Eurobites: HMD Global Refocuses Nokia's Smartphone Brand With Zeiss Alliance

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: ETSI issues APIs for MEC (got that?); KPN strikes SIM deal with Tencent; UK mobile operators target the data-bingers; data mining, Estonia-style.

  • The old partnership between Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and camera lens specialist Zeiss has been revived in the hands of HMD Global, the company that has licensed the Nokia brand and is busy trying to re-establish the Nokia name in the smartphone sphere. As the BBC reports, HMD Global says that Zeiss lenses will feature in all Nokia smartphones in the future, though they were not signed up in time to appear on the N3, N5 and N6, the new Nokia-branded Android smartphones that are launching next month. Prior to it selling its doomed smartphone division to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) in 2014, Nokia had teamed up with Zeiss to produce camera-focused phones such as the 41-megapixel Nokia 808. (See Nokia Makes 'Elegant' Return to Handset Market, Says Device Industry Expert and Microsoft Officially Closes Nokia Buy.)

  • The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) 's Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) Industry Specification Group (ISG) has released its first package of standardized APIs to support edge computing interoperability. The five specifications address:

  • Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) has teamed up with Tencent Inc. , the Chinese Internet software giant, to launch a SIM card aimed squarely at Chinese tourists traveling to Europe. The WeChat Go SIM card offers voice and data services, as well as extra stuff such as travel information, Chinese video content, top-ups and appropriate social media platforms.

  • UK mobile operators are getting free and easy with their data allowances in a bid to entice extra customers. Three UK has launched a "Go Binge" offering that allows its customers to use four online streaming services, namely Netflix, TVPlayer, SoundCloud and Deezer, without them counting against their data limit. EE , meanwhile, is targeting university students with what it calls a "data safety net" -- 500MB of "free" data on top of their data plan limit.

  • It's data mining, but not as we know it. Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has partnered with Nordic operator Telia and energy company Eesti Energia to install 3G mobile connectivity in the Estonia Mine, the world's largest oil shale mine, in Ida-Viru County, Estonia. Eesti Energia subsidiary Enefit Solutions installed 45km of fiber-optic cable, Ericsson installed an antenna network and Telia installed the Ericsson basestations. Ericsson says that the network was designed in such a way as not to interrupt connectivity when the face of the mine advances, with equipment that can be easily relocated.

    Estonia Mine: Still spooky, but now with added 3G connectivity.
    Estonia Mine: Still spooky, but now with added 3G connectivity.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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