Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telecom Italia opens mmWave testing lab; Telenet upgrades mobile network with ZTE; Telefónica reconsiders infrastructure unit IPO.
The president of Nokia Technologies, Ramzi Haidamus, is to step down with immediate effect and leave the company. As an interim measure he will be replaced by Brad Rodrigues, the unit's current head of strategy and business development, while Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) searches for a permanent successor. In a statement, Haidamus implied that his work at the Technologies division was done, saying: "What was originally a collection of interesting assets is now a focused, growing and profitable business with a strong leadership team," adding that it was now the right time to "explore new opportunities." Nokia Technologies is attempting to keep alive the Finnish giant's presence in the consumer market -- earlier this year it announced plans to buy Withings, a maker of connected healthcare devices, while a complicated licensing deal heralded an eventual return to the sale of Nokia-branded smartphones. (See Nokia Technologies President Quits, Nokia Plays It Smart With Major Mobile Devices Brand Deal, Nokia Signs Brand Licensing Deal With HMD and this report on our sister site Telecoms.com.)
Telecom Italia (TIM) has opened a mmWave testing laboratory in Turin to test and develop new high frequencies and antenna systems to be deployed in 5G networks. It is hoped that the lab will help the Italian incumbent identify potential technological partners for 5G-related projects. (See this report on Telecoms.com.)
Belgian cable operator Telenet has signed a deal with China's ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) to upgrade its BASE-branded mobile network. ZTE will supply its UniRan technology for the project, which forms part of a €300 million investment by Telenet in its mobile network. Telenet acquired BASE from KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) for €1.32 billion ($1.47 billion) in 2015.
Telefónica is trying to reignite interest in an IPO of its Telxius infrastructure arm, according to a Bloomberg report. The report says that banks may start meetings with investors regarding an IPO next week, with a Madrid listing potentially complete by the end of September.
Niklas Sonkin, Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO) 's chief operating officer, is to leave the Nordic operator on September 2, though he will remain as chairman of the board at Tele2's joint venture in Kazakhstan. Fredrik Stenberg, currently director of customer operations and member of the Shared Operations Leadership Team, will assume the position of acting COO until a permanent replacement is found. Sonkin joined Tele2 in 2009, and was made COO in 2015.