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Eurobites: Ex-MTS Man Resurfaces at Rival VEON

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Arqiva upgrades in Glasgow; Ericsson's Hoffman departs for US; Telecom Italia's new boss reassures the unions.

  • Vasyl Latsanych, who quit his role as chief marketing officer of Russian mobile giant Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) earlier this year, has popped up at VEON, one of his previous employer's biggest competitors, where he will become CEO of the Russian business starting in January 2018. Formerly known as VimpelCom, VEON operates Russia's third-largest mobile operator, behind MTS and MegaFon , and will no doubt be overjoyed to learn more about the goings-on at MTS from someone with first-hand knowledge of its business. While chief marketing officer in name, Latsanych was effectively much more than that for MTS, taking responsibility for some of its boldest strategic moves, including efforts to diversify into the software market. VEON is similarly trying to reinvent itself as a fully digital player and launched its own self-service app at the same time it changed its name in February this year. (See MTS Marketing Boss Eyes $760M in Annual Software Sales.)

  • UK mobile infrastructure player Arqiva has teamed up with fronthaul specialist Dali Wireless Inc. to improve mobile coverage and capacity in Glasgow's city center. Analog components on the existing network were replaced by Dali's digital distributed antenna system (DAS) to support 2G, 3G and 4G services -- as well as 5G services, when they arrive. System integrator Cellular Asset Management also played a part in the project. Earlier this month Arqiva pulled the plug on a planned IPO, citing market uncertainty for its decision. (See Eurobites: Arqiva Gets the Jitters Over IPO and Arqiva Bags Extra 28GHz UK License, Eyes 5G Launch.)

  • One of Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)'s leading cloud technology specialists has left the company. Jason Hoffman, who was a key figure in Ericsson's efforts to build a cloud systems business as head of cloud infrastructure products from early 2014 to mid-2017, has resigned and will move to California from Sweden in the coming weeks, he announced on LinkedIn. He did not mention whether he has a new job lined up for 2018. Hoffman was instrumental in the development of Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, developed with Intel and launched at MWC 2015. He shifted to a new role as CTO of the vendor's Business Area Digital Services unit in June this year, reporting to Ulf Ewaldsson (who had hired him in 2013), following an overhaul at the Swedish firm. (See Ericsson Sees Networks Progress Despite Mounting Losses, Ericsson Unveils New Management Team and Ericsson, Intel Target Telco Data Centers.)

  • Telecom Italia Sparkle , the international services arm of Telecom Italia (TIM) , has launched Voice&SMS Express (VSE), which it describes as a pay-as-you-go online SMS and voice platform aimed at enterprises, SMS aggregators, system integrators and voice operators.

  • Meanwhile, over at the parent company, new TIM CEO Amos Genish has been meeting with various Italian labor unions to tell them about his plans for the company and to reassure them that they have "the same goal," this being "motivating the workforce in TIM by making the most of the existing resources while also giving opportunities to young people." Genish, formerly chief convergence officer at Vivendi , was made CEO of TIM in September, in a move emblematic of the French media conglomerate's tightening grip on the Italian incumbent. (See Vivendi Man Genish Formally Named Telecom Italia CEO.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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