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Eurobites: Germany Holds 'Huaweigate' Summit

Paul Rainford

In today's EMEA regional roundup: Huawei gets its own gate in Germany; MLL Telecom and CityFibre make WAN hay in Constable Country; Colt appoints new exec to pitch connectivity services to mobile operators; Spotify's Q4 figures sound better than Maroon 5.

  • Another day, another development in what virtually no one is calling "Huaweigate." Reuters reports that German ministers will meet today (Wednesday) to thrash out how to keep future 5G mobile networks safe, the implication being that they might not be if the likes of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) are involved. Chancellor Angela Merkel has already said that Germany needs guarantees that Huawei will not pass data onto the Chinese government if the equipment maker is to have any chance of playing a role in future networks. On Tuesday, a US State Department official warned the EU that it needs to be "very, very cautious" about signing 5G contracts with "untrusted suppliers from countries like China." International diplomacy at work! (See Where Huawei Fears to Tread.)

  • MLL Telecom Ltd. has been awarded a 20-year managed services contract for Suffolk County Council in the UK. The plan is to extend the county's existing wide-area network to connect more than 600 public sector sites with "ultra-fast" and "next-generation" services. As part of the project, MLL is also teaming up with CityFibre to build and operate a 114km dark fiber spine network across ten Suffolk towns to connect over 300 of those public sector sites to a gigabit access network.

  • Colt Technology Services Group Ltd has appointed Mark Gilmour as its head of mobile connectivity solutions: That is, transport connectivity for mobile network operators (rather than selling wireless services to anyone). Gilmour joins Colt from Ciena, though he has also had stints at Three, Ericsson and Hutchison.

  • Spotify , the Sweden-based music streaming service, seems to be heading in the right direction. Fourth-quarter results reveal that the number of its "monthly active users" has grown by 29% year-on-year to 207 million, while the number of those willing to pay for the service has grown by 36% to 96 million -- though they are still outnumbered by those prepared to put up with the ads telling them how much nicer it would be if they paid for the service.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) has appointed Luciano Sale as its chief of human resources and organizational development. Sale, who was most recently at airline Alitalia, replaces Riccardo Meloni.

  • The Telegraph, one of the UK's oldest national newspapers, is migrating all its production and pre-production services to Google Cloud, using Google's AutoML technology to classify content and make it more easily searchable for journalists, as well as offering its non-Luddite readers a more "personalized" news experience through an app.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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