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Eurobites: Italy to Invest €6B in Better Broadband

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson and Telefonica's NFV coziness to continue; MTN profits rise on data growth; Deutsche Telekom to push Microsoft's Lumia.

  • Italy has long been languishing near the bottom of the European Union rankings in terms of high-speed broadband coverage -- and now the country's government is planning to do something about it. Reuters reports that ministers have approved a plan to spend €6 billion (US$6.7 billion) on upgrading its high-speed broadband network, and the intention is that this will be topped up by investment from telcos.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Telefónica have used the stage provided by Barcelona's Mobile World Congress to announce the extension of their NFV collaboration. Short-term plans include the setting up of a multivendor cloud environment to test Ericsson's virtualized network functions on top of a cloud infrastructure. (See Telefónica Unveils Aggressive NFV Plans.)

  • Africa's MTN Group Ltd. saw full-year profits rise 8.9% year on year, reports Bloomberg, as data revenues increased, not least through the rise of "mobile money" services.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has formed a partnership with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) to help push Microsoft's Lumia smartphones and assorted online services in the 12 European countries in which the German giant has a presence. As part of the collaboration, Deutsche Telekom will be selling Microsoft's new Lumia 640, which was announced at Mobile World Congress this week.

  • Colt Technology Services Group Ltd and SIA have been jointly awarded the contract to connect KELER, the Hungarian central securities depository, to TARGET2-Securities (T2S), the new single European platform for the settlement of transactions in domestic and cross-border securities. According to forecasts from the European Central Bank, the TARGET2-Securities system will eventually be capable of handling more than 1 million securities transactions a day.

  • Pay-TV provider Sky Italia has chosen Vlocity Inc. 's cloud-based CRM offering to help meet its Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) needs. Sky Italia has around 4.7 million customers.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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