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Cloud Native/NFV

Eurobites: Telecom Italia builds cloud platform with Atos

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange gets its tax back; OBS digitizes Tricolor's contact center; Virgin Media launches basic broadband plan for UK welfare claimants.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) has thrown in its lot with Atos, an IT services company, to jointly develop a hybrid cloud platform for companies and government organizations. The agreement sees the two companies focusing on the implementation of the European Commission's Gaia-X standards, which are themselves intended to provide common requirements for a European data infrastructure. The platform is expected to be commercialized during the first half of 2021.

  • Orange has emerged on the right side of a long-running tax dispute after being given the green light by the French State Council to recover around €2.2 billion (US$2.6 billion) it paid back in July 2013. The operator says it "plans to allocate these funds in a fair and balanced manner in a way that will benefit the development of the company, its employees and its shareholders, in particular through an employee share scheme and an enhanced social commitment in light of the economic and health crisis we are experiencing."

  • The B2B arm of Orange, Orange Business Services, has deployed an "omnichannel" contact center for Russian satellite TV firm Tricolor, using customer engagement software from Genesys. Tricolor, which provides services to 12 million households throughout Russia, says it was able to deploy the new system on top of its existing infrastructure in the space of six weeks. The new system will allow Tricolor to interact with its customers via voice, chat, social networks, instant messaging and email through a single platform, using speech analytics to help it identify the reason for customers' calls.

  • UK cable operator Virgin Media has launched a new basic broadband service aimed at those receiving Universal Credit – a form of welfare payment for those seeking work. The Essential plan provides a downlink speed of 15 Mbit/s and fixed price of £15 a month ($19.79), with no fixed-term contract. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to eat into employment in the UK, the number of people needing Universal Credit is on the rise, with 5.7 million people claiming it as of October 8, 2020.

  • Towers company Inwit is to create a distributed antenna system (DAS) for tobacco giant Philip Morris at its new e-cigarettes plant in Valsamoggia, Italy. The DAS will, say the two companies, allow the "optimal use" of all wireless connected devices and the development of IoT services. The system will involve the installation of microantennas built by JMA Wireless, which will be connected to each other and powered by a signal that reaches the plant via optical fiber.

  • Mobile UK, a lobby group for the UK's mobile operators, has called on the British government to allow England's mobile phone stores – currently closed because of an England-wide coronavirus "lockdown" – to reopen, arguing that they provide an essential service. Considering that England's garden centers have been allowed to remain open, selling emergency bags of compost and Christmas decorations, Mobile UK may well have a point…

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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