Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange tackles fake news; Liquid Telecom Kenya chooses Nokia for OTN/DWDM upgrade; Trondheim intends to be a 5G early adopter.
Orange Digital Ventures has invested €3 million (US$3.4 million) in Cycloid, a French startup that aims to make it easier for enterprises to adopt DevOps processes and, as a result, "transition" to the cloud. Cycloid has developed a platform that "industrialises the DevOps approach between developers and administrators" and counters "the increasing fragmentation of tools and hosting platforms." Orange plans to use the Cycloid platform internally and make it available to its "business partners to rapidly simplify tools and improve teams' operational efficiency." Marc Rennard, Chairman of Orange Digital Ventures, noted: "Thanks to its network of partners," which includes Amazon Web Services (AWS), "Cycloid has a unique ability to respond to the challenges of small companies seeking greater agility, as well as major companies undergoing complete transformation." C'est bon!
Separately, Orange, appropriately enough, is joining the fight against "fake news," launching what it describes as the world's first "digital trust label" for online news secured by blockchain technology. Called safe.press, the certification system allows one-click verification of the authenticity and source of online content and, to get the ball rolling, Orange says that henceforth all its press releases will be verifiable online by clicking on the green "safe.press" badge. French startup Block Expert developed the safe.press system.
Network operator Liquid Telecom Kenya has chosen Nokia to help it upgrade its backbone fiber transport network to support OTN/DWDM technology, with an initial network capacity of 500G. This, says Nokia, will result in a better connection along the route from the Indian Ocean to data centers in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and neighboring countries. The Liquid Telecom parent company (of which the Kenyan operation is just a part) is positioning itself as a pan-African network that can help countries and businesses across the continent gain more reliable access to the public Internet and data centers (international as well as regional) as cloud services become a more realistic option for African enterprises. (See Sea Change for Africa With Liquid's Fiber Link? and Liquid Telecom Commits to $400M Investment in Egypt.)
Trondheim is set to be the first major city in Norway to benefit from 5G services, according to operator Telenor, which plans to begin constructing a number of 5G basestations there this summer. The city authorities, with the help of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the local business community, are hoping to transform Trondheim in a "sustainable smart city," and they see 5G playing a crucial part in this process.
Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges is unhappy about the way the German 5G spectrum auction is being run, claiming that those in charge are creating a shortage of spectrum that could force up costs and leave operators struggling to actually roll out the networks. According to a Reuters report, Hoettges told the operator's annual general meeting that "an artificial shortage of public resources is being created." Proceeds from the auction have already passed the €1 billion mark (US$1.12 billion), according to the German regulator. (See Europe Must Pray for Sobriety in German 5G Auction.)
Virgin Media and Sky have named the date for the launch of their advertising partnership, AdSmart, which allows different ads to be shown to households watching the same program. "Addressable advertising," as they're calling it, will be available across the Virgin TV footprint in the UK from July 1. Virgin also says that it expects to launch AdSmart on its own free-to-air television service (Virgin Media One) in Ireland, with trials starting from the fourth quarter of 2019.
Swisscom's latest mobile tariff, "InOne Mobile Go," removes roaming charges for Swisscom customers in 39 countries within Europe.