Eurobites: Vodafone taps IoT to help fix UK water companies' leaks

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Etisalat sets course for larger stake in Maroc Telecom; UK tech startups prosper; UK divers make a mobile-data splash.

  • Vodafone has introduced a new IoT offering that it says will make it easier for the UK's notoriously leaky water companies to reduce wastage and improve efficiency by bringing applications such as smart metering and leak detection together on a single platform. The system is based on Vodafone's IoT.nxt platform and follows the expansion of the operator's NB-IoT network coverage to 98% of the UK. According to Vodafone, years of market consolidation has seen data trapped on separate systems that can't talk to each other, while the preponderance of proprietary technologies means that water companies are locked into certain suppliers: It is problems such as these that Vodafone's new offering is intended to tackle.

  • UAE-based Etisalat Group has agreed to shell out $505 million to take its ownership of Etisalat Investment North Africa LLC (EINA) to 100%, a move that will ultimately allow Etisalat to take control of Maroc Telecom by increasing its ownership of the Moroccan operator from 48.4% to 53%. Maroc Telecom has operations in 11 countries offering the likes of mobile and fixed voice and broadband and mobile money services.

  • The UK is beating France and Germany when it comes to spawning successful tech startups. That's the verdict of a report from the consultancy McKinsey cited in the Telegraph (paywall applies), which points out that the UK has had particular success in the fields of "fintech" (financial software) and artificial intelligence. Of the 1,000 most valuable tech startups created since 2000, 319 were British, 149 were German and 143 were French. Also, startups in the UK tend to raise more investment than their rivals in mainland Europe, at €176 million ($206 million) versus €164 million ($192 million), says the report.

  • The gold-medal success of British divers Tom Daley and Matty Lee at the Tokyo Olympics provided the biggest spike in mobile data usage for UK mobile operator EE this summer so far, with a 20% data surge recorded as the pair dived to victory compared to the same time the following day. Other sporting spikes include the penalty shoot-out conclusion to the UEFA Super Cup and England's rare victory against the Germans in UEFA Euros.

    So near and yet so far... 
(Click here for a larger version of this image.)
    So near and yet so far...
    (Click here for a larger version of this image.)

  • Finland's Nokia has appointed Mark Bunn as vice president of its SaaS business operations, a newly created role. Bunn, who is based in Dallas, was most recently at Oracle.

  • UK altnet Hyperoptic has landed the top spot in a broadband provider survey carried out by price-comparison website Cable.co.uk, which quizzed 6,000 broadband "household decision makers" on what they thought of their current provider. Customers of 18 providers featured in the survey.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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