has two strong operators, plus a very small outfit with lots of spectrum, little infrastructure and few customers. It seems like a good deal for TeliaSonera, and Tele2 shareholders will get decent returns. But it's a timely reminder for the mobile industry that poor regulatory decisions can create uncertainty that makes a mockery of huge infrastructure investments." Ouch.
Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) is continuing to widen its pay-TV interests by agreeing to acquire an 11.1% stake in the pay-TV business of Italy's Mediaset for €100 million ($136 million), reports Reuters. Earlier this month Telefónica bought Mediaset Spain's 22% stake in pay-TV firm Digital+, which Telefónica acquired for €750 million ($1.02 billion) in May.
Russia's legislature has gone part-way towards passing a law requiring Internet firms to store Russian citizens' personal data on servers that are actually within the country's borders, reports the BBC. Some fear that, if passed by the higher chamber and President Putin, the law will be used as an excuse to crack down on social networks, which have been used to spread anti-Putin protests.
Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), a consortium of business, public and not-for-profit organizations in the south of the UK, has secured £5 million ($8.6 million) in central Government funding to support the developments ongoing at the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre. The University started its 5G work in 2012. (See UK Enterprise Partnership Secures 5G Funding and UK Kicks Off 5G R&D.)
The UK government is launching a £90 million ($154 million) scheme to provide faster WiFi on trains across England and Wales, reports the BBC. It is proposed that part of the funding will come from a large fine that has been imposed on Network Rail, the body that takes care of the track and signaling across Britain's railway network.
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.