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Eurobites: Orange, DT Collaborate on Startups

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Huawei's European innovation push; Bouygues to cut 17% of workforce; beware the "news echo chamber" effect.

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) are to work more closely together on startup incubation, through their respective startup accelerator programs, Orange Fab and hub:raum. The idea is that young companies will be helped to scale up their operations through access to the operators' combined customer base and access to investment vehicles set up to help those working in the following areas: IoT, network optimization/access technology, mobile payment, cybersecurity, and big data. Currently Orange Fab (that's an ice lolly where Eurobites comes from) provides the selected startups with three months of support to develop their products, while hub:raum offers free co-working spaces, mentoring and optional funding of up to €300,000 (US$405,000). (See Orange, DT Team on Startups .)

  • And on the subject of innovation and the encouragement thereof, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has been underlining its R&D credentials by pointing out that it has, to date, set up 18 joint innovation centers with European carriers since it established its first, with Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), in 2006. It also has many R&D locations around Europe, the latest of which has just been announced: It is setting up a new R&D center in the British city of Bristol, for which it will recruit 30 employees to focus on chips, software, and "analog chip technology for the future." Huawei already has an optical-based R&D center in Ipswich, a town on the opposite side of the country and very close to BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s R&D headquarters. (See Huawei Boasts 18 Euro Joint Innovation Centers.)

  • As widely anticipated, France's Bouygues Telecom announced deep job cuts Wednesday, reports Reuters, with plans to shed 1,516 positions, amounting to 17% of its global workforce. The French government, meanwhile, is still keen for consolidation in the mobile sector, with Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg anxious to take steps to end the "destructive spiral" of falling prices, which he believes is being brought on by too much competition.

  • Zayo Group Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO), the bandwidth infrastructure provider, has expanded its contract with UK quad-play operator TalkTalk , offering TalkTalk an increase in IP transit service speeds from 30 Gbit/s to 50 Gbit/s, among other things. Zayo recently extended its network footprint in Europe through two acquisitions, the UK's Geo Networks and France's Neo Telecoms. (See Zayo Buys UK Fiber Network Operator.)

  • Fresh from closing its €546 million ($743.4 million) acquisition of GTS Central Europe , Deutsche Telekom has told Reuters that it has no immediate plans for any further acquisitions in Central and Eastern Europe, and integration of GTS will be the name of the short-term game. (See DT Boosts Datacenter, SDN Strategy With Acquisition.)

  • Brits thirsting for digital news are casting aside their laptops in their droves and turning instead to their smartphones, reports the Daily Telegraph, citing a study by Oxford University's Reuters Institute. Perhaps that's no great surprise, but what is more interesting is a point made by one of those behind the research, Dr David Levy, who said that, partly because of the way they consume news, people may come to "operate in a news echo chamber" as they increasingly rely on sources recommended by like-minded friends.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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