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Eurobites: Investment Group Makes £538M Bid for CityFibre

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Proximus strikes wholesale FTTB deal; Orange turns to Cisco for PoPs project; Ericsson's IoT findings.

  • A Goldman Sachs-backed group of investment funds has made a £538 million (US$730 million) takeover bid for UK altnet CityFibre , sending the broadband specialist's share price soaring. In a statement, CityFibre Chairman Chris Stone recommended the proposed deal to shareholders, describing it as a "good solution for CityFibre's long-term funding." Such a move would likely help CityFibre accelerate its fiber rollout, which is currently on course to connect 1 million UK homes to full fiber by 2021. For more detail, see this story on our sister site, Broadband World News. (See also CityFibre to Raise £200M, Ramp Up FTTH Challenge to BT.)

  • Belgium's Proximus has struck a wholesale fiber-to-the-business deal with Destiny, a purveyor of cloud-based communication platforms to enterprises. Under the terms of the agreement, Proximus will provide Destiny with flexible bitstream access to its fiber network.

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) is collaborating with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) on the upgrade of the French company's Open Transit Internet (OTI) service, a connectivity offering that allows direct access to Internet networks in more than 100 countries through more than 50 points of presence (PoPs). Specifically, Cisco is deploying its Network Convergence System (NCS) on the project.

  • A new Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) study has revealed that nearly three quarters of service providers surveyed have "no well-defined strategy" for the Internet of Things (IoT) market. Exploring IoT Strategies also revealed that 80% of study participants plan to "create value beyond connectivity," finding new, less obvious niches within the wider market.

  • BT Global Services has turned to Corvil Analytics to help improve VoIP call quality at one its largest contact centers. According to Corvil Ltd. , its offering will provide BT with a live and retrospective view of the health of the overall contact center environment, the call quality being delivered, and "visibility" into each of the 360,000 calls fielded each day.

  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s planned acquisition of Shazam, the UK-developed app that helps music fans identify tracks they hear when out and about, is to be the subject of an investigation by the European Commission. The Commission suspects that Apple may use Shazam to ease users away from rival streaming services and onto its own Apple Music offering, putting the likes of Spotify at a competitive disadvantage. A decision will be reached within 90 working days.

  • Net Insight AB (Stockholm: NETI-B), the Swedish media delivery technology specialist, recorded first-quarter revenues of 110.5 million Swedish kronor ($13 million), which was in line with the corresponding period last year. Gross profit was SEK65.9 million ($7.7 million), again, pretty much duplicating the year-ago figure. During the first quarter Net Insight launched its Nimbra 1060 set-top box, which scooped the "Best of Show by TV Technology" award at the recent NAB show in Las Vegas.

  • T-Systems International GmbH , the IT services arm of Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), is creating a new unit focused on providing digital solutions and services from a combination of three existing units, namely the management and technology consultancy Detecon, the digital services provider T-Systems Multimedia Solutions and the digital areas of T-Systems Global Systems Integration. The new unit will have 4,800 employees.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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