Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Bouygues forms FTTH provider; Telia legs it from Kazakhstan; Ericsson demos 5G NR in South Korea; VEON gets new CEO.
Another day, another potential headache for Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd . This time, it's the UK's Foreign Affairs Select Committee, which, according to the Telegraph, has warned British universities to exercise "extreme caution" when it comes to accepting money from the Chinese vendor. The report reveals that the controversy-dogged equipment giant has already agreed to inject at least £6 million into a group of prestigious UK universities that includes Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester and York, despite warnings from various intelligence agencies about the potential security risks of such engagements. (See Where Huawei Fears to Tread, Huawei: The Signs Were There and Podcast: The Heat Is on Huawei.)
France's Bouygues Telecom has linked up with Axione, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction, and its financial partner Mirova to create CityFast, a network access services provider dedicated to delivering FTTH connectivity to very densely populated areas of France. For Bouygues, this means it will be able to reach another 3.4 million premises with fiber in these areas, thus realizing its current FTTH ambitions.
Telia has completed its exit from Eurasia, divesting the 75% stake that it and Turkcell held in Kazakh operator Kcell to state-owned Kazakhtelecom JSC. As part of the divestiture process, Telia has also agreed with Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (NYSE: TKC) to dismantle Fintur, their jointly owned holding company.
More 5G trumpet-tooting from Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC): This time it has collaborated with South Korea's SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) and chip giant Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) on a 5G New Radio data call over the 100MHz-wide bandwidth on 3.5GHz spectrum. The demonstration, which took place in Busan, South Korea, included a video call and streaming using SKT's 5G commercial network, Ericsson's radio products and a smartphone-sized test device powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G modem.
VEON, the Amsterdam-based but Russia-focused operator, has appointed Ursula Burns as its new chairman and CEO. Burns has served as chairman of the VEON board of directors since July 2017 and as executive chairman since March 2018. From 2009 to 2016 she was CEO of Xerox Corporation.
Eleven Sports, the OTT streaming service that had bagged the UK rights to La Liga and Serie A top-flight soccer and looked like it was shaping up to be a rival to the likes of Sky and BT in the sports content sphere, may shut down its UK operations, according to a report on Broadband TV News. It seems Eleven Sports has run onto the rocks after mixed-martial-arts promoter UFC exercised an exit clause from the Eleven Sports platform after the company was unable to secure distribution on Sky, BT and Virgin.
Peering service provider France-IX Services has extended its partnership with Belgium's BICS, with BICS joining the France-IX Marketplace as a seller and able to hawk its various IP-centric services there to anyone that's interested.
VR Education, a virtual reality startup based in Ireland, has won itself a ton of kudos by landing Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) as a customer for its virtual reality-based teaching platform. As the Telegraph reports, VR Education allows organizations to create their own VR content, and is now being launched commercially after two years in testing.
Telefónica has had a reshuffle, moving the current the current chairman and CEO of Telefónica Brasil (Vivo), Eduardo Navarro, to the wider, touchier-feelier role of global director for comms, brand, public affairs and sustainability. Christian Gebara, current COO of Vivo, will replace Navarro as CEO.