Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange's Richard gets four more years; BT uses Genband's knowhow; Telenor in antitrust trouble.
What is it about Italy and Metaswitch Networks ? In January the IP systems vendor announced a deal with Infracom Italia for a broad range of Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) systems. Now Metaswitch has announced Italian competitive operator Tiscali SpA as a customer for not only its session border controller (SBC) but also the Clearwater Core platform that the vendor has been developing as part of its NFV efforts. Tiscali is to use Clearwater Core, a cloud-based IMS platform, for the delivery of the voice, video, and messaging services that the service provider is offering as part of its Indoona OTT application offering. (See Tiscali Intros NFV With Metaswitch, Metaswitch Unveils Clearwater Core, Metaswitch Gets an Italian Job, Bolder Is Better for IP Transformation and Defining SDN & NFV.)
The board of Orange (NYSE: FTE) has voted to renew the four-year mandate of CEO Stephane Richard, reports Reuters, offering the operator some stability at a time of considerable upheaval in the French telecom sector. Richard is still dogged by an investigation into his role in a 2008 arbitration case -- he was a government aide at the time -- that resulted in a large payout to businessman Bernard Tapie. Meanwhile, back at the coalface, Orange Business Services has landed a managed M2M deal with mobile payments firm SIA. Under the terms of the contract, OBS will provide technology that enables remote terminals to automatically transmit data to the SIA network infrastructure. (See Free Disrupts French Mobile Market and Orange Business Services Wins Managed M2M Deal.)
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has turned to Genband Inc. 's Diameter signaling controller to enhance its Global IP Exchange connectivity. Genband's offering smooths over the cracks between different LTE networks to ensure that roaming subscribers can easily connect when on the move. BT has also said goodbye to one of the chief architects of its BT TV service, Marc Watson. As the unit's CEO, Watson was heavily involved in negotiations for soccer rights as BT sought to establish itself as a credible rival to BSkyB in the premium sports content market. We're sure there's a "transfer request" gag in here somewhere... (See BT Deploys Genband's Diameter Signaling Controller and BT's Got Balls.)
Norway's Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) is facing antitrust proceedings initiated by the European Free Trade Association, reports Reuters. The authority alleges that the operator infringed competition rules by placing an illegal "margin squeeze" on its competitors, though it has not specified in which market this is supposed to have happened.
Nokia Networks has appointed Farooq Azam as head of its operations in Jordan. Azam has worked extensively for NSN in the Middle East and Africa, and before he joined the Finnish vendor, he held various roles within Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU). (See NSN Appoints Country Head of Jordan.)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading