Eurobites: Deutsche Telekom Sets Out Its 5G Stall as Auction Approaches

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: DT gets into smart-speaker game; Vodafone's Indian merger completes; MTN's Ghanaian IPO falls short.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has called for conditions attached to the country's forthcoming auction of 5G spectrum to be "equitable," adding that the full benefits of 5G will only be realized if "peripheral conditions are fair." Speaking at the IFA trade show in Berlin, Dirk Wössner, a member of DT's board of management, also set out a number of "cornerstones" that his company believes are integral to the development of the technology, including a demand for no mandatory national roaming and the removal of "third-party provider obligation," whereby network operators must hand over new products and technologies to third parties.

    DT is also using the Berlin show to announce its own stab at the smart speaker market, the first stage of which will see 1,000 DT customers "train" the devices. Interested customers can apply to become testers of the product, receiving the device free of charge if chosen.

    And, on the TV front, DT will soon open up its OTT service to non-DT customers via Android and iOS apps.

  • UK-based Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has announced the completion of the merger between Vodafone India and Idea, creating a new operator, Vodafone Idea, with nearly 408 million customers. The merger was prompted by the disruptive arrival of Reliance Jio onto the Indian market in 2016, offering a range of free and heavily discounted services, forcing incumbents to cut their own prices. (See Vodafone India, Idea Cellular Complete Merger and Vodafone Idea Is Born, but Can It Thrive?)

  • MTN Group Ltd. 's Ghanaian unit only managed to sell around a third of the shares it made available in an initial public offering, Bloomberg reports. The operator raised 1.1 billion cedis ($237 million) from the sale, which was still three times larger than any previous IPO in the country. The unit's parent company is currently facing a demand from Nigeria's central bank for $8.1 billion in dividends to be returned. (See MTN Ghana Boasts IPO Success and Eurobites: MTN's Stock Slumps as Nigeria Demands Return of $8.1B .)

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is to collaborate with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) on developing responses to cybercrime. The five-year agreement will focus on a number of related areas, cybersecurity, machine learning and artificial intelligence among them. BT has 15 Security Operations Centres worldwide.

  • Scandinavians and good design go together like Brits and bad teeth, so it's perhaps no surprise that Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has landed a couple of awards from Red Dot, an internationally recognized program that highlights what it judges to be fine examples of design, be it in graphics, products or whatever else falls under its ambit. Ericsson got its two gongs for its software development interface (the Ericsson Design System) and for its, ahem, "holistic brand optimization effort." We're not sure what that it is but you can probably get one at Ikea.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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