Also in today's MWC-tinged EMEA regional roundup: Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom form Quantum Alliance; BT heads for the TIP; Nokia re-brands Withings health devices; Vodafone rules in 4G roaming.
Orange (NYSE: FTE) has announced its intention to deploy LTE-M on its 4G networks in Belgium and Spain this year, with the rest of the company's European footprint to follow suit later. The French carrier is just one of several companies, Telefónica and KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) among them, using this week's Mobile World Congress to give their backing to LTE-M, an LTE variant designed for use with low-power, wide-area networks that form the backbone of the Internet of Things. As part of its contribution to the cause, Orange is creating an Open IoT Lab based on LTE-M technology at its campus in Chatillon, France. (See Tier 1 Operators Back LTE-M.)
Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) and South Korea's SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) have come together to form the Quantum Alliance, which sounds like the latest creaky reboot of the James Bond franchise but is in fact an agreement aimed at keeping communications secure in an age of "quantum computing." It is feared that, in the not too distant future, the mind-blowing processing power of quantum computing could render current cryptography methods virtually useless. In a related move, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has entered into an agreement with SK Telecom to cooperate in the quantum cryptography business, with the aim of achieving interoperability between Nokia's optical transport system and SK's Quantum Key Distribution System (QKD).
The Withings range of connected health devices will launch under the Nokia brand this summer. At the same time, Nokia will unveil a redesigned version of its Health Mate application, which collects data from scales, trackers and other connected devices in one place to provide an overview of a person's health. Nokia acquired Withings last year for €170 million ($179.8 million). (See Nokia to Acquire Withings for €170M.)
A new report commissioned by Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) from research firm Ovum Ltd. has concluded that Vodafone is the "clear leader" when it comes to 4G roaming. The study found that Vodafone leads the 4G roaming field in all 18 of the markets analyzed -- a list that included the UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands.