Eurobites: Activist investor puts the heat on Ericsson in wake of Iraq furore

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Cellnex/Hutchison deal wins UK competition watchdog approval; crowds return to MWC; Sky Mobile heads to Ireland.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

March 4, 2022

3 Min Read
Eurobites: Activist investor puts the heat on Ericsson in wake of Iraq furore

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Cellnex/Hutchison deal wins UK competition watchdog approval; crowds return to MWC; Sky Mobile heads to Ireland.

  • Cevian Capital, which holds the second-largest equity stake in Ericsson, is calling on the Swedish vendor to clean up its corporate governance act in the wake of the furore over alleged payments to the Isis terrorist group in Iraq. As the Financial Times reports, Cevian wants to curb the power of Ericsson's two large "traditional" investors, Investor and Industrivarden. "Inferior corporate governance of Ericsson is costing shareholders SKr135bn [$14bn]," Cevian's co-founder, Christer Gardell, told the newspaper. Earlier this week Ericsson's share price sunk to its lowest level since early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic first struck. Documents leaked to international media in recent days suggest that Ericsson may have bribed Isis to move equipment around Iraq and bypass slower routes. (See Ericsson Iraq crisis worsens as risk of US penalties grows and New report fills in details about Ericsson's Iraq scandal.)

    • The UK's Competition and Markets Authority has approved Cellnex Telecom's acquisition of CK Hutchison's 6,000 passive telecom infrastructure sites in the UK, subject to the divestment of around 1,000 of Cellnex's existing UK sites that overlap geographically with the CK Hutchison sites to be acquired. This is the final element of a program announced in November 2020 for Cellnex to acquire CK Hutchison's circa 24,600 sites in six European countries. (See Cellnex eyes Germany next, in towers buying spree and A Cellnex mutation could upend European telecom.)

    • This year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona attracted more than 61,000 masked-up attendees from almost 200 countries to view the wares of and chew the fat with more than 1,900 exhibitors, according to the event's organizer, the GSMA. It's still got some way to go to get back to pre-pandemic levels – 109,000 attended in 2019 – but the feeling from the show floor seems to be that MWC is very much back in business.

    • Sky is to launch mobile services in Ireland next year, using Vodafone's network. Vodafone says its Irish network provides more than 99% 4G population coverage for voice, data and text.

    • Elsewhere on planet Vodafone, the Vodafone Foundation and Imperial College London are teaming up to model the impact of climate change on tropical cyclones through the use of the DreamLab crowdsourcing app, which gives the boffins a hand by using the processing power of dormant smartphones while users charge them at night. With almost 2 million downloads across 17 countries to date, the network of smartphones created by DreamLab is, says Vodafone, equivalent to a virtual supercomputer capable of processing billions of calculations without collecting or disclosing any user data.

    • UK altnet CityFibre has signed a multi-million-pound deal with STL, an integrator of digital networks. STL will supply CityFibre with high-fiber-count Celesta Intelligently Bonded Ribbon (IBR) cables with Stellar bend-insensitive fiber and ribbon optimized joint enclosures. CityFibre is currently in the throes of a £4 billion (US$5.3 billion) investment program to roll out full-fiber infrastructure to up to 8 million UK homes by 2025.

    • A private 5G network has gone live at the port of Felixstowe, on England's North Sea coast. The project is a collaboration between Three UK, Blue Mesh Solutions and the University of Cambridge, and received grant funding from the 5G Testbeds and Trials program run by UK government.

      — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like