Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia soups up Jeddah sports stadium; smart meter deal in Norway; BT calls for IoT entries; Ericsson's orchestral maneuver.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is going back to its roots and further demonstrating its commitment to the "smart cities" concept by signing up to the Smart Tampere initiative. Tampere, the Finnish city where Nokia started out, is hoping to turn itself into a "smarter city" by 2030, and Nokia's contribution to the program will come through its expertise in areas such as 5G and the Internet of Things. The move follows Nokia's participation in a similar project involving the UK city of Bristol, Bristol Is Open.
Further from home, Nokia has been using its Centralized RAN technology to help Zain KSA (Zain Saudi Arabia) improve network upload speeds at Jeddah's King Abdullah sports stadium by up to 50%. Clusters of LTE basestations were used within the stadium to optimized bandwidth and clear uplink congestion in the 1800MHz bands. One happy by-product of the technology is that it makes smartphones more energy efficient, as less power is required for uploads, claims the vendor.
Norwegian mobile operator Com4 is trumpeting what it claims is Norway's largest ever IoT deal. It has signed a contract worth 107 million Norwegian kroner (US$12.3 million) with metering specialist Validér for the supply of around 200,000 SIM cards and ancillary services relating to smart meters, with the potential for up to 1 million SIM cards in time. IT services firm Atea will handle the logistics and administration aspects of the contract. The Norwegian Parliament has decreed that all Norwegian households shall be equipped with smart meters by 2019.
In the same ball-park, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is inviting startups and small/midsized companies to submit IoT-related business ideas to a competition in which the winning company will get the chance to test its idea "at scale" and potentially launch it commercially in partnership with BT, TechHub and others. If you have IoT inspiration, full details of the competition can be found here.
Could the ongoing rumpus at Fox News put a spanner in the works of 21st Century Fox 's planned purchase of UK pay-TV giant Sky ? The BBC reports that the legal team working for four women who say they were sexually harassed or discriminated against at Fox News claims that if the deal went ahead it would bring a "culture of sexual and racial harassment" to the UK. Ofcom , the UK telecom regulator, is currently examining whether the proposed deal is in the public interest. Note to Ofcom: It isn't.