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Eurobites: Union Rejects BT's 'Restructuring' Plan

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telia completes Fintur acquisition, faces threats over TV ad; Spirent swaps Erics; Europe wants to be in connected-car vanguard.

  • Prospect, one of the largest labor unions for employees of UK incumbent BT, has strongly rejected proposed structural changes to the company, describing them as representing a "short-sighted approach" that seeks to impose "extreme cultural change" entailing thousands of job cuts. As the Financial Times reports (paywall), the union's announcement can be seen as the first strong challenge to new CEO Philip Jansen, even though the ballot relates to a restructuring program set out by now-departed former boss Gavin Patterson. (See BT Looks More Bloated Than Ever.)

  • Telia has completed the acquisition of Turkcell's stake in Fintur Holdings B.V., which means it is now also the sole owner of Moldcell in Moldova. The deal is related to Telia's divestment of the 75% stake that it and Turkcell had in Kazakh operator Kcell to state-owned Kazakhtelecom JSC, which formed part of Telia's exit strategy from Eurasia.

  • Telia has also revealed that its Oslo office has received an unspecified threat linked to the airing of a TV ad celebrating personal freedom. The ad in question showed two frames side by side, one of a woman removing her hijab and one of a woman who does not. The operator said that the main concern now is the safety of its employees, and it is staying in close contact with police.

  • Spirent, the UK-based test and measurement company, has had a change of Erics at the top of the company. Out goes Eric Hutchinson, who is retiring after 37 years of employment with the compamny, and in (as the new CEO) comes Eric Updyke, who most recently was on the executive management team of Amdocs. (See Spirent Appoints New CEO.)

  • The European Automotive and Telecoms Alliance (EATA) is urging European Union policymakers to redouble efforts to ensure that the European Union takes the global lead in connected and automated mobility. To hammer home its point, the EATA has released a manifesto setting its objectives in this area, such as enabling a clear framework to foster innovation and avoiding fragmentation.

  • Netnod, the Swedish interconnectivity provider, is launching new point-to-point transport and a VLAN offering that together interconnect all Netnod Internet Exchanges (IXes). Any network with a presence in the Nordics will be able to establish a VLAN connection to the Netnod IX Stockholm, opening up peering opportunities with ISPs, telcos and content delivery networks.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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