Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodacom offers Azure in South Africa; Facebook gets less presumptuous; EU gets tough on data; Elisa Q1 profits up.
European fiber network operator Interoute has landed a contract with an unnamed global Internet technology company to provide more than 1,000km of dark fiber across south-west Europe. According to a statement from Interoute Communications Ltd. , which is being acquired by GTT, the expanded capacity will provide "business critical assurance" for the client company's online platform. (See GTT Snaps Up Interoute for $2.3B.)
South Africa's Vodacom Pty. Ltd. is to offer a range of Microsoft Azure cloud services to its business customers as from June. The operator says that Azure will allow businesses to provide their customers with "enterprise-proven hybrid solutions."
Facebook , newly privacy-aware since the brouhaha surrounding the misuse of its users' personal data hit the headlines, has starting asking its European users for permission to use its facial recognition technology to identify them in photos and videos. According to the BBC, the move is just one of several opt-ins being introduced in advance of the arrival of the EU's GDPR privacy legislation on May 25. (See Facebook: The Sick Man of Silicon Valley and Top 4 GDPR Misconceptions.)
Facebook will also be one of the companies likely affected by a new law proposed by the EU on Tuesday, which will force companies, if asked, to hand over users' data to European law enforcement authorities even if said data is stored on servers outside the EU. As Reuters reports, the law has been deemed necessary because of the extreme delays that have dogged such electronic evidence-gathering in the past.
Elisa Corp. , the Finnish operator that has recently on these pages been trumpeting its "zero-person network operations center," saw EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) climb 6.7% year-on-year to €153 million (US$189.4 million), on revenue that rose 8.1% to €450 million ($557.2 million). Interestingly, for a company that is partial to a zero-person approach, Elisa's employees apparently voted the operator onto Finland's "Great Place to Work" list. (See The Zero-Person Network Operations Center Is Here (in Finland).)
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Telefónica and ARM Ltd. have all signed up to the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, along with 30 other companies from around the world. The Accord is described as a "watershed agreement" between companies committed to defending their customers from cybercriminal enterprises and naughty nation-states.
Cambridge Communication Systems (CCS) says the first phase of a "next-generation" 4G small cell network in London's Square Mile has been completed, a project that saw the use of CCS Metnet's neutral host microwave backhaul. The project was overseen by CTIL, which worked in partnership with Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2).