Eurobites: Ericsson Set to Cut up to 4,000 Jobs Soon – Report

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson tools up its 5G Garage; Virgin Media cements relationship with housebuilders; Apple Pay for Orange Cash customers.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is set to shed between 3,000 and 4,000 jobs this summer as it continues its cost-cutting drive, according to a Reuters report citing Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD). Ericsson did not comment on the specific numbers but reiterated in an email to SvD that its previously announced cost reduction plan was on track but that more measures needed to be taken to achieve the targeted 9 billion Swedish kronor (US$1.1 billion) in savings by 2017 compared with 2014. The Swedish vendor has found the going tough in recent times, with customers cutting back on investments in mobile broadband networks and competition from the likes of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. hitting Ericsson where it hurts. (See Ericsson CEO Seeks New Growth Formula and Ericsson Restructures as Sales, Gross Margins Falter in Q1.)

  • On a more positive note, Ericsson has underscored its intention to be at the heart of 5G developments in Germany with the opening of a 5G Proof of Concept Network in Aachen. The Network is an open trial facility that the vendor hopes will enable early deployments of 5G. In tandem, and also in Aachen, the vendor has launched the Ericsson Garage, an incubator space where German industry and academia can come together to do innovative things in the 5G and IoT spheres. Collaboration with the Aachen University of Technology will form a significant part of the project.

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has unveiled a Smart Home solution designed to enable network operators devise and launch new digital home services to residential broadband customers. The solution comprises: A device, the Nokia 7368 ISAM ONT G240WZ-A, that acts as an Optical Network Terminal (ONT), a residential gateway (with dual-band concurrent Wi-Fi and beamforming) and a smart home hub (with Z-Wave and ZigBee support); a mobile application (with IOS and Android versions) that can be used to control the home; and an IoT management platform that controls connected devices in the home. The solution will be rolled out during the rest of this year and be available to all operators by the end of 2016. According to ABI Research, the global smart home market is forecast to grow by 24% between 2015 and 2020 to be worth $39 billion. (See Nokia Unveils Smart Home Solution to Support IoT.)

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) is to offer customers of its Orange Cash mobile payment service in France the opportunity to use it with Apple Pay, thereby, it hopes, broadening the appeal of the service. Orange Cash is available at 400,000 points of sale across France.

  • UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) has formed a partnership with the Home Builders Federation, a body whose member firms account for around 80% of all new houses built in England and Wales, to help deliver "ultrafast" broadband services to new-build properties. The scheme forms part of Virgin Media's £3 billion (US$4.2 billion) Project Lightning network expansion that will see its network reach 17 million UK premises by 2020. (See Virgin Media Plots £3B Invasion of BT Turf.)

  • Norway-based Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) has appointed two new CEOs: Irfan Wahab Khan becomes the top man at Telenor Pakistan, replacing Michael Foley, who takes the helm at Telenor Bulgaria. Khan was previously deputy CEO and CMO of Telenor Pakistan.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) and Sky have all been named in the top ten of Newsweek's most "green" companies for 2016, gaining high marks for their policies on corporate "sustainability" and environmental impact. For the full, 500-strong ranking list, click here. The rankings are based on research from Corporate Knights and HIP (Human Impact + Profit) Investor.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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