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IoT

Eurobites: Deutsche Telekom offers glimpse of 'world's first open IoT network'

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: UK government states the bleedin' obvious; telco capex in a time of COVID-19; Proximus offer Apple TV 4K.

  • Deutsche Telekom is planning to launch a new IoT "hub" which it claims will "radically simplify" the way developers, operators and others use the technology. DT says the hub, which will be up and running in the second half of 2020, will not just be about its own IoT products but will instead aim to amalgamate various IoT offerings from a range of companies to offer maximum flexibility, effectively creating, in the operator's own words, "the world's first open IoT network." More details of the hub will be unveiled by Rami Avidan, DT's IoT guru, at DT's Digital X event on Tuesday.

  • The UK government could possibly be accused of stating the bleedin' obvious with its recommendation to UK operators that they make sure they have adequate stockpiles of equipment from the likes of Huawei in the face of new US sanctions that will massively disrupt the Chinese vendor's supply lines. In a letter, the contents of which were seen by Reuters, telcos were told: "Ensuring that products and components are kept up-to-date is essential to maintaining the security of network. Escalating US action against Huawei may affect its ability to provide updates for products containing US technology." (See Huawei seeking survival after US escalates offensive.)

  • Two giants of European telecom, BT and Deutsche Telekom, recorded an increase in the "labor portion" of their capex in the first quarter of 2020, according to a new report in telco capex during the period from MTN Consulting. Deutsche Telekom's capitalized labor ratio was 18.4% of total capex in Q1 2020, up from 16% in Q1 2019; for BT the ratio rose from from 36% for the six months ended Q1 2019, to 40% for the six months ended Q1 2020.

  • Belgium's Proximus is to offer Apple TV 4K to new and existing customers as an alternative to its "classic" set-top box. Proximus will charge customers €69 (US$77.33) if Apple TV 4K is bought as part of a €79.99-a-month "Epic combo full" package that includes a mobile subscription and broadband, but this rises to €199.99 if it is bought as a standalone device. Proximus customers opting for Apple TV 4K can also enjoy one year's free Apple TV+, offering them access to Apple Originals fare, amongst other things; this rises to €4.99 a month after the honeymoon period.

  • Liberian operators Lonestar Cell MTN and Orange Liberia say they will reinstate the fees on Mobile Money (MoMo) and Orange Money transactions that were removed at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. In March 2020, following the World Health Organization's warning that the virus could be spread through banknotes, Lonestar Cell MTN and Orange in conjunction with the Central Bank of Liberia suspended all MoMo and Orange transactions fees to encourage customers to switch to digital payments and minimize the use of cash.

  • With every month that passes, new synonyms for "secondhand" emerge. Think "pre-loved," "upcycled" and "refurbished." The latest such euphemism is "refreshed," a term Swisscom is using to describe the cleaned-up secondhand smartphones it will start selling online as from today. Swisscom buys the secondhand devices from customers through its Buyback program; they are then refurbished by Swisscom partner Recommerce Swiss. Example prices include an iPhone 6S with 64GB storage for 229 Swiss francs ($240) and an iPhone X with 64GB for CHF569 ($598).

  • Telefónica UK (O2) is reopening 19 of its stores in Wales today, with suitable coronavirus-related precautions in place. But store reopening is a complicated business in the UK: The operator's stores in Scotland will follow suit in a week's time, while its stores in England and Northern Ireland have already reopened.

  • The $56 million imposed on Google by the French communications regulator has been confirmed by France's supreme administrative court, the Council of State, Reuters reports. The fine was imposed on the search giant in January 2019 for what the regulator saw as a failure to offer transparency and clarity in the way that Google informed users about the way it handled personal data.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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