Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Teléfonica and Huawei combine on VPNs for SMEs; Inmarsat cuts dividend to fund in-flight WiFi ambitions; Bosch and Siemens sign up to DT's smart home ecosystem.
A1 Telekom Austria, part of the Carlos Slim-owned Telekom Austria Group , has been accused by the national data protection authority of illegally storing user data. As Reuters reports, the operator has apparently been storing phone numbers, connection data and websites visited by the affected customers for, in some cases, several years, when connection data is supposed to be deleted within three months. A1 Telekom has set up an internal task force to look into the matter, and has two weeks to tell the authority what it intends to do about it.
Telefónica and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. have joined forces to deliver a cloud-based VPN offering for small and midsized companies. CloudVPN, says Teléfonica, delivers a simple form of private network between a business's different premises combined with safe navigation, remote access for teleworkers and a web portal where customers can monitor, manage and adjust their services in real time. The initial deployment will begin in Argentina and Chile but a European rollout is planned for some time in the future.
UK satellite operator Inmarsat plc (London: ISAT) is planning to cut its dividend to help fund its in-flight WiFi ambitions, the Daily Telegraph reports. This year the company is paying an annual dividend of 33.62 cents per share, but this will be cut to 20 cents until its cash flow issues have been addressed. Last year Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) successfully launched a new satellite-based designed to support in-flight WiFi services for passengers travelling across European airspace. (See Inmarsat, DT Launch WiFi-in-the-Sky Service.)
Bosch and Siemens have signed up to Deutsche Telekom's Qivicon smart home platform, meaning that their smart washing machines, tumble driers and dishwashers will be able to be remotely controlled by DT customers equipped with the Magenta SmartHome app on their smartphones. Also, smoke-alarm manufacturer Nest Labs has joined the DT smart home products ecosystem, bringing its "intelligent" smoke detection system, Nest Protect, to the party.
Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) 's IoT ProtoLab, described by the operator as an experimental center for research and innovation within the Internet of Things, opens its doors today in the Norwegian city of Trondheim. The new lab will use the citywide IoT testbed established by Wireless Trondheim and forms part of Telenor's Start IoT initiative, which looks to support entrepreneurs with IoT-related aspirations.
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has completed what it says is the world's first broadcast of a UEFA Champions League soccer game in High-Definition HDR straight to mobile devices over EE 's 4G network. The broadcast used a 24-camera Ultra HD set-up at London's Wembley Stadium, with 17 HDR cameras native HDR, and the remaining seven cameras converted to HDR 10 PQ. For the record, Spurs lost 2-1 to Juventus.