Eurobites: Telefónica and friends work on quantum tech for industrial IoT

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Cellnex sees revenue, earnings rise 7% in Q1; Proximus' international segment finds the going tough; Openreach combats copper theft with DNA technology.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

April 26, 2024

3 Min Read
Telefonica offices
(Source: Kristoffer Tripplaar/Alamy Stock Photo)
  • Telefónica has teamed up with Idemia Secure Transactions and Quside to launch an initiative that they hope will pave the way for advances in quantum computing in industrial IoT devices, making such devices less prone to cyberattacks. Specifically, the initiative combines "quantum-safe" SIM cards with transport layer security (TLS), a cryptographic protocol that can be deployed without the need for hardware changes. Telefónica says that the collaboration could be of particular interest to industrial companies that use long-lasting devices (15 years or more), allowing, for example, secure connections between smart meter and their operating systems.

  • Telefónica has also been recognized as a "leading company" in the field of edge computing by research firm Analysys Mason. Through its edge-based virtual data centers (VDC-Edge), Telefónica offers its customers edge infrastructure in sectors such as logistics, manufacturing and online entertainment.

  • Spanish towerco Cellnex has had an impressive first quarter, with revenues growing 7% year-over-year, to €946 million (US$1.01 billion), and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) also up 7%, to €778 million ($835 million). Last month Cellnex announced the sale of its Irish business to Phoenix Tower International for €971 million ($1.04 billion) in what the company says is part of a "selective divestment strategy" going forward. Earlier revenue guidance for full-year 2024 of between €3.85 billion ($4.13 billion) and €3.95 billion ($4.23 billion) was confirmed.

  • Also going well in the first quarter is Belgium's Proximus, recording underlying EBITDA of €454 million ($487 million), a 5% increase on the equivalent period a year ago. Underlying group revenue was up 1.2%, to €1.504 billion ($1.609 billion), despite its international segment seeing revenue slide 10.3%, to €316 million ($339 million). The operator hopes that its imminent acquisition of Route Mobile will bolster its international activities. Full-year guidance was confirmed.

  • Openreach, the semi-autonomous network access arm of BT, says its use of invisible DNA marking on copper cable to prevent it from being stolen has proved a success, with cable thefts down 30% since it began using the technology in combination with other measures. DNA marking works by using synthetically-manufactured DNA particles to create a unique ID code, so if kit is stolen and the police recover it, it can be linked back to the exact location it was stolen from.

  • UK converged operator Virgin Media O2 says it has removed 65 metric tonnes of single-use plastic from its operations and products in the last three years, with 18 tonnes being removed from the equipment and tools used by engineers and the most of the rest being cut from the packaging used for products sent to cable customers, such as set-top boxes and routers.

  • Fiber rollouts were "by far the most prevalent source of dissatisfaction" among consumers of telecom products and services in 2023, according to the latest edition of French regulator Arcep's Customer Satisfaction Observatory. The Observatory also found that 65% of phone users say they never or rarely answer calls when they do not recognize the number, compared to 57% in 2021.

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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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