Eurobites: MTN Uganda CEO Deported

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telefónica improves its network visibility with Ixia; Telia's Uzbek fine fallout keeps falling out; DriveNets raises $110 million.

  • Wim Vanhelleputte, the CEO of MTN Uganda, has been deported from Uganda. In a short statement, the operator said that it had not been notified of the grounds for the deportation and that it was "working hard" to establish them. In the meantime, Gordian Kyomukama, currently CTO, has been made acting chief executive.

  • Telefónica has chosen US-based Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) to provide analytics software for monitoring the Spanish giant's physical and virtual networks worldwide. Among the Ixia offerings being deployed by Telefónica are network packet brokers, network tap products and the Ixia Fabric Controller.

  • A new ruling from the Stockholm district court means that Telia will be paying an outstanding US$208.5 million fine relating to corrupt practices at its Uzbekistan subsidiary to either the Netherlands or the US. Originally, Sweden had also been in the frame to receive the money. Three former Telia employees were implicated in the scandal, which took a $965 million toll on the operator. (See Eurobites: Telia Coughs Up $965M to Exit Uzbek Nightmare and Eurobites: Uzbek Fine Takes Toll on Telia.)

  • DriveNets, an Israeli networking software company, has raised $110 million in its first funding round. DriveNets, which has 150 employees and plans to employ 200 by the end of the year, was founded in late 2015 by Ido Susan and Hillel Kobrinsky and has been self-funded until now. Network Cloud is its flagship product. (See Cloud-Native Router Startup DriveNets Banks $110M, Takes On Cisco et al..)

  • French communications regulator Arcep has been hosting a 5G hackathon this week with students from Epitech, a private college that has campuses throughout France. Among other tasks, participants were asked to develop a display system for spectrum allocation maps, consider how blockchain technology could play a part in tracking spectrum allocation, and develop a "serious game" that makes it possible to see how spectrum transactions will play out.

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has found itself a new auditor, replacing PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) with another one of the UK's "big four" accounting firms, Ernst & Young. The move follows some argy-bargy relating to the demise of phone retailer Phones 4u, which sued Vodafone (and others) over what it saw as unfair practices that hastened its fall from grace: PWC was auditor of both Vodafone and Phones 4u at the time.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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