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Eurobites: Baksaas to Step Down at Telenor

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Swisscom tests driverless cars; EE racks up complaints; Nokia gets the party started.

  • Jon Frederick Baksaas is to retire as CEO of Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN), the Norway-based operator that has expanded aggressively into Asia and elsewhere in recent years under his guidance. He will be replaced, as from August 17, by Sigve Brekke, currently the executive vice president and head of Telenor Group's Asia operations. Baksaas, 61, has been CEO of Telenor since 2002, which makes him one of the longest-serving bosses in the industry. He will continue as an advisor to Telenor's board of directors until the end of 2016 and will serve as chairman of the GSM Association (GSMA) . Telenor has a current market capitalization of $36.4 billion and claims 192 million customers across 13 international markets -- and that doesn't include its reach in Russia, where it holds a substantial stake in VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP). (See Brekke to Replace Baksaas as Telenor CEO.)

  • As reports emerge of a number of accidents involving self-driving cars, Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) has revealed it is testing a driverless VW Passat on the streets of Zurich. The car is kitted out with sensors, computers and software from Autonomos Labs, and detects other cars by means of laser scanners, radar and video cameras. Zurich residents may be reassured to know that "specially trained drivers" will be present behind the steering wheel throughout, just in case…

  • Still in Switzerland, Sunrise Communications AG has announced a cloud partnership with Microsoft under the terms of which the Swiss firm will offer its enterprise customers Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s OneDrive cloud storage product in combination with mobile phone subscriptions.

  • UK regulator Ofcom has been totting up the complaints scores again, and this time it's EE 's turn to sit on the naughty step, as it generated the highest volume of complaints (during the period October to December 2014) in both fixed-line voice and fixed broadband. In mobile, however, Vodafone UK attracted the most complaints, while BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is still upsetting more people than its rivals in the pay-TV sector.

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is 150 years old today, and the company is marking the fact with celebrations around the world. The Finnish giant started life as a paper pulp mill and has arrived at its current networking gear incarnation via cables, rubber boots, TVs and, of course, mobile phones. The culmination of the festivities in Espoo will be the emergence of former CEO Stephen Elop from a giant cake. Actually we made that last bit up. (See Eurobites: Elop's Golden Parachute Inflates.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Kruz 5/18/2015 | 2:46:13 AM
    Re: Self-driving cars This will all depend on the level of autonomy the cars will be and the kinds of actions available to human drivers. If the car is fully automated, it should the manufacturer's responsbility eventually.
    Susan Fourtané 5/16/2015 | 2:29:33 AM
    Re: Self-driving cars mendyk, you made me smile at this early hour. :D Well, yes, of course everyone knows that. Maybe it's even more true when there is no driver in one of the cars. -Susan
    kq4ym 5/13/2015 | 12:32:09 PM
    Re: Self-driving cars I would predict there's going to be lots of lawyers involved in the eventual driverless car crashes. Just who's at fault might be a very expensive proposition to prove. But with ""specially trained drivers" behind the steering wheel of the test cars I guess that driver is not going to easily claim it was a software problem! 
    mendyk 5/13/2015 | 10:51:40 AM
    Re: Self-driving cars Everyone knows the accident is always the other driver's fault.
    Susan Fourtané 5/13/2015 | 5:20:47 AM
    Self-driving cars It's important to get well informed about those car accidents which involved autonomous cars because if not, there could be a misleading snow ball rolling on. So, as per the link posted by Paul, Delphi's car was in manual driving mode at the time of the accident, and was hit by another car driven by a human while stationary at a crossroad. According to a police report, the fault of the accident is with the other car, not Delphi's. As for the Google's cars cases, Google's car had not been the cause of any accident in the six years the company has been rolling the project, according to Google. In this opportunity, as in Delphi's, the the fault of the accidents in with the other cars since the accidents were in the form of rear-end collision from other drivers, according to Google. I personally believe that even with these four cases of accidents involving autonomous cars, and where none of the autonomous cars provoked the accidents but the human drivers, it's fair to say that autonomous cars are safer, more trustworthy than many human drivers, and will help to decrease road accidents, as the statistics have stated. -Susan
    Susan Fourtané 5/13/2015 | 4:29:26 AM
    Hall of Fame Paul, Quite funny that bit of Elop emerging from a giant cake. So, I followed your link redirecting to last year's Hall of Fame. It's nice to have a quick look at the interesting sequence of events that took Elop to LR's Hall of Fame, and back to Microsoft, where he always belonged. -Susan
    Kruz 5/12/2015 | 2:33:23 PM
    Nokia Amazing how Nokia has been constantly reinventing itself while still being able to sustain and even dominate. As for Elop, I believe the cake in the story is Nokia and it was the best cake he had.
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