Eurobites: Vodafone, Wind in Greek Fiber Collaboration

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Italtel gets with HPE OpenNFV program; Com Hem profits rise in Q2; Virgin to buy Irish broadcaster.

  • Vodafone Greece has joined forces with Wind Hellas Telecommunications S.A. to invest €1 billion (US$1.1. billion) in a new fiber network, reports Greek news site Ekathimerini. According to the report, the move will put pressure on incumbent operator OTE S.A. , which was planning to go down the VDSL route to fulfill its network buildout ambitions. Wind and Vodafone may be able to take advantage of €400 million ($443.7 million) in government funds that have been earmarked for the development of next-generation networks.

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) has confirmed the closure of its handsets plant in Finland, with the loss of up to 1,350 jobs, reports Reuters. The cuts, part of the fallout from Microsoft's ill-fated dalliance with what was Nokia's mobile phone business, were initially announced in May. (See Microsoft Restructures Amidst Nokia Flop and Microsoft to Axe 12,500 Ex-Nokia Employees.)

  • Swedish cable operator Com Hem AB has seen its underlying EBITDA rise 4.1% year-on-year to SEK 607 million Swedish kronor ($71.2 million) in the second quarter, on revenues that were up 4.3% to SEK1.3 billion ($152 million). Its customer base also increased, by 6,000 to 926,000, a record high for the operator, although the number of telephony subscribers dropped by 14,000 following price rises.

  • Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is hoping to improve its pay-TV offer in Ireland with the acquisition of UTV Ireland, the republic's newest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, for €10 million ($11 million). The proposed deal will be subject to regulatory approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and will also have to pass a separate media plurality test by the Irish government.

  • Following preliminary approval from European Union member states last week, the new framework governing the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US has been formally adopted by the European Commission. The so-called Privacy Shield replaces the previous Safe Harbor arrangement, which was discredited following a legal challenge from privacy activist Max Schrems. (See Eurobites: Privacy Shield Gets EU Go-Ahead.)

  • Bahnof, one of Sweden's largest Internet service providers, has turned to ADVA Optical Networking 's 100G technology for an upgrade of its national backbone network. The network links every city in the south of Sweden, from Stockholm to Malmo. (See Bahnhof Deploys ADVA FSP 3000 100G Gear.)

  • The authorities in Dubai South have signed an agreement with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. for the development of smart city services in the city's Business Park Free Zone.

  • Equipment vendor Italtel SpA has signed up to the Hewlett Packard Enterprise OpenNFV Partner Program as an official Application Partner. By getting with the program, Italtel will be able to conduct testing, characterization and validation of the new edition of its proprietary Session Border Controller (SBC) using the HPE OpenNFV infrastructure stack. The HPE OpenNFV Program aims to provide an open, standards-based NFV reference architecture.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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