Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: VimpelCom hires former SFR man; Netflix splashes out on content; T-Mobile Poland wants your Bitcoin.
Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is launching trials of a low-power network specifically geared towards the Internet of Things, the first of its kind in the country, according to the operator. The pilot will start in April, in and around the cities of Zurich and Geneva. The low-power network connects machine-to-machine (M2M) applications for which SIM cards are not required.
Russian operator VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) has hired the former boss of France's SFR as its new CEO, reports Reuters. Jean-Yves Charlier replaces Jo Lunder, who is taking on a role with venture capital firm Apax Partners .
Here's a sign of the changing times: Analysts reckon Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is now investing more on content than the BBC, the UK's beleaguered broadcasting behemoth, reports Broadband TV News.
T-Mobile Poland has begun a three-month trial of accepting customer payments by Bitcoin, reports the Daily Telegraph, even offering those opting to use Bitcoin a 20% discount.
Aspiro AB , the Nordic music streaming service that isn't Spotify, has accepted the $54 million takeover bid from Project Panther Bidco, reports Reuters. Project Panther Bidco is controlled by hip-hop megastar Jay-Z, whose tunes often get a spin on the turntable here at Eurobites Towers when we grow tired of Bert Kaempfert.
Ethernet gear maker Albis Technologies Ltd. has been acquired by Germany's UET, which plans to merge it with Elcon, an existing UET company. Financial details have not been disclosed.
Swatch Group, the company behind some of the most iconic global watch brands, has begun the smart watch fightback, reports the BBC. It plans to introduce watches that can make contactless payments and display data sent by smartphone, though the company's CEO denies that Swatch will try to replicate the likes of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL): "We are not going to transform and put the mobile phone on the wrist. Let the others do it. Samsung did it, Sony did it. Everybody does it," he said.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading