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Eurobites: BT reaches deal on redundancies, 'modernization'

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telenor offloads Myanmar unit to M1; Vodafone and Mavenir combine on open RAN; Virgin Media prepares for "staycation summer."

  • UK incumbent operator BT has reached an agreement with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) on how the company can move ahead with its modernization and redundancy programs over the next few years. BT has committed to pay raises for frontline workers, but they won't be awarded until next year and details have yet to be provided. It has also agreed to a change of tack on its site closure plans, promising that it will only propose to close buildings where they believe employees can easily move to an alternative location. Finally, it has committed to avoid compulsory redundancies where it "reasonably can." BT shrank its workforce by 5,600 jobs last year – equating to the disappearance of around one in 20 roles. (See Bring me wine and let robots run the BT network, BT still stands for bloated telecom and BT looks more bloated than ever.)

  • Norway's Telenor Group has agreed to sell its Myanmar operations to M1 Group for US$105 million. Telenor first set up shop in Myanmar in 2014, and ultimately notched up 18 million customers. But following a military coup in February, Myanmar's military cut off much of the nation's connectivity, producing an immediate and severe effect on Telenor's earnings there. (See Myanmar bans telco execs from leaving country and Telenor plunges into the red after Myanmar write-off.)

  • Vodafone says it is collaborating with Mavenir on a small cell offering based on open RAN technology that is aimed at businesses wanting to improve in-office mobile coverage. Sercomm will provide the radio hardware for the venture, which will be initially based on 4G.

  • Virgin Media is following in the footsteps of rival UK operator EE by using the promise of a "staycation summer" as a hook for the improvement of its 4G and 5G networks in and around tourist hotspots. Virgin, which is part of the Liberty Global group, says it has "delivered a 4G boost" in 31,300 postcodes in 2021 so far and continued to roll out its 5G network.

    Edinburgh: A staycation favorite that is on Virgin's coverage hitlist 

(Source: Kate Bielinski on Unsplash)
    Edinburgh: A staycation favorite that is on Virgin's coverage hitlist
    (Source: Kate Bielinski on Unsplash)

  • Israel's Allot has landed a deal with an unidentified Tier 1 European communications provider, allowing the provider to offer cybersecurity services to small and midsized businesses. The initial launch will be in one of the provider's operational units in the European Union, though the mystery company does have a presence in the US too.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) has been defending itself against charges from AGCom, Italy's competition authority, that its deal with video streaming company DAZN – which allows the Italian incumbent operator to show DAZN's full catalogue of sports fare on its TIMvision TV platform – freezes out its rivals. In a statement, TIM said: "We are confident that discussions with the Authority will clarify all aspects of the proceedings and are certain that the agreement with DAZN aims to develop competition in the pay-TV market and the viewing of streaming content, as well as to accelerate the country's digitisation process for the benefit of all customers and telecommunications operators."

  • Germany's ADVA says it has launched the industry's first optical transport offering that is secured by post-quantum cryptography (PQC). The technology behind the FSP 3000 ConnectGuard relies on a hybrid key exchange system, combining, it says here, PQC algorithms with classical encryption methods.

  • Orange Business Services has won a contact-center software contract with Glovo, a Spanish delivery company. OBS will manage Glovo's international call collection for merchants and customer support through its Contact Center Access offering. The platform provides different types of numbers such as toll free, call connect and routing without any technical or regulatory constraints in more than 150 countries and territories.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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