Eurobites: Ericsson hires BT's Ainely to beef up UK/Ireland unit

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telia gets ready to Ramboll; Netflix increases its prices in UK; CityFibre breaks ground in Nottingham.

  • Ericsson claims it is "set to strengthen its 5G leadership" with the appointment of Katherine Ainely as CEO of its UK and Ireland division. Ainley joins Ericsson from BT, where she has held a number of senior positions since 2007. John Griffin, who has been performing the role in an acting capacity since October, will return to his permanent position as country manager for Ericsson Ireland. Marielle Lindgren, who held the CEO role on a permanent basis until October, has, according to an Ericsson spokesperson, "left the company to pursue opportunities outside the Ericsson group."

  • Danish engineering consultancy Ramboll is to use Telia's Crowd Insights location-based analytics tool to help it with transport planning, urban development and tourism projects in Finland. Crowd Insights uses "anonymized" mobile data from Telia's network that offers insights into the patterns of mass movement of groups of people around towns and cities.

  • Citing the increasing cost of new content, Netflix is upping its prices in the UK from next month, the BBC reports. The video-streaming giant will increase the cost of its standard monthly package from £8.99 ($12) to £9.99, while its premium tier shoots up from £11.99 to £13.99. Its basic plan, which offers lower-resolution video on a single device, is pegged at £5.99. Netflix has flourished in the pandemic, with nearly 7 million consumers in the EMEA region signing up in its first quarter of 2020, which was 2.5 million more than during the pre-coronavirus fourth quarter of 2019.

  • UK alternative network provider CityFibre has begun work on its latest rollout, in the city of Nottingham. The first homes and businesses will be able to connect to the network from May, with works expected to be largely completed by December 2025.

  • A recent report from UNICEF and the ITU has shone a spotlight on the connectivity crisis in Africa, revealing that 95% of children in West and Central Africa do not have Internet access at home. The statistic is all the more alarming in that it comes in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which means that many schools in Africa are currently closed. For more from this report – titled "How Many Children and Youth Have Internet Access at Home?" – see this story on our sister site, Connecting Africa.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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