Eurobites: European smartphone market could halve in value this year – IDC study

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Deutsche Telekom signs NB-IoT roaming deals; A1 Austria helps with coronavirus testing; how Internet traffic data proves we're all baking now.

  • The European smartphone market could almost halve in value this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Italy and Spain bearing the brunt of the fall in demand, according to a new study from IDC. This is the worst-case scenario; the more probable outcome is fall of 26.8%, though even that is way beyond the drop in value seen in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, says the market research firm. Marta Pinto, program manager at IDC EMEA, said: "In Europe the biggest impact will clearly be in countries such as Italy and Spain, the places hardest hit by the crisis, but under our probable scenario we are expecting nearly all European markets to drop by around a fifth."

    Source: IDC
    Source: IDC

  • Deutsche Telekom has signed its first narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) roaming agreements, with Swisscom, Telia Company and Vodafone. The deals bring mobile IoT roaming services to a further nine European countries, and additional agreements in a similar vein are expected in the coming months. IoT roaming is important for many industries such as logistics, where containers may need to be tracked across several international borders.

  • Austrian operator A1 is playing its part in the coronavirus fight by quickly implementing a platform that allows for the digital screening of COVID-19 test samples. A1 teamed up with the state of Tyrol, the Red Cross and the medical tech company Ilvi for the project, which is based on the operator's "server solution," to which authorities, screening teams and laboratories are all connected.

  • Figures continue to pour in regarding the levels of traffic on European networks and beyond since the COVID-19 crisis kicked in. Incredibly, in the month between the start of the crisis and April 12, Internet traffic growth – of 35% – on Telefónica's fixed network was equivalent to that normally recorded over the course of a whole year. Cloudflare, a US-based network infrastructure provider, has been sharing data on how UK Internet traffic has changed in the last 28 days (up to April 15), breaking things down into handy thematic chunks. For example, Internet traffic related to "desserts and baking" has increased by a multiple of 4.82 as folk dust down their breadmakers and get their aprons on. And as people dream of being able to return to their favourite watering holes, the "cocktails/beer" category of Internet content has more than tripled. (The "cosmetic surgery" category is also up by a multiple of 2.08 – make of that what you will.)

  • Vodafone has announced a new employee fundraising initiative to support those charities trying to help those affected most by the coronavirus crisis, with the operator matching employee donations to the chosen charities. The scheme covers employees of both Vodafone and Vodacom.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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