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AI/Automation

Eurobites: Elisa acquires CamLine for smart-manufacturing push

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia helps Kalmar with cargo handling; Virgin Media touts whole-home Wi-Fi offering; Colt targets Microsoft Teams with cloud-based voice offering.

  • Finland's Elisa has agreed to acquire CamLine, a German supplier of software to manufacturing industry, with a view to becoming a significant player in the smart-factory sector. The deal will combine Elisa's strengths in data analytics and artificial intelligence with CamLine's software expertise, which already has a presence in 350 factories worldwide.

  • Similarly pooling their knowledge are Nokia and Kalmar, the latter a big name in cargo handling. The pair say they are expanding their existing collaborative activities to provide new offerings for ports and terminal operators wanting to further automate operations and increase productivity. The first of the new ventures sees Kalmar incorporating Nokia's 4G and 5G private wireless technology for use with straddle carriers, automated stacking carriers and rubber-tired gantry cranes.

  • Virgin Media is targeting the often uncertain space between router and in-home device with the launch of "Intelligent WiFi Plus," a service that uses mesh network technology from Plume to improve whole-home coverage. Intelligent WiFi Plus is available now at no extra cost for customers on the "Ultimate Oomph" and "Gig1" tiers; those on other Virgin packages will be able to upgrade to the new service for an additional £5 (US$6.79) per month.

  • In other lockdown-friendly news, Virgin is making a number of factual pay-TV channels and on-demand programming available to its customers at no extra cost, and is also providing its mobile customers with an additional 20GB of mobile data per month to help struggling families get sufficient connectivity to allow their children to take part in online lessons and remote learning.

  • London-based Colt Technology Services has launched Cloud Session Border Controller (SBC), a cloud-based voice offering that enables PSTN calling for Microsoft Teams, the ubiquitous workplace collaboration software, without the need to host any hardware on-premises or in a data center.

  • UK network provider SSE Enterprise Telecoms has teamed up with critical infrastructure specialist Telent for a project that they hope will keep the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's remote radio sites connected to support the public's safety at sea. The project will see SSE connect four data centers and utilize its existing footprint to deploy an Ethernet network directly into 165 of the MCA's remote radio sites located around the UK coastline, supporting Telent to keep them online all day, every day.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) has completed the issue of a €1 billion ($1.2 billion) Sustainability Bond, the proceeds of which the operator has earmarked to increase its energy efficiency and finance "Green and Social projects." Demand for the bond, says TIM, topped €4 billion ($4.8 billion).

  • Allot, the Israeli company that does clever things with network intelligence and security for service providers and enterprises, has unveiled DNS Secure, a security offering aimed primarily at fixed broadband subscribers. The software, says Allot, provides protection against a range of cyber threats, including malware and "phishing." DNS Secure is supported by an agreement with Open-Xchange to license its OX PowerDNS technology, which will be integrated into the product.

  • And in more Israel-based cleverness, GenCell Energy, an Israeli manufacturer of fuel-cell energy systems, has signed an agreement to deliver its A5 off-grid power solution based on alkaline fuel cell technology to power the active Emergency Communications System (ECS) station in Reykjavik, Iceland, which is operated by Neyðarlínan ohf, the state-owned Icelandic telecom provider.

  • Community Fibre, which supplies full-fiber broadband to many London boroughs, has hooked up with Netgem to offer a new TV service. For £10 ($13.58) a month on a 24-month contract (when purchased with a Community Fibre broadband package), customers can access 135 TV channels, streaming services and on-demand content via a Netgem 4K TV box.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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