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Eurobites: Proximus Tests Hybrid Broadband

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT bigs up new router; TalkTalk boss sees pay hike; Ericsson 'fesses up to Greek probe; Virgin deal with UKTV.

  • Belgium's Proximus is combining with startup Tessares to to test a hybrid DSL/LTE Internet service in the town of Frasnes-Lez-Anvaing. Tessares is a spin-off of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in which Proximus and the VIVES II fund invested in 2015. The trial will begin in July and last for several months, and at the end of it Proximus will decide whether it will deploy the technology on a larger scale.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has launched a new router which it claims has the most powerful WiFi signal of any such product offered by the UK's major broadband providers. The BT Smart Hub is equipped with seven antennas and "Smart Scan" technology, which BT says means the router "proactively" monitors and improves customers WiFi performance.

  • A few eyebrows may be raised at the news, revealed by The Guardian, that TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding received an extra £1.8 million (US$2.6 million) in pay in 2015, despite her firm suffering a high-profile cyber attack in October that cost it £60 million ($88 million) in revenue and 101,000 customers. Her pay increased because of a £1.97 million ($2.88 million) payout under the company's long-term incentive plan. Harding's cash bonus, however, was almost halved, to £220,000 ($322,000), reflecting the damage done by the cyber attack. (See Eurobites: TalkTalk Counts Cost of Cyber Attack, TalkTalk Plummets on Security Woes and Eurobites: TalkTalk Rocked by Cyber Attack.)

  • Just days after news surfaced of an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission into Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)'s business in China, the vendor has revealed details of a probe by Greek authorities into an agreement one of its former subsidiaries signed with the country's defense sector in 1999. The vendor says that in relation to the supply of an airborne radar system to the Greek government by Ericsson Microwave Systems, seven current and former Ericsson employees have been served with summons in preliminary investigation proceedings by a Greek prosecutor relating to allegations of possible corruption. (See Eurobites: Ericsson at Center of Corruption Probe.)

  • Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), the UK cable operator owned by Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), has signed a deal with UKTV that will see the broadcaster double the number of programs it makes available to Virgin customers. The deal also includes the launch of the updated UKTV Play app on Virgin's TiVo platform.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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