Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Broadcom fallout hits European chipmakers; O2 embraces the Apple Watch; Ericsson upgrades in Indonesia.
Telefónica has teamed up with Spanish banking giant Santander to develop a clutch of 5G "use cases" that aim to demonstrate how the emerging technology can play a useful role in the financial sector. Two bank offices in Alcobendas, near Madrid have been connected over 5G, and will use it for ultra-high-resolution videoconferencing. 5G will also provide the basis for a low-latency storage system embedded on Telefónica's edge computing infrastructure, as well as offering opportunities for virtual collaboration between bank employees.
O2, the Telefónica-owned UK mobile operator, is extending its "custom plans" to include the Apple Watch, meaning that customers can get their mitts on the pricey fitness-focused gadgets by paying as little as £9.99 (US$12.62) a month for the first six months, and £14.99 ($18.94) a month thereafter, once they have paid the minimum £20 ($25.27) upfront device cost. The Apple Watch must be paired with an iPhone 6 or newer on an O2 postpaid monthly tariff. O2 introduced its custom plans last year, offering customers the choice of how much to pay for their device upfront and the length of their contract (between three and 36 months) and adjusting the monthly payments accordingly.
Ericsson has landed a core network upgrade contract at Indonesian mobile operator Telkomsel, preparing the ground for 5G rollout. The operator is being promised scalable software architecture, faster launches of new services and a lower total cost of ownership, among other goodies.
Vodafone ran into a spot of bother on its European networks on Thursday, with data-related problems being flagged up in the UK, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Germany. As the BBC reports, a fault with an international data pipe was blamed for the trouble.
Belgium's Proximus has been doing a bit of light re-branding, introducing the phrase "Think possible" (maybe it works better in Flemish) as its go-to mantra. It has also introduced several new products, a TV interface and a cloud gaming service among them.
Ooredoo Algeria has turned to Nokia to help it develop its next-generation network core, deploying what the Finnish vendor describes as North Africa's "first virtualized Mobile Gateway."
Dutch incumbent KPN has completed the sale of its remaining shares in Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG. The proceeds of the sale, says the operator, will be "retained to increase operational and financial flexibility."