Eurobites: Virgin Media Poaches TalkTalk's Fiber Guy

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia takes AirScale to Lebanon; Telefónica's commercial break; industry goes wireless.

  • TalkTalk , the UK broadband provider which last month announced plans to form a £1.5 billion (US$2 billion) joint venture with Infracapital to provide fiber connections to more than 3 million homes and businesses in mid-sized towns and cities, is to lose the head of its ultrafast broadband division to rival Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), the Financial Times reports (subscription required). Richard Sinclair will join Virgin as executive director of connectivity, effectively replacing Anthony Vollmer, who has taken on a new role in charge of Virgin's digital channels and customer experience. (See Eurobites: TalkTalk Forms JV for £1.5B Fiber Foray and Eurobites: Virgin Cuts Jobs in Wake of Fiber Rollout Ructions.)

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is teaming up with Lebanese mobile operator Alfa to deploy a 3G and LTE-Advanced Pro network using Nokia AirScale equipment, the vendor's first deployment of the AirScale basestation within the Middle Eastern country. It is hoped that the deployment will enable Alfa to introduce new services, including voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), later this year.

  • Telefónica 's wholesale arm has launched a new service, Marketing Campaigns Manager, which it says can help mobile operators "monetize every subscriber interaction" with "contextual real-time marketing."

  • In similar territory, Austrian advertising analytics startup Geolad is expanding into Southeast Asia, setting up a joint venture in Vietnam.

  • The AIT Austrian Institute of Technology has got together with Siemens to set in motion a research project to explore the use of radio waves in industrial settings. The Unwire project will look at replacing fixed wiring with reliable, low-latency wireless systems such as 5G in real-world industrial scenarios.

  • Sparkle, the international services arm of Telecom Italia (TIM) , has teamed up with enterprise security firm Positive Technologies to launch Signalling Protection Suite, software that they say protects mobile operators' signaling networks by detecting and blocking unauthorized traffic.

  • Another Italian operator, Italtel SpA , has signed a research agreement with CNR, Italy's national research council. The pair hope to explore themes such as "ultrabroadband" networks, telemedicine, big data, energy networks, Industry 4.0, smart cities and cybersecurity. That list should keep them busy.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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