Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Q3 revenues flat at Ireland's eir; BEREC plan lacks support; old-school taxi firms link arms against Uber and friends.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has been chosen by SoftBank Corp. as the supplier of packet core technology to support the Japanese group's rollout of Cat-M1 and NB-IoT networks. The upgrade is intended to help SoftBank deploy a range of IoT services relating to smart cities and various industry verticals. Ericsson is supplying a software upgrade to SoftBank's existing Evolved Packet Core (EPC) system to support the Cat-M1 applications, while the vendor is supplying a virtual EPC and its Cloud Execution Environment to support SoftBank's NB-IoT services.
Underlying revenues at Irish incumbent eir rose by just 1% year-on-year in the third quarter, to €325 million (US$355.5 million). EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization), however, climbed 10% to €131 million ($143.3 million). During the quarter eir introduced WiFi calling -- the first Irish operator to do so, it claims -- and it has continued to invest in its fiber rollout, with fiber now passing 69% of Irish premises.
Plans to give the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) more powers lack the necessary support from the European Parliament and EU member states to make it into law, according to an EU Observer report. BEREC, says the report, is largely an advisory organization at present, but raised its profile last year when it issued guidelines on how the principle of net neutrality should be interpreted in Europe.
The "app economy" continues to ruffle feathers: Yesterday, as EurActiv reports, Members of the European Parliament teamed up with representatives from the taxi industry to launch the TaxiEurope Alliance (TEA), an organization intended to bolster "traditional" taxi operators in the face of the challenge presented by Internet-based ride-hailing offerings from the likes of Uber. TEA hopes to persuade the European Commission to enforce on the digital entrants to the game the same regulations that old-school taxi operators already have to deal with, such as those dealing with labor laws and the payment of taxes.
Eurobites Towers will be closed on Monday for yet another UK public holiday. Eurobites returns on Tuesday, May 2.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading