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Eurobites: Nigeria Has MTN in Its Crosshairs Again – This Time for a $2B Tax Bill

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT makes SNAP decision on SD-WAN; Telefónica Deutschland is sweet on Netcracker; DT's Langheim gets new US board role.

  • South Africa's MTN Group Ltd. must be starting to wonder if the Nigerian market is worth it. Following hard on the heels of demands from Nigeria's central bank that MTN repatriates $8.1 billion it was accused of having taken out of Nigeria illegally -- and just two years after MTN paid Nigeria a $1.7 billion fine for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM cards -- comes news that Nigeria has presented MTN with a $2 billion tax bill. As the BBC reports, MTN says it has already settled what it owed Nigeria in tax with a $700 million payment. Not surprisingly, shares in MTN slumped on the news of Nigeria's latest demand. (See Eurobites: MTN's Stock Slumps as Nigeria Demands Return of $8.1B and Eurobites: MTN Earnings Hit by Nigerian Fine.)

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is plunging further into the SD-WAN game with the introduction of its Service and Network Automation Platform (SNAP), which is intended to help its customers get to grips with the whole SD-WAN/NFV thing. SNAP draws on SD-WAN controllers from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Nuage Networks from Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK).

  • Telefónica Deutschland GmbH has chosen Netcracker Technology Corp. 's BSS offering to play a part in its company-wide "digital transformation" program. The hope is that Netcracker's technology will enable the operator to deliver "personalized, contextual experiences" across all its customer channels. I don't know about you, but it's been ages since I've had a personalized contextual experience.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has chosen Thorsten Langheim to be the head of a newly created "USA and Group Development" department on the operator's management board. Langheim, an executive vice president at DT, has been with company since 2009. Prior to entering telecom he spent ten years as an investment banker with J.P. Morgan and West LB.

  • Elsewhere on the DT front, the German incumbent has launched EntertainTV Sat, a new 4K IPTV, OTT and satellite set-top box powered by Zenterio OS, an independent operating system for interactive TV developed by Sweden's Zenterio AB .

  • Ori, a London-based outfit that describes itself as a "network edge enabler," has taken the wraps off its on-demand mobile edge computing platform, DNA, declaring it ready for pilot projects with network operators and developers. The vendor says that by creating a "virtual service layer" across networks, DNA can help identify and harness available compute power and capacity at network edge points.

  • EU proposals that will force the likes of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) to reserve at least 30% of its video streaming output for locally produced fare will almost certainly be made law in December, according to a report on Broadband TV News, citing an interview in Variety.

  • Belfast has been named the best UK city for mobile network performance and London the worst in a new IHS Markit report from RootMetrics . According to the report, factors affecting London's dismal showing include the large number of tall buildings (calling all city planners and architects: is it time for a re-think in the mobile data era?) and the "vast crowds."

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Blogger
    9/6/2018 | 7:06:16 AM
    London cellular coverage
    -- According to the report, factors affecting London's dismal showing include the large number of tall buildings (calling all city planners and architects: is it time for a re-think in the mobile data era?) and the "vast crowds." --

    They have forgotten to highlight the underinvestment by the mobile operators. Is anyone surprised that London is crowded? Did they not notice the tall buildings? It is still a disgrace that voice calls are dropped outside Clapham Junction station while the operators bang on about how great their 5G is going to be.

    Priorities, folks, priorities. 
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    9/5/2018 | 10:02:02 AM
    Re: Personalized, contextual experiences
    Oh. I was hoping it might have something to do with joss-sticks in a yurt.
    User Rank: Blogger
    9/5/2018 | 9:01:28 AM
    Personalized, contextual experiences
    For example, you are a regular traveler from Germany to US but forget to buy a data roaming package before setting off so you leave your mobile data off. Next time you connect to the airport basestation in Munich the operator sends you a message saying "Hi Paul, please reply to this text for a cheap roaming deal abroad so you can be always connected".
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