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Eurobites: Sunrise Sunsets 2G Network

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Hull may can the copper; new CMO for Altice; Deutsche Telekom rocks -- in 360 degrees!

  • Swiss operator Sunrise Communications AG has committed to closing its 2G network by the end of 2018, while expanding the deployment of 4G and 4G+ technologies. The company says it will provide "attractive upgrade offers" for its existing 2G customers, and that it will spread 4G coverage across 92% of the country by the end of the year. Sunrise is now run by Olaf Swantee, who decamped to Switzerland after stepping down as CEO of UK mobile operator EE last year following its acquisition by BT. (See Eurobites: Swantee Resurfaces at Sunrise.)

  • Is the northern English city of Hull about to become the first place in the UK to ditch its legacy copper network? That's the possibility being mooted in the Financial Times (subscription required), which reports that the head of the local network operator, KCOM Group plc , now believes it is time for Hull to go all-fiber. Hull is something of an anomaly in telecom terms, as it is not part of the (almost) nationwide network run by BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA). If Hull did decide to dump the copper, the city would be following in the footsteps of Svalbard in Norway and the Channel Island of Jersey.

  • Swapping Microsoft for Altice is Nicolas Petit, who becomes chief marketing officer for the Netherlands-based group. Petit will report directly to Michel Combes, the former Alcatel-Lucent boss who is now Altice CEO.

  • VEON, the Russian operator formerly known as VimpelCom, has been touting its virtues in its latest corporate responsibility report. It details, among other things, how VEON has been teaming up with entrepreneurs in emerging markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Algeria and Russia, instigating a range of digital applications and services for businesses and humanitarian initiatives.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) says its new MagentaMusik 360 entertainment service, which live streams concert footage in HD and a fair proportion of them in 360-degree format too, got off to a strong start, with more than 600,000 viewers tuning in to watch footage from the Rock am Ring event earlier this month, and about 50,000 of them using the MagentaMusik 360 app. Tomorrow night it's the turn of Gorillaz, which is kind of appropriate given they're a "virtual" band an' all. (We're so down with the kids here at Eurobites Towers, it hurts.)

  • The UK arm of IT services provider NTT Data Corp. has appointed Simon Williams as its new CEO. Williams, who was already with the company, succeeds Steve Mitchener, who is retiring.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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