Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Zain sees Q3 revenues and net income decline; Intracom virtualizes WiFi services; Ericsson stays friendly with Entel.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s FastMile technology, which boosts 4G connectivity in difficult-to-reach areas, is to be deployed by Zain KSA (Zain Saudi Arabia) in the western and southern region of the country as well as in the cities of Jeddah and Makkah. Speeds of 20 Mbit/s were recorded in trials of the technology, which, Nokia claims, are "significant considering the demands on 4G networks." FastMile is made up of four components -- an outdoor modem, indoor router, LTE radio access and controller -- with the modem connecting to the nearest LTE basestation.
In other Zain news, the group's third-quarter results showed a 6% year-on-year decline in revenues, to 259 million Kuwaiti Dinar (US$860 million), a slide the operator attributes largely to the impact of a 63% currency devaluation in Sudan. Net income also shrank by 6% year-on-year, to KWD 40 million ($133 million).
Third-quarter revenues at Zain rival Ooredoo also slipped, by 2% to 8.21 billion Qatari Riyal ($2.21 billion), though net profits rose 25%, to QAR462 million ($124.5 million). The operator now claims 150 million customers, an increase of 13% on its previous total and a tally boosted by strong growth in Indonesia, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Oman, Qatar and the Maldives.
Greek operator Intracom Telecom says it has successfully completed tests of its virtualized WiFi services platform, in tandem with MGTS, a fixed-line operator in the CIS. The trials were carried out at MGTS's testing center, providing virtualized network functions over WiFi access points on the MGTS network.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has extended its 20-year relationship with Chilean operator Entel, and in this next phase of their collaboration the vendor will help prepare Entel's network for the arrival of 5G through the deployment of LTE FDD network technologies and LTE TDD Massive MIMO.
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co. (du) has teamed up with UAE-based virtual reality and 360-degree live video startup 360VUZ to help develop the latter's user base. In a separate development, du has made mobile payment system Apple Pay available to its iPhone-wielding customers.
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has opened its fifteenth Security Operations Center, in Eschborn, near Frankfurt in Germany. While the center's focus will be the protection of BT's global customers from cyber attacks, it will also help address the compliance needs of German companies requiring that sensitive data stays within the country's borders.