Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT extends deal with Zscaler; Sky Stream heads to Germany, Austria; Salt has another quarter to savor.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

March 26, 2024

2 Min Read
Smart meter next to a kettle
(Source: Simon Dack/Alamy Stock Photo)
  • When the Internet of Things goes bad... Nearly 4 million smart meters have stopped working properly in the UK, according to new government data. As the BBC reports, smart meters are supposed to send accurate readings to electricity and gas companies automatically, but in many cases the connection has been lost and the customer forced to rely on often inaccurate estimated bills. The BBC cites the case of one electricity customer in southern England whose energy bill went up to over £3,500 (US$4,424) between January and June 2023 as a new smart meter failed to properly record her usage.

  • BT and Zscaler have extended their partnership with a new deal that enables BT to offer the full range of Zscaler's AI-powered cloud security offerings to its managed services customers. As part of the agreement, Zscaler with also supply BT with software to protect its own operations. US-based Zscaler says its Zero Trust Exchange platform is distributed across more than 150 data centers globally.

  • Following its arrival in the UK and Ireland in 2022 and 2023 respectively, Sky Stream is to launch in Germany in late summer 2024 and in Austria next year. Sky Stream is based around a "puck" device that is underpinned by Comcast's global streaming platform and can plug into any TV. It is similar to Sky's Now streaming service, though it offers 4K content and, in the UK, access to Freeview channels via broadband.

  • Swiss operator Salt continues to snap at the heels of larger rival Swisscom, with fourth-quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) up by 4.8% year-over-year, to 145.5 million Swiss francs ($161.4 million), on operating revenue up 6.6%, to CHF242.1 million ($268.5 million). Mobile postpaid subscribers across all brands grew by 27,400, resulting in an increase of the customer base by 119,600, to 1,602,800 subscribers in 2023. Broadband subscribers (Salt Home, including Internet, TV and fixed telephony) passed the 200,000 mark in April 2023 and reached 223,000 by the end of the year.

  • Amsterdam-headquartered VEON is selling its 50.1% indirect stake in Beeline Kyrgyzstan to CG Cell Technologies as part of its strategy to simplify its structure by focusing on larger markets.

  • Zayo has launched a new "Waves on Demand" service offering access to bandwidth across its 400G lit-fiber network in Europe. This, says the US-based company, allows customers to turn up services across Europe within just five working days, significantly reducing service delivery intervals from the industry standard of more than 30 days.

  • TXO, a UK-based company which recycles telecom equipment, has appointed Farid Seddar as group chief operating officer. Seddar joins TXO from Evernex, a French firm specializing in data center maintenance.

  • Not that it's getting desperate or anything, but UK operator Virgin Media O2 is offering potential customers a free Sony telly worth £499 ($631) if they sign up for a three-year Sony Xperia 1 V package costing £56.25 ($71.18) per month but offering a measly monthly 1GB of data.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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