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Eurobites: Ericsson updates on 5G subs

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Virgin Media O2 CEO calls for VAT cut on social tariffs; Eir numbers slip in Q2; Orange looks to Comarch for billing systems.

  • Ericsson has published an update to its most recent Mobility Report which finds, amongst other things, that in the second quarter of 2022 the total number of 5G subscriptions grew by 70 million, to 690 million. There are now 218 communications service providers that have launched 5G services, 24 of them stretching to 5G standalone (SA) networks, says the update. The total number of mobile subscriptions (of any technological hue) is reckoned to be 8.3 billion, 52 million of those being added during Q2.

    (Source: Ericsson)
    (Source: Ericsson)

  • Lutz Schüler, CEO of UK converged operator Virgin Media O2, is proposing that the British government cuts the rate of VAT (value-added tax) on so-called "social" broadband tariffs from 20% to 5%, making them less of a burden to low-income households already facing a cost-of-living crisis as utility bills soar. In his blog, Schüler also welcomed the government's introduction of a new system that makes it easier for broadband providers to check whether a customer is in receipt of Universal Credit and therefore eligible for a social tariff.

  • Underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) at Irish operator Eir was down 12% year-on-year in the second quarter, to €141 million (US$141 million), on underlying revenue that slipped by 3%, to €296 million ($296 million). The total Eir fiber broadband base increased by 2% year on year, to 835,000 customers, although the total number of broadband customers was down 1%, to 958,000. Mobile customer numbers were up 6%, to 1.26 million. Eir described the results as in line with expectations.

  • German software company ECT has agreed a three-year contract extension worth around €10 million ($10 million) with an unnamed European communications service provider. The provider uses ECT's Telecoms Low Code, an application platform that, says ECT, enables service providers to more easily compose and customize products aimed at local markets and tailored to particular verticals.

  • Orange Ivory Coast has chosen Poland's Comarch to help it streamline its ordering and billing processes. Comarch will deploy a preconfigured software platform, which will be further integrated with the local Orange systems as part of a bigger Orange Group initiative – the creation of an "Order-to-Bill" platform which will ultimately be supplied to other Orange Group affiliates within the EMEA region.

  • Vodafone UK has launched an initiative that it hopes will remove some of the fear of getting online for older people. The Hi Digital platform has been set up in response to a study which found that over-65s could be losing almost £1,000 ($1,162) a year on goods, services and benefits through a lack of confidence in using a computer. According to the study, over-65s who do not feel comfortable using the Internet could be shelling out on average an extra £97 ($112) on clothes, £158 ($183) on entertainment services, £184 ($214) on travel and missing out on £156 ($181) of state entitlements each year.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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