Eurobites: Aggrieved Google workers stage London walkout

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Microsoft drops plans for new London office; digitalization in Zambia; access all arias, thanks to Finnish 5G.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

April 5, 2023

3 Min Read
Eurobites: Aggrieved Google workers stage London walkout

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Microsoft drops plans for new London office; digitalization in Zambia; access all arias, thanks to Finnish 5G.

  • American corporate behemothery (yes, we checked, it is a word) rubbed up against old-school European trade unionism yesterday, as hundreds of Google employees staged a walkout at Google's London offices in protest at the way the technology giant was conducting its redundancy process. As the Guardian reports, the trade union Unite said that Google had failed to listen to the concerns of its UK employees, one of its officials quipping that "Google needs to listen to its own advice of not being evil." Google followed in the footsteps of a number of other large US tech companies in January when it announced that it planned to shed 12,000 employees worldwide. (See A wave of job cuts is crashing into the tech sector.) Figure 1: (Source: Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash) (Source: Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash)

    • In related news, Microsoft, another tech giant laying off thousands of its workers, has abandoned plans for a new office complex in London. As Bloomberg reports, Microsoft's office leases in the nearby town of Reading expire in 2026, so the planned London office had been expected to take up the slack. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella informed staff in January that he planned to cut 4.5% of the workforce by the end of March. (See Microsoft CEO gushes about AI as he prepares to ax 10,000 jobs.)

    • Liquid Intelligent Technologies has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Zambian government in which it commits to a new data center intended to cope with the country's ever-increasing data needs. Liquid will also work with the government to offer public and private cloud services, as well as cybersecurity systems to bolster the digitization of government services.

    • MFS Africa, a digital payments company, has agreed a deal with Nigeria's Access Bank, which will allow it to expand its AccessAfrica money transfer service, enabling outward remittances from Kenya and Nigeria. MFS Africa claims to reach more than 410 million mobile money wallets in over 35 countries.

    • Company bosses in the UK are more likely than their counterparts in other major European countries to prioritize AI and machine learning capabilities, with 40% listing in the top three things on their to-do list. This was one of the findings from a new survey carried out by Colt Technology Services, which surveyed around 1,000 decision-makers in 12 countries across Europe and Asia. Across the board, 35% of respondents cited moving to the cloud as their most pressing concern.

    • The Branch Association of Bulgarian Telecommunications Operators (BABTO) has asked the Bulgarian Communications Regulatory Commission to bind mobile operators' licenses for new 5G frequencies with an obligation for them to open their networks to alternative operators. Neven Dilkov, CEO of BABTO member Neterra, made the request during a conference in Croatia this week. Currently, says Neterra, Bulgaria's three mobile network operators do not allow other companies to access their networks.

    • Access all arias: Finnish operator Elisa joined forces with Nokia on a 5G network that allowed Helsinki-based fans of operatic superstar Andrea Bocelli to enjoy his concert in Tampere remotely through the magic of virtual reality headsets and lashings of connectivity. The high-quality 8K video from the 360 cameras and stereo audio were transmitted from the concert arena in "almost" real time over Elisa's mmWave-based 5G network.

      — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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