Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: ARM and Intel kiss and make up; Nokia adds new chipsets to FTTx offerings; Saudi consulate outrage hits SoftBank.
Orange Business Services is targeting the IoT-inclined enterprise with a new LoRa-based connectivity offering, IoT Connect Anywhere. According to OBS, IoT Connect Anywhere provides on-premises connectivity that lends itself to a range of applications, including energy management, waste control and environmental metering. Already being used by an unnamed multinational oil and gas company in the US for asset management, it is based on OBS's Datavenue IoT and analytics platform, and promises secure transport between the gateway and the network, as well as data delivery over HTTPS.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is adding new ASIC chipsets to its range of Gfast and VDSL2 offerings in a bid to offer greater flexibility to operators delivering "ultra-broadband" services. Among other benefits, the ASICs, says Nokia, provide additional vectoring processing power for the turbo-boosting of legacy copper lines.
Elsewhere in Nokialand: The Finnish vendor has launched its Fixed Access Health Index, a new metric for measuring the health of fixed access networks. According to Nokia, the Index measures the health of the access network "in two dimensions" -- design compliance and quality. This is then followed up with a network optimization plan, giving the operator a specific target to aim for.
Sweden's Agama Technologies AB has introduced a new addition to its video software armory, AI Anomaly Detection. As its name suggests, this feature uses artificial intelligence to allow service providers to detect anomalies in video delivery and helps avoid false alarms, using information gathered from every subscriber.
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Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has landed an IT services deal with Saudi Arabia's Etihad Etisalat Co. (Mobily) . Ericsson's brief will encompass BSS, network and customer support systems as well as more than 100 technical applications and 2,000 IT infrastructure servers spread across several data centers.
On a more troubling Saudi-related note, it seems the ongoing clamor over the disappearance and suspected killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi while he was visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has helped send shares in SoftBank plummeting. As Bloomberg reports, shares in the Japanese operator tumbled on Monday as the pressure increased on the Saudi government to explain themselves reached fever pitch. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, effectively the Saudi leader, pledged $45 billion to SoftBank's Vision Fund, thereby becoming the Vision Fund's biggest outside investor. The fund has backed Uber and Slack, among others.
UK cable operator Virgin Media suffered a major outage late Monday, with engineers dispatched to deal with a "power issue," according to the BBC. Virgin claimed that the problem was confined to "some parts" of London but customers as far afield as Maidenhead and Birmingham also complained about problems on the network. The operator said on Twitter earlier today that the problem was now fixed.