Eurobites: Deutsche Telekom, Software AG Team Up for IoT Expansion
News Analysis Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe 7/11/2019
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone boss takes a £1.2 million pay cut; BT may cut its dividend to fund fiber rollout; ADVA connects in Kuwait.
Deutsche Telekom is teaming up with fellow Germany company Software AG to offer IoT services worldwide. The plan is that the pooling of their respective expertise and resources will allow the pair to expand their IoT presence across the US, Germany and wider European markets. Specifically, Deutsche Telekom's enterprise IT subsidiary, T-Systems, will use Software AG's Cumulocity IoT platform to expands its "Cloud of Things" offering.
Nick Read, the CEO of Vodafone, has volunteered for a £1.2 million (US$1.5 million) pay cut in response to investor disgruntlement over Read's decision to take an axe to the company's dividend -- for the first time in the company's history -- in May. As the Telegraph reports (paywall applies), Read and CFO Margherita Della Valle "voluntarily requested" a 20% reduction in their three-year share awards in acknowledgement of the fall in Vodafone's stock market valuation. (See Vodafone CEO Read Desperately Needs Liberty Deal.)
In related matters, UK incumbent BT's chairman, Jan du Plessis, has told the company's annual meeting that in a year or two's time BT will "consider reducing the dividend" to help fund plans to connect 15 million homes to fiber broadband by the mid-2020s. As the Financial Times reports (paywall applies), BT may also consider reducing costs and borrowing more to meet the 15-million-homes target -- though that target, says BT, depends on favorable regulatory conditions.
Germany's ADVA has found a berth for its FSP 3000 optical transport offering at BOnline, an Internet service provider delivering high-capacity connectivity to enterprises, government institutions and finance companies throughout Kuwait.
The European Principality of Monaco is claiming a world first in that it already has nationwide 5G service. That's great, but as Monaco is 2.2 square kilometers, has a population of less than 40,000, and is one of the wealthiest places in the world, the
rollout by Monaco Telecom was less arduous than most. Two 5G devices are available to the Monaco masses -- the Huawei Mate 20 X and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3. The network is believed to have been built using technology from one vendor -- Huawei.
President Trump is demanding an investigation into France's planned tax on tech titans, a tax that he believes, in predictable Trump style, unfairly targets US companies. As the BBC reports, the French parliament is today due to approve a 3% levy on revenue generated by the likes of Google and Facebook within France. Like many other European countries, France is fed up of tech giants racking up huge sales within its borders whilst paying next to no tax. (See Eurobites: EU Wants 3% of the Tech Titans.)
South African mobile operator Cell C has hired consultants to examine its business practices and advise on a possible restructuring, Bloomberg reports, as well as entering talks to delay debt repayments. In a letter seen by Bloomberg, Cell C's CEO, Douglas Craigie Stevenson, said that the company had already implemented a hiring freeze.
Inhance Technology, a mobile device diagnostics company based in Cork, Ireland, has been acquired by Texan outfit Blancco for for €5.25 million ($5.91 million). Inhance's software allows mobile device processing organizations to remotely assess the condition of used devices at the point of trade-in.
The European Court of Justice has rejected Germany's call for Amazon to provide an old-school telephone customer helpline for its customers, ruling that e-commerce platforms like Amazon are "not obliged in all cases to make a telephone number available to consumers before the conclusion of a contract." As Reuters reports, German consumer organizations had claimed that Amazon's automated call-back facility and online chat facility did not cut the customer-service mustard.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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