Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: OTE sells stake in Telekom Albania; Orange cuts ribbon on Guiana-Martinique link; WorldRemit sets up shop in South Africa.
Is Germany shaping up to be the next country to give Huawei the official cold shoulder? That's the conclusion of a Handelsblatt report, being cited by Reuters, which says that, with regard to 5G network buildouts, government officials were considering setting up security standards that Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd could not realistically achieve. In December, Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) said that it was reassessing its procurement strategy in the light of concerns about the use of Chinese vendors for network equipment, particularly in relation to 5G rollouts. (See Eurobites: Deutsche Telekom Joins Caravan of Concern Over Huawei, Orange Rules Out Huawei for 5G in France, US Lawmakers Intro Bill Banning Sale of Tech to Huawei & ZTE, Where Huawei Fears to Tread and Eurobites: Do Look a Huawei Gift Horse in the Mouth, UK Universities Told.)
In other Germany-related news, DT-owned Greek operator OTE S.A. is to sell its entire stake in Telekom Albania Sh.A. to Bulgarian company Albania Telecom Invest AD. In a statement, OTE Chairman and CEO Michael Tsamaz described the move as "a strategic decision, in the context of OTE Group’s redefined priorities and growth plans." Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Orange (NYSE: FTE) has cut the ribbon on its Kanawa submarine cable, a 1,746km link between French Guiana and the island of Martinique. Kanawa, completed in under two years, will use WDM (wavelength division multiplexing) technology to send data at speeds of up to 10 Tbit/s.
WorldRemit, a digital money transfer platform specialist, has obtained a license to offer services in South Africa and opened an office in Johannesburg to do just that. Mobile finance users in South Africa will now be able to transfer money to more than 145 countries worldwide using the platform. As part of the move, WorldRemit has struck partnership deals with South African operators MTN and Vodacom to tie the platform in with their mobile money services. For more details, see this story on our sister site, Connecting Africa. (See WorldRemit Sets Up Shop in South Africa, Eyes IPO.)
Sweden's Aptilo Networks AB is targeting enterprises and telcos with what it calls a "zero-touch Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity solution" to facilitate the automatic onboarding of WiFi-connected IoT devices. The IoT connectivity management platform runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and has been developed using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and AWS IoT Core as well as Aptilo's own Service Management Platform (SMP). Typically, according to Aptilo, WiFi connectivity offerings require some kind of manual action when the device is switched on for the first time: This, notes Aptilo, has been "a hindrance" when rolling out IoT services based on WiFi connectivity, resulting in a preference for cellular connectivity despite WiFi being widely available at indoor locations.
VEON has promoted Evgeniy Nastradin to CEO of Beeline Kazakhstan, replacing Aleksandr Komarov, who has been appointed CEO of Kyivstar, VEON's brand in Ukraine. Nastradin joined VEON in 2016, becoming chief commercial officer at Beeline Kazakhstan.
Thales SA (Paris: TCFP.PA), the French defense company, is teaming up with the Welsh government to establish a £20 million (US$25.7 million) cyber center in Blaenau Gwent, a deprived region in the post-industrial south of the principality. The National Digital Exploitation Centre, say its backers, will be the first facility of its kind in Wales, and will offer small and midsized businesses a space in which to test their digital concepts.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading