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Eurobites: Vodafone Enlists Samsung's Help for 'Smart Home' Service

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone trials 5G in Milan with Nokia; TIM teams up with Cisco for cybersecurity and more; DT and SAP extend partnership.

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) is teaming up with Samsung Corp. to offer "smart home" products and services in a number of European markets, beginning with Spain and Germany in the second quarter of 2018. The pair will be pushing the "V-Home by Vodafone" package, which brings together Samsung's "SmartThings" platform and Vodafone's consumer IoT system. V-Home provides alerts to the customer's smartphone in the event of a home intrusion and enables remote control of home appliances, among other features. To receive the service, customers will pay a one-off cost for each device plus a fixed-rated monthly subscription, which is added to the customer's existing Vodafone bill.

  • Vodafone is also beavering away on the 5G front, hooking up with Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) to trial the coming technology in the northern Italian city of Milan. The first 5G site installations were completed in December and a demonstration of HD video over pre-standard standalone 5G was carried out on a live 5G site in one of the main central locations of the city. During the course of the trial, Nokia will deploy its 5G AirScale massive MIMO antenna, which supports both 4G and 5G, AirScale baseband upgraded to support 5G and Cloud Packet Core.

  • Another Italian operator, Telecom Italia (TIM) , has used Mobile World Congress to announce a partnership with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) encompassing cybersecurity, IoT, Industry 4.0, smart cities and 5G. The agreement forms part of the three-year "Digitaliani" investment plan, which was launched by Cisco in January 2016. The first fruit of the partnership is the integration of the Cisco Umbrella cybersecurity system into TIM's security offerings for Italian small and midsized companies.

  • Also tooting its trumpet at MWC is Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), which is expanding its partnership with enterprise software giant SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP) to include IoT offerings for real-time logistics. Under the terms of the deal, data collected and managed by Deutsche Telekom will be made available to IoT and supply chain management platforms at SAP, including integration to the enterprise digital core with SAP S/4 HANA.

    Elsewhere on its MWC booth, DT will be talking folk through its City Pass concept, which it is describing as a blockchain-based service that will allow city dwellers to access a range of municipal services such as bicycle rental or libraries with a single account attached to a card or app. The operator is now inviting all interested city authorities to "jointly tailor the white label solution" to meet their specific needs.

  • On the devices front, Finland's HMD Global has been garnering attention at MWC for the latest additions to its Nokia-branded mobile phones. As the BBC reports, HMD is describing its Nokia 8 Sirocco model as being almost impossible to bend, thanks to its steel frame, while its retro 8110 revives memories of The Matrix with its sliding keyboard cover.

    Nokia 8110: Available in black or banana.
    Nokia 8110: Available in black or banana.

  • Away from the crowded halls of Barcelona, Reuters reports that the European Union is working on legislation that will require companies to hand over customers' personal data to law enforcement authorities even if that data is being held on servers outside the EU.

  • Mobile operator Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) is looking at a £10 billion ($14 billion) stock market flotation as early as September, according to a Daily Telegraph report. Telefonica has been considering a listing for its UK operation since its plan to sell O2 to rival Three UK was vetoed by competition authorities in 2016. (See Eurobites: Telefónica Mulls O2 UK IPO and Eurobites: O2/3 Deal Facing EU Veto.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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