Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Huawei joins 5G Exchange project; Bulgaria's Vivacom sold; Cisco snaps up UK teleconferencing firm.
Jolla , the Finnish smartphone maker formed by ex-Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) developers, says it has been hit by a delay to its funding round, forcing it to apply to a local court for a debt restructuring, reports Reuters. The company, which developed its own Sailfish operating system, is also having to lay off a substantial part of its 100-strong workforce. (See Euronews: Jolla Claims a Sailfish Sellout .)
Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has outlined its commitment to the 5G Exchange (5GEx) project, which was launched in October to "enable collaboration between operators, regarding 5G infrastructure services, with the view to introducing unification via NFV/SDN compatible multi-domain orchestration." In other words, the aim of the project is to ensure that network operators don't build 5G islands. Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) previously announced its involvement, along with Hewlett Packard Enterprise , a number of European universities and, more importantly, Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Orange (NYSE: FTE), Telecom Italia (TIM) and Telefónica . 5GEx is one of 19 5G Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership (5GPPP) projects retained from 83 proposals received by the European Commission . (See Lines Get Drawn in Road to 5G.)
Bulgaria's Vivacom has been sold by owner VTB Capital to Spas Roussev, a Bulgarian businessman, for €330 million ($353 million), according to Reuters. The deal, which is linked to the collapse of a Bulgarian bank that had close associations with Vivacom, still requires approval from local and European Union regulators.
Smile has launched what it says is the first ever voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) service in East Africa, initially covering the Ugandan cities of Kampala, Entebbe and Mukono. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) provided network integration, project management and testing know-how to the project.
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has agreed to acquire Acano, a London-based company specializing in unified communications infrastructure and conferencing software. Acano will become part of the Cisco Collaboration Technology Group once the deal is approved. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
UK mobile operator EE is looking at introducing ad-blocking technology for its 27 million customers, according to a Sunday Telegraph report. CEO Olaf Swantee, who is launching a review into the issue of mobile advertising, said: "We think it's important that, over time, customers start to be offered more choice and control over the level and intensity of ads on mobile."
A British man has been jailed for 32 months for selling illegal set-top boxes that allowed people to access Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED)'s TV services without taking out a subscription, reports the BBC.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading