Eurobites: Ametsreiter Heads to Vodafone

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia signals return to devices; MTS plans tech-neutral LTE; Ofcom simplifies switching.

  • Just days after Telekom Austria Group announced that its CEO, Hannes Ametsreiter, was stepping down, Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has revealed that it has bagged him to run its German business. The appointment, which still needs approval from the Vodafone Supervisory Board, will take effect on October 1. Vodafone has been perceived as under-performing in Germany for some time, its market share dented by the arrival of low-cost MVNOs on the German market. (See Eurobites: Telekom Austria CEO Resigns and Vodafone May Buy Content to Fight BT, Telefónica.)

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) intends to license smartphone designs and the Nokia brand to third-party manufacturers starting next year, but has no plans to make and sell the devices itself, according to an interview with Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri in Germany’s Manager Magazin. The vendor has already licensed a design and brand combination for tablets to Foxconn Electronics Inc. and has plans to do the same for smartphones once its non-compete agreement with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), which acquired Nokia's mobile phone business in 2014, expires in the second half of next year. (See Did Nokia Really Just Launch a Tablet? and Microsoft Officially Closes Nokia Buy.)

  • Russian operator Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) has launched the latest phase of its LTE network development across Russia and the CIS, incorporating technology from a range of vendors including Nokia, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Samsung Corp. . Initial investment in the project, which aims to launch tech-neutral LTE-1800 networks in 19 Russian regions by the end of 2015, will exceed 10 billion Russian rubles (US$184 million). A bold move, perhaps, when the number of Russian mobile subscriptions appears to be heading south? (See Eurobites: Mobile Subs Slide in Russia, MTS Braced for Ruble Trouble and MTS's Russian Resolution.)

  • Huawei is claiming a world first with the use of an embedded optical time domain reflectometer (eOTDR) on the fiber network of South Africa's MTN Group Ltd. , enabling, it says, the operator to better manage fiber maintenance and identify network faults. Details are scant but we're pretty sure the embedded optical time domain reflectometer looks something like this.

  • UK regulator Ofcom has launched a new "one touch" process intended to make it easier for residential customers to switch to a new broadband or landline deal. Under the new system, consumers will no longer need to cancel their contract with their existing provider -- instead, the new provider is expected to do all the tiresome donkey work on their behalf.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Susan Fourtané 6/19/2015 | 12:17:25 PM
    Nokia Licensing smartphones was expected after the launch of the Nokia N1 tablet last year. -Susan
    [email protected] 6/19/2015 | 8:18:34 AM
    Next gen eOTDR... I wish!! Oh I wish the eOTDR did actually look like that pic in the link in this story... that just made my Friday...
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