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Eurobites: Ametsreiter exits Vodafone Germany

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EE aggregates with Qualcomm; Nokia lands Microsoft data center deal; Google opens development center in Nairobi.

  • Hannes Ametsreiter is stepping down as CEO of Vodafone Germany, making way for Philippe Rogge – currently a senior executive at Microsoft – as from the end of June. The official Vodafone line is that Ametsreiter is leaving to "pursue new career opportunities," and Ametsreiter has himself written a lengthy, emotional post on LinkedIn, saying that, at the age of 55, he is "still so full of energy, passion and above all curiosity" and that he would "like to use this power to start something new." Ametsreiter has, however, clearly been in under pressure in recent months, with his ultimate boss at Vodafone, Nick Read, pointing the finger at Vodafone Germany in his group's recent third-quarter trading update. In his commentary on the update, Read said that "our performance in fixed line and in particularly [sic] Germany has fallen below our expectations," highlighting problems with IT systems powering Vodafone Germany's broadband rollout and, significantly, the management of them.

  • UK mobile operator EE claims it has become the first European network to successfully aggregate a 5G signal using seven different spectrum carriers, including its existing 3.4GHz and new 3.6GHz 5G channels. According to EE, 5G data speeds topped 2.2 Gbit/s in lab testing, which could translate into speeds of more than 1.7 Gbit/s on the network. The testing was carried out in collaboration with Qualcomm, using the Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF system, at BT's labs in Borehamwood.

  • Nokia has landed a data center switching gear deal with Microsoft, being chosen to supply its 7250 IXR chassis-based interconnect routers to help support the bandwidth growth of the Microsoft Azure public cloud.

  • Google is opening a new product development center in Nairobi, its first in Africa. Exactly what products and services will be developed there is unclear, but rest assured they will be "transformative" ones, at least according to Google's press release. The company is looking to hire engineers, product managers, UX designer and researchers.

  • The 2Africa subsea cable – which is backed by a consortium comprising China Mobile International, Meta, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, STC, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC – has made landfall in Genoa, Italy. Further landings are expected in the coming months, with 46 locations planned for connection by the completion of the project in 2024. At 45,000km, it will be the longest subsea cable ever deployed, according to its backers.

  • Leadwind, the fund launched by Telefónica and K Fund, has raised €140 million (US$152 million) in its first funding round. The fund is aimed primarily at startups in southern Europe and Latin America, focusing on what it describes as the "intersection" of technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics and 5G. The target size of the fund is €250 million ($271.5 million).

  • Deutsche Telekom has teamed up with Atos to develop a cloud-based unified communications platform unsnappily called "Unify X powered by Telekom."

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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