Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Google given more time for Android antitrust case response; Ericsson forges China alliance; Ekinops wins at Orange.
Android's on the march in Europe: A new study from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s operating system resided on 76.5% of smartphones sold in the "EU5" (the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) during the three months ending May 2016 -- an increase of six percentage points on the same period a year earlier. On the brands front, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has emerged as the third-largest smartphone name behind Samsung Corp. and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), with the Chinese giant accounting for 12.5% of smartphone sales during the period.
On the subject of Android, the European Commission has given Google six more weeks in which to respond to charges that it uses its operating system to unfairly squeeze out its rivals, reports Reuters. Specifically, it was Google's insistence that manufacturers of Android phones pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser that initially set the Commission's antitrust antenna twitching. Google now has until September 7 to make its case. (See Euronews: EU Probes Google's Android Deals.)
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has struck up a "cooperation" relationship with Inspur, an IT hardware and support services firm in China that makes and supplies all manner of products (x86 servers, set-top boxes, storage systems) and services, including a suite of cloud services. The Swedish vendor says it will work with Inspur on a vast range of developments, including NFV, 5G, OSS, video delivery systems and multiple proofs of concept. What's interesting is that Inspur is also a local Chinese partner of Ericsson's biggest collaborator, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO): Just this week, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said his company’s partnership with Inspur, which was part of a large commitment to China announced last year, will begin delivering products in the fall. (See Ericsson Teams With China's Inspur, Cisco & Partners to Invest $10B in China and Cisco Takes Ericsson Home to Meet the Family.)
Ericsson has also landed a billing contract at Telenor Serbia, in what will be the first live deployment of its Charging and Billing in One (CBiO) offering. In a statement, Telenor Serbia CEO Ingeborg Øfsthus says: "With CBiO system, we are giving our customers more reasons to love us." Steady on, Ingeborg.
France's Ekinops SA has got the nod from Orange (NYSE: FTE) to supply 100G equipment and know-how for sections of the operator's international long-haul networks. In a press release about the deployment, the French operator gives the vendor a notable reference: "This Ekinops 100G solution, powerful and simple to set up, meets very well our challenges of increasing our high-capacity routes, which we want fast and flexible," notes Jean-Luc Vuillemin, Senior Vice President International Networks, Infrastructures & Services, at Orange.
UK-based OpenCloud Ltd. has launched a downloadable software package that, it says, will allow software engineers to develop video- and voice-over-LTE services for operators' business and residential customers. The package can be run on a desktop computer, laptop or in the cloud.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading