Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Sigfox confirms what LR knew; TIM re-starts talks over Canal+ JV; Italy's Enter offers SD-WAN services.
Telia has chosen Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) as its sole cloud packet core vendor across the six countries in which it operates in Scandinavia and the Baltics. Nokia will supply its AirGile cloud-native packet core offering, helping the operator, it is hoped, to introduce new data services at a lower cost through the use of a shared cloud infrastructure. Telia is facing pressure on its Swedish home turf from Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO), which acquired cable operator Com Hem earlier this month in a deal valued at around US$3.3 billion. (See Nokia Takes NFV Cloud-Native and Sweden's Tele2 to Swallow Com Hem in $3.3B Deal.)
Under-fire French IoT specialist Sigfox has confirmed that Franck Siegel is now its chief delivery officer, with responsibility for much of its business and operations, weeks after Light Reading reported he had joined the company from South Africa's Dimension Data in October last year. The confirmation follows a wave of executive departures in the last few months triggered by clashes with CEO Ludovic Le Moan on company strategy. (See Sigfox Sheds More Senior Staff, Including North America CEO, Sigfox in Peril as Senior Execs Exit – Sources and Sigfox CIO Said to Be Latest Senior Exec to Depart.)
Besides announcing Siegel's appointment, Sigfox also provided an update on progress in 2017, claiming that its network is now available in 43 countries and that it has registered 90% growth in the number of active devices on its network in the last six months, to more than 2.5 million. That figure, however, is substantially lower than the 10 million connections Sigfox said it had registered at the end of 2016, suggesting the bulk of the connections previously claimed are merely contractual targets. In today's update, Sigfox said its targets for 2018 are to boost coverage to 60 countries and connect up to 10 million connections. (See Sigfox Defies Critics to Raise €150M in Funding and Sigfox Said to Face Customer Backlash.)
Telecom Italia (TIM) 's board of directors has acknowledged that it needs to get things moving again on the proposed joint venture between itself and French broadcaster Canal+. The "term sheet" on the JV expires tomorrow (Thursday), rendering the resolutions regarding the JV late last year obsolete. Canal+ is owned by Vivendi , the French conglomerate that has been causing ructions with its increasing control over the Italian incumbent. (See Telecom Italia Drama: What Is Vivendi Up To?)
Italian cloud player Enter has launched an SD-WAN service on its national and international Ethernet infrastructure, serving both enterprise and carrier customers.
MTN Ghana has teamed up with mobile payments company Bango Inc. to allow its subscribers to pay for content and services on the Google Play app store with a single click. Such moves allow the "unbanked" to buy content online without the use of a credit or debit card.
TalkTalk has joined UK rival BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) in offering a free landline service, CallSafe, that pre-screens calls from unknown callers to filter out the ones that aren't wanted. The provider's own research discovered that 61% of Brits admit to regularly ignoring calls on their landlines to avoid having to fend off sales pitches and/or scammers.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading