Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT Global Services plans customer cull; Ooredoo does the business on network upgrades; Orange's Richard to head up GSMA; EU digital tax deal edges nearer.
Telecom Italia (TIM) has struck an agreement with China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd to offer Italian companies SD-WAN-based services to boost the efficiency of their corporate networks. Huawei's version of SD-WAN technology will be the first to be integrated into TIM's network management console. The agreement is part of a ten-year collaboration between the two companies.
BT Global Services , BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s international services arm, plans to slim down its customer list by more than 80% as it reshapes its business model in the wake of an Italian accounting scandal in 2016, the Financial Times reports (subscription required). Bas Burger, who took over the running of the unit last year, told the FT that the future of BT Global Services lies in the provision of apps and cloud-based services that allow enterprises to meet their own comms needs, rather than waiting for those needs to be outsourced. (See Dodgy Italian Job Savages BT Earnings, Share Price Tanks.)
Ooredoo is trumpeting progress made on the progress of its network upgrades in North Africa and the Middle East. According to the operator, testing firm Ookla has named four of Ooredoo's operating companies -- in Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Myanmar -- as the fastest in their respective markets in the first half of 2018.
Orange (NYSE: FTE) Chairman and CEO Stéphane Richard has been elected as chairman of the GSMA from January 2019 through to December 2020, with Chua Sock Koong, group CEO of SingTel Group, acting as deputy chair. Richard replaces Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises, who will step down from the board at the end of 2018.
The European Union is close to agreeing a digital tax deal that would see online giants such as Google and Amazon being taxed much more heavily in the EU countries where they actually do business, Reuters reports. The report cites a radio interview with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. (See Eurobites: EU Wants 3% of the Tech Titans.)
UK broadband providers have been lambasted once again for effectively imposing "loyalty penalties" on customers who, for whatever reason, remain their customers after their initial "introductory offers" have evaporated. A year ago consumer rights organization Citizens Advice called broadband providers out for this behavior; now it's the turn of researchers at Which?, who found that such loyalty (or understandable apathy) leaves customers paying an average of 15% more than a new customer for their broadband service -- though the premium can be as much as 89%, Which? said. (See Eurobites: UK Broadband Customers Stung by 'Loyalty Penalties'.)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading