Business Transformation

Eurobites: Proximus slims down for its svelte digital future

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Colt targets the enterprise; Deutsche Telekom trials NB-IoT in apartment blocks; changes at the top of Eurofiber; Telenor settles Thai trouble.

  • Like many of us at the start of a new year, Belgium's Proximus has announced it intends to slim down and get fitter. Trumpeting a #shifttodigital strategy, the operator says it has realized that it needs to change its way of working, becoming, yep, you've guessed it, "more flexible and lean." To this end, it says will look to further rationalize its networks, product portfolio, platforms, buildings IT systems and labor force, partly through automation. While it says it will recruit 1,250 new digitally-savvy workers over the next three years as part of its attempt to reinvent itself, it is also considering laying off around 1,900 people over the same period "in line with the planned workload reduction."

  • Colt Technology Services Group Ltd , the pan-European connectivity services provider, has launched a new offering for the enterprise that blends Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s cloud productivity applications with Colt's voice and data networks. Called "Colt Intelligent Communications," the product helps deliver collaborative applications on Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365 platform.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has been carrying out trials of NB-IoT technology in apartment buildings with Ista, a real-estate service provider. Ista provided access to over 500 metering points in some 60 apartments in the Cologne/Bonn area of Germany. DT says that in 99.75% of cases, the sensors were able to establish a stable connection, demonstrating that NB-IoT performs better in such scenarios than existing technologies such as GSM, UMTS and LTE.

  • Jeanine van der Vlist has joined the executive board of Eurofiber , the digital infrastructure provider based principally in the Netherlands and Belgium. She will be taking on the new board role of chief commercial officer. Paul Naastepad will succeed van der Vlist as managing director of Eurofiber Netherlands.

  • Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN)'s Thai subsidiary, dtac, has settled its long-running legal dispute with CAT Telecom Public Company Limited, with dtac agreeing to pay CAT 9.51 billion Thai Baht (around US$295 million). According to Telenor, the dispute has largely centered on "differences in interpretation of the concession agreement."

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) is refinancing debts with the launch of a €1.25 billion ($1.44 billion) five-year bond to institutional investors.

  • MLL Telecom Ltd. , a provider of secure managed network services for the UK public sector, has been appointed by Fife Council in Scotland to upgrade its existing WAN infrastructure. MLL will provide an enhanced 10GB capacity core network, offering increased bandwidth to various council sites.

  • An adviser to the European Union's highest court has said that Google and other search engines can limit the so-called "right to be forgotten" principle to EU countries, Reuters reports. The advice comes in the context of a legal case between Google and CNIL, a French data privacy agency. CNIL had said that people should have the power to make Google remove search-result references to them globally, and not just in France. (See Eurobites: EU Warns Google Over 'Right to Be Forgotten' Opportunism.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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