Eurobites: Egypt Clears 4G Roadblock

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia and du stream VR video over "5G-ready" network; MegaFon reorganizes; Deutsche Telekom does unified communications deal.

  • Egypt looks set to move into the 4G age at last after Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat signed licensing agreements with the regulator on Sunday, having initially rejected the license terms as offering insufficient spectrum, Reuters reports. Indeed, only state-owned Telecom Egypt accepted the original terms of the 4G licenses when they were offered three weeks ago -- Orange (NYSE: FTE) was also a naysayer, although it was persuaded to sign a $484 million deal last week after the terms were amended. Vodafone agreed to pay $335 million for its spectrum slice, while Etisalat is forking out $535.5 million.

  • In other Middle Eastern matters, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and UAE operator Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co. (du) are claiming a regional first with the launch of 4K 3D 360-degree virtual reality video streaming over a "5G-ready" network. The pair demonstrated the technology at Gitex 2016 in Dubai, using a Nokia OZO VR camera and the vendor's AirScale radio access offering. du has also launched a suite of cloud-based media services, which the operator says enable broadcasters, content producers and other content providers to benefit from the flexibility and resiliency of the cloud.

  • Russia's MegaFon is having a reorganization at the top, with former COO Evgeny Chermashentsev leaving the company and its consumer and corporate business development functions being combined into a single entity, which will be led by Vlad Wolfson.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has signed a cooperation agreement with Swyx Solutions GmbH , the German unified communications provider. Swyx claims to have 750,000 users of its service, with 130,000 being added in the past year. Deutsche Telekom is also increasing its existing stake in Swyx as part of the five-year deal.

  • Meanwhile, the latest Deutsche Telekom Security Report reveals, among other things, that two thirds of the German population believe that there is a "great or very great" risk that state bodies and/or critical infrastructure in the country will fall victim to terrorist-inspired cyber attacks. It also discovered that the cloud still has an image problem -- only one in three German Internet users stores data in the cloud, while half of them regard cloud storage services as inherently unsafe.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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