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4G/3G/WiFi

Eurobites: Telekom Austria's Q1 survives COVID-19 threat

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Safaricom sees full-year revenue rise; NHS coronavirus app almost ready; Colt soups up SD-WAN platform for better videoconferencing.

  • Telekom Austria Group says that COVID-19 had "little impact" on its first-quarter results but that, going forward, "further effects are not yet foreseeable and are quite diverse." Group total revenues rose 3.4% year on year, to €1.12 billion (US$1.21 billion), while EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) inched up 0.4% to €396.6 million ($430.3 million). Since the onset of the pandemic, the operator is, predictably, seeing increased demand for bandwidth and "digitization projects" but a slump in its roaming revenues as international travel grinds to a virtual halt.

  • Revenue at Kenya's Safaricom for the full year ending March 31, 2020, rose 4.9% to 262.56 billion Kenyan shillings ($2.44 billion), while EBITDA leaped 8.3% to KES138.04 billion ($1.28 billion). The growth in service revenue was partially offset by measures taken by the operator in response to COVID-19 and a contraction of the gambling industry.

  • Looking ahead, Safaricom has also announced plans to launch a KES20-a-day 4G smartphone package, which it hopes will persuade customers currently on 2G to make the step up. The operator says it is teaming up with Google to offer "affordable" devices across Kenya.

  • The UK's coronavirus contact-tracing app could be ready in "two to three weeks," according to an executive at the National Health Service. As the BBC reports, the app will eschew the Google-Apple approach to coronavirus-tracking technology in favour of a "centralized" system where the contact-matching process is carried out on a central server, as opposed to the user's handset. (See Eurobites: UK's NHS goes its own way on COVID-19 app.)

  • London-based Colt Technology Services has added a couple of new features to its SD-WAN platform, namely VoIP optimization and support for IPv6. Colt says the new features are a response to the shift in work patterns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic – with millions more working from home – and will make for a "superior virtual meeting experience."

  • COVID-19 did damage to Net Insight's Q1, for most of the quarter in Asia – where the virus first took hold – and towards the end of the period in the US and Europe. Net sales decreased 13.5% year on year, to 94 million Swedish kronor ($9.5 million), while operating earnings were SEK8 million ($0.8 million), positively affected by currency fluctuations. During the period, Net Insight acquired Aperi's IP product portfolio for SEK13 million ($1.3 million).

  • Truespeed, a full-fiber infrastructure provider and ISP in south-west England, has appointed Henry West as commercial director. West's resume includes a 12-year stint at KCOM, which operates an FTTP network in and around the northern city of Hull.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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