Eurobites: Cisco Aids French Digital Startups

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Allot disappoints; Proximus dismisses KPN takeover talk; UPC buys Irish broadcaster.

  • IP routers giant Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has announced details of several incubator and accelerator programs it is supporting in France as part of a February agreement with the French government to invest $100 million in digital startups in the country. New partners include IoT specialist Actility , which has developed a wireless technology it is pitching as an alternative to 3G and 4G, and 6WIND , a software developer active in the NFV and SDN space. Cisco has also reaffirmed its commitment to NUMA Sprint, an accelerator program, and says it will provide equipment and expertise for 22 startups involved with the NUMA initiative.

  • Allot Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT), the Israeli packet inspection, analytics and security systems specialist, has warned that its second-quarter financials are much worse than expected, with revenues expected to be in the range of $21-$22 million: Financial analysts were expecting, on average, sales of $30.4 million. The shortfall is attributed to "lower bookings in the first quarter as well as delays in closing certain deals during the second quarter," stated CEO Andrei Elefant in a company announcement. The company added, though, that "during the second quarter, our bookings rebounded and included three wins totaling approximately $8 million from new Tier-1 mobile operators. We expect initial revenue recognition from these wins during the second half of 2015." The three new customers have not been named but one is in Asia-Pacific, one in Latin America and the other in EMEA. Allot now expects its full-year 2015 revenues to be in the range of $100-$105 million, a long way from the $126.3 million that analysts had expected.

  • Dominique Leroy, CEO of Proximus (formerly Belgacom), has dismissed talk of her company being taken over by KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN), reports Dutch website TBM, citing an interview with Belgian newspaper De Tijd. According to the report, Leroy believes KPN has more to gain from a merger with Proximus, because it is not part of a larger group, and that economies of scale resulting from a tie-up would be too limited from the perspective of the Belgian incumbent.

  • Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY)'s UPC has bought Irish broadcaster TV3 for €80 million (US$88.2 million) from private equity group Doughty Hanson, reports the Irish Times.

  • Monitise plc , the UK-based based mobile-banking software specialist, has issued a trading update, warning that it expects full-year revenues to be between ₤88 million ($97 million) and ₤90 million ($99 million), compared with last year's ₤95.1 million ($147.8 million).

  • Denmark's TDC A/S (Copenhagen: TDC) is using carrier aggregation technology to offer, in theory at least, 300Mbit/s mobile broadband speeds on its 4G network. The operator points out, however, that only a handful of handsets currently support the technology.

  • UK fiber broadband provider Hyperoptic , which specializes in bringing FTTH to multi-dwelling buildings such as apartments and offices, is claiming a first with the launch of a "no contract" fiber service. Broadband-and-phone tariffs offered under the no-contract terms start at £27 ($42) a month for a 20Mbit/s service, rising to £67 ($104) a month for a 1Gbit/s service.

  • Elsewhere on the UK fiber front, Gigaclear has won a contract to supply its FTTP services to West Berkshire district in southern England, as part of the Superfast Berkshire Project. This is the first such project in the county to be awarded to a provider other than BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA).

  • The BBC is considering introducing a charge for the use of its popular iPlayer online catch-up service, reports the BBC's own website. The world-renowned public broadcaster is facing a shortfall in its income as more and more British viewers rely purely on online catch-up services for their TV content, negating the need to buy a TV license, sales of which largely fund the BBC.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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