Eurobites: EXFO Makes Move on Astellia

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Germany's Festo goes network slicing with Huawei; Telefónica looks to raise capital in Colombia; T-Systems take public cloud to Asia.

  • EXFO (Nasdaq: EXFO; Toronto: EXF) has acquired a 33.1% stake in Astellia , the French analytics firm, and plans to soon launch a voluntary takeover bid. Under the terms of the deal, EXFO will acquire the entirety of the founders' shares in Astellia and the shares held by Isatis Capital, which together comprise 33.1% of Astellia's stock, for €8.6 million (US$10.1 million) at a price of €10 per Astellia share. That values 100% of Astellia's equity at €25.9 million ($30.8 million). In a statement, EXFO Executive Chairman Germain Lamonde said: "If our public tender offer is successful, we'll be able to combine Astellia's solutions and services with those of EXFO and become a world leader in the network monitoring and analytics sector and target growth opportunities such as network virtualization, 5G and the Internet of things." (See EXFO Buys 33.1% Stake in Astellia, Plans Full Takeover.)

  • German automation specialist Festo has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd to facilitate collaborative development work on using 5G slicing technology in manufacturing processes. The MoU specifically name-checks the "robot-as-a-service" concept, which is intended to enable a move away from one-size-fits-all mass production and towards "mass customizing." Cited as one of the key benefits that could arrive with the rollout of 5G networks, network slicing will in theory allow operators to provide many different types of virtualized network service over the same 5G infrastructure.

  • Telefónica 's Colombian unit hopes to raise around €1.8 billion ($2.15 billion) in fresh capital to reduce its debt pile and pay off a €472 million ($558.5 million) fine relating to a dispute over local infrastructure, Reuters reports.

  • T-Systems International GmbH , the enterprise arm of Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), is taking its Open Telekom Cloud public cloud platform to Asia, using a data center in Singapore. The company plans to expand the range of features available on the OpenStack-based platform as and when the demand arises.

  • Look out -- here comes another thing-as-as-a-service! The culprit is BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), which has launched its BT Personalised Compute Management System (PCMS), a cloud-based offering that it has perhaps inevitably dubbed a "business-platform-as-a-service." According to BT, users of the PCMS will "gain access to ready-made business support processes and functions to enable them to sell, fulfil and monetise their own portfolio of digital services." It will become commercially available in the final quarter of 2017.

  • Vodafone UK is hoping to attract the youth market with the launch of Voxi, a sub-brand that offers SIM-only plans that include "free" data for a range of social media apps including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. As Engadget reports, any data used for these apps will not count against the customer's monthly data allowance.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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