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Eurobites: Sunrise/Liberty Deal Catches More Flak

Paul Rainford
9/13/2019
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Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Deutsche Telekom taps VMware for SD-WANnery; Ericsson and Qualcomm claim standalone 5G breakthrough; UK government still dithering over Huawei.

  • Swiss operator Sunrise has encountered another roadblock in its attempt to acquire Liberty Global's Swiss unit, UPC Switzerland. As Reuters reports, this time it's the turn of activist investor AOC -- which has a stake of less than 3% in Sunrise -- to oppose the $6.4 billion deal. Sunrise's biggest backer, Freenet, has previously voiced its opposition to the deal, describing it as "unfavorable" for all Sunrise shareholders. (See Liberty Global Holds Firm on Sunrise Deal and Storm Clouds Gather Over Sunrise's $6.4B Liberty Deal.)

  • Deutsche Telekom's T-Systems is getting further into the SD-WAN game with VMware, setting out its stall with the vednor's "VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud" offer. (See For VMware, It's All About the Edge.)

  • Ericsson and Qualcomm are claiming to have erected another 5G milestone with the completion of a "standalone" 5G data connection at Ericsson's labs. The trial, which the participants say was compliant with global 3GPP 5G NR specifications, used Ericsson's standalone New Radio (NR) software and a "smartphone form factor test device" powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System.

  • On a different 5G front, Ericsson has been highlighting how the new(ish) technology can help the emergency services respond to accidents more effectively. In a demo carried out in partnership with Altice Portugal, response agencies were equipped with body kit that included cameras and sensors that were connected via a 5G test network to a command center as they responded to a staged traffic accident, providing instant feedback from the scene.

  • UK altnet CityFibre has promoted Elsa Chen, currently chief executive of its Entanet wholesale business, to a new role of chief customer officer for the CityFibre Group. In this position, Chen will be responsible for CityFibre's "customer experience strategy" across all market verticals.

  • The UK's Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, has told Reuters that the current UK government will make up its mind about whether Huawei gear can be used in the Brexit-obsessed nation's 5G networks "pretty soon." Or, to put it another way, decide whether it will cave in to the Trump administration or grow a pair. It's not like the UK government has got much else on its plate at the moment… (See Trump Is Losing the European War Against Huawei.)

  • Telekom Slovenije is using this week's IBC show in Amsterdam to give people a closer look at NEO, which it describes as (take a deep breath) a "next generation user-centric content-driven home entertainment system" that is operated by voice commands.

  • Vodafone has deployed Nagra's Cloud.SSP security software to help protect its TV services across a number of its territories, including Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy and Romania.

  • Telefónica UK (O2) has taken the wraps off its unlimited data plans, with tariffs starting from £33 ($41) a month for an 18-month SIM-only plan. The launch coincides with new research released by O2 which found that "running out of mobile data" ranked in the top ten of "life's inconveniences." It's a tough old world out there, people. Stay strong.

  • There's movement in the Dutch business IT services/telecom market with the acquisition of IT service provider Crystal Networks by Within Reach. Crystal Networks employs 20 people and offers fixed and mobile telephony, hardware, installation and service, IT, Internet, WiFi and networking services. The deal is being presented as part of Within Reach's plan to become the largest unified communications (UC) player in the European market.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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