February 21, 2022
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia's SaaS launches; TIM refutes press claims over FiberCop; South Africa spectrum bidders named.
Deutsche Telekom is hoping to shake things up in the Internet of Things (IoT) with the launch of something called T-IoT, the "T" here presumably standing for the T-Mobile brand (and US subsidiary). Indeed, T-Mobile US seems to be spearheading the launch, with Mike Katz, president of T-Mobile Business Group, putting his name to a quote claiming that this new platform will "help businesses realize the true potential of IoT by completely disrupting the status quo of how IoT is purchased and managed." T-IoT promises to deliver: worldwide network connectivity "spanning the full range of technologies to support nearly every possible IoT scenario"; a "single pane of glass" through which to view and manage global IoT connections; a simplified procurement process; and flexible pricing options.
Nokia has announced two new software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings in time for next week's Mobile World Congress. iSIM Secure Connect enables operators and enterprises to securely manage machine-to-machine and consumer device subscriptions for eSIM- and iSIM-enabled devices, while the bad Scrabble hand AVA NWDAF enhances network operations with AI/ML driven closed-loop automation, according to the vendor. Look out for further details of these launches later.
Telecom Italia (TIM) has issued a rebuttal of a story that appeared in Italian newspaper La Stampa over the weekend which suggested investment fund KKR could stand in the way of TIM's plan to launch a network company by vetoing the transfer of last-mile company FiberCop. In a statement, TIM said "With reference to today's press article regarding its industrial plan, TIM expresses its annoyance and concern on such reconstructions, which are to be considered unfounded and harmful to the Group. TIM will file a complaint with the Prosecutor's office and with Consob for its jurisdiction." (See FiberCop is go after KKR and Fastweb firm up stakes.)
In unrelated TIM news, Andrea Rossini has joined the company as head of the consumer, small and medium market office function, reporting directly to CEO Pietro Labriola.
ICASA, the South African communications regulator, has identified the six bidders qualified to participate in the country's long-delayed spectrum auction. They are Cell C, Liquid Telecoms, MTN, Rain Networks, Telkom and Vodacom. After several false starts over the last few years, the auction phase is now supposed to start next month, but more legal challenges appear to be on the horizon, so don't hold your breath. (See South Africa Finally Publishes Spectrum Policy Direction and SA spectrum showdown gets April court date.)
Swisscom has agreed a 0.9% salary raise with labor unions for the 10,000 employees subject to the operator's collective employment agreement. The increase will take effect from April 1.
Vodafone is hoping to curry favor with the UK's small business community by offering them a £200 (US$272) social media advertising credit to help them grow online and reach new customers. The Digital Marketing Boost offer is open to all new and existing SoHo (small office/home office) businesses that take out or upgrade to three or more Vodafone Unlimited mobile plans.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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