Eurobites: Ericsson connects IoT users to AWS public cloud

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Proximus tests glass antenna; TalkTalk has its knuckles rapped over "fixed price" ad; BT class action moves a step closer.

  • Ericsson has launched IoT Accelerator Cloud Connect to make it easier for enterprises using Ericsson's IoT Accelerator platform to cellular devices to connect to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) server securely. According to Ericsson, Cloud Connect shifts the complex encryption required for secure IoT connectivity away from the device and onto the edge of the cellular network. This is significant, says Ericsson, as enterprises are increasingly outsourcing IoT device authentication and data management to public cloud providers such as AWS.

  • Two bits of news concerning Belgian operator Proximus are cluttering up the Eurobites desk today.

    In the first, the operator has been testing a glass antenna, which sounds mad but is intended to be installed directly and discreetly on the inside of office buildings' glazed facades. The antenna is called Waveattoch and has been developed by AGC. It can be used with any mobile technology (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G).

    AGC's glass antenna has been tested by Proximus.  (Source: AGC)
    AGC's glass antenna has been tested by Proximus.
    (Source: AGC)

    Second up, Proximus has signed a partnership deal with HCL Technologies under the terms of which HCL will manage and service the operator's private cloud infrastructure. Proximus believes the agreement will allow it to innovate quicker and strengthen its cloud offer to enterprise customers, while operating its data center infrastructure in a more sustainable and efficient way.

  • Another day, another telco falls foul of the UK's Advertising Standards Authority. This time it's the turn of TalkTalk, which in early 2020 ran a TV ad and sent customer emails promoting a "fixed price" broadband plan which turned out not to be that fixed after all. TalkTalk tried to use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse for the mid-contract price increases, but the ASA was having none of it, saying in its ruling: "We acknowledged the increase in the usage of the network during the Covid-19 pandemic was unlikely to have been foreseen at the time the ads were seen. However, we disagreed with TalkTalk that consumers would not expect to pay a fixed price for the level of usage seen during the lockdowns. Consumers had agreed a price for their broadband to be delivered with a particular speed, to be used as required, and they would expect that price to be honoured." TalkTalk was told the ads must not appear again in the same form.

  • Sweden's Enea has signed a five-year secure-authentication software deal worth €1.7 million (US$1.97 million) with an unnamed central European Tier 1 operator. The agreement, which represents an extension of business with an existing customer, includes software licenses, professional services, as well as support and maintenance.

  • A class action against BT looks ready to roll after the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal gave the green light to Justin Le Patourel, the founder of consumer group Collective Action on Landlines, to launch the case on behalf of 2.3 million landline-only BT customers who believe they have been historically overcharged. As the Guardian reports, the group maintains the (mainly elderly and low-income) customers are owed compensation for excessive payments made between October 2015 and April 2018. Customers could be entitled to a repayment of up to £500 ($673) each, says the group.

  • Vodafone is to make the Facebook Watch video-on-demand channel available on its set-top box platform in European – which is a European first, according to the operator. Facebook Watch will be available to Vodafone TV subscribers from next month in Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Portugal and Greece. Other European markets will be announced in due course. Vodafone TV offers a cloud-based service to 22 million customers across ten markets.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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