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Eurobites: BT Tools Up for Regulatory Battle

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: HMD Global CEO steps down; ADVA numbers down in Q2; UK win for ADTRAN; EE's 4G cliffhanger.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is preparing itself for battle with telecom regulator Ofcom by hiring the head of Ofwat, the agency responsible for regulating the UK's privatized (and largely foreign-owned) water industry. As the Daily Telegraph reports, Cathryn Ross will take over BT's regulatory affairs division, a responsibility previously held by Sean Williams, who, it was revealed earlier this week, is to leave for pastures new. With BT undergoing a closely monitored legal separation from its Openreach network access arm and Ofcom pricing controls for "superfast" broadband on the horizon, Ross will have plenty on her plate.

  • In Finland, the CEO of HMD Global, the company that was formed to breathe life into the Nokia brand with a new range of smartphones, is to step down. Arto Nummela will leave with immediate effect; Florian Seiche, the current HMD president, will add the CEO position to his role on a temporary basis. (See Nokia Makes 'Elegant' Return to Handset Market, Says Device Industry Expert.)

  • Germany's ADVA Optical Networking saw second-quarter revenues decline 8.3% year-on-year to €144.2 million (US$165.6 million), while net income was down 53.9% to €4.5 million ($5.1 million). In a statement, CFO Uli Dopfer said: "Only via a fast and efficient integration of MRV Communications will we be able to stabilize revenues close to last year's level," adding that the vendor would be revising its cost structures and cutting back on operating costs in a bid to steady the ship. (See ADVA Reports Q2 Revenues of €144.2M, ADVA Swoops for MRV in 'Strategic' $69M Bid and ADVA CEO: How We Can Capitalize on MRV Deal.)

  • UK ultra-broadband competitive network operator Call Flow is deploying Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN)'s XGS-PON technology to enable the launch of symmetric gigabit FTTH broadband services in southern England. (See Call Flow Deploys Adtran's XGS-PON Gear.)

  • UK mobile operator EE has found a novel way of promoting its 4G services: by allowing a group of climbers to watch a movie streamed over 4G while being suspended on "portaledge" tents on Gimmer Crag, a 500 meter high sheer cliff face in England's Lake District. The stunt marked the launch of EE's Community Cinema Club, a series of 4G-powered film screenings that will take place in newly connected rural communities across the UK this summer.

    A bit draughty, but at least there was no stink of popcorn.
    A bit draughty, but at least there was no stink of popcorn.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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