Eurobites: Europeans open their doors to smart-home systems

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Deutsche Telekom pops on AWS portal for private networks; Orange adds 5G to its Marseille velodrome; Ericsson CFO to step down.

  • Europe is getting a taste for smart-home systems, with more than 27% of all households in the region opening their doors to the joys of connected security, energy management and other smart-home applications. That's according to a new study from Berg Insight, which found that at the end of 2022 there were a total of 206.7 million smart-home systems in use in the EU27+3 countries, up 21% year-over-year. Looking ahead, the number of European households to adopt smart-home systems is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.1% during the next five years, says the study, resulting in 112.8 million smart across the continent by 2027.

    (Source: Jordan McLeland/Alamy Stock Photo)
    (Source: Jordan McLeland/Alamy Stock Photo)

  • Deutsche Telekom is teaming up with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for a collaboration that will allow enterprise customers in Germany and Austria to use a special Integrated Private Wireless on AWS portal to help them find the private or campus network offering that best meets their needs. After a customer makes their selection from the portal, Deutsche Telekom is responsible for planning, deploying and operating the network. The German operator is clearly hoping that a sprinkling of AWS fairy-dust will help its private network offerings reach more business customers.

  • Orange's Totem tower subsidiary has deployed a 5G private network at the Orange Vélodrome in Marseille, France. The network of private pooled antennas will be made available to all French mobile operators – namely Bouygues Télécom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR – to provide their mobile services simultaneously. The Orange Vélodrome has a capacity of almost 68,000.

  • The two companies bidding for Telecom Italia's landline network are getting ready to increase their existing offers of around €20 billion (US$22 billion) by between €1 and €2 billion ahead of a Tuesday deadline, according to a Reuters report citing unnamed sources close to the matter. The on-the-table offers, from US fund KKR and Italian state-backed lender CDP, both fall far short of the €31 billion ($34 billion) price tag set by Vivendi, Telecom Italia's largest stakeholder. (See TIM soldiers on amid political turmoil.)

  • Ericsson, which announces its first-quarter results today, is on the hunt for a new chief financial officer following the news that the current incumbent, Carl Mellander, is stepping down at the end of Q1 2024. In a statement announcing the decision, Ericsson boss Börje Ekholm said: "For almost seven years Carl has been a valued member of the Executive Team and instrumental in the turnaround of Ericsson. We have come to a mutual agreement that this is a good time for a change, as the turnaround phase is completed and the foundation for the next chapter of Ericsson's strategy has been laid."

  • Virgin Media O2 is hoping to tempt people onto its pricier broadband packages with a "free" Xbox Series S console. New customers signing up to a Bigger + Sports, Bigger + Movies or Ultimate Volt bundle on an 18-month contract will receive the Xbox Series S at no additional cost or a £200 ($248) bill credit.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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