Eurobites: Nokia Re-enters Consumer Fray

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT spreads cloud across Middle East and Africa; AlcaLu claims cost savings with new edge router.

  • Well, here's a turn-up: Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is getting back into consumer devices via a brand and technology licensing deal! Less than seven months after Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) closed its acquisition of Nokia's handsets business, the Finnish vendor has revealed that a new Nokia-branded tablet, the N1, will soon be on sale. And, according to the Financial Times, the tablet will be manufactured by Foxconn Electronics Inc. , the Chinese giant that makes the iPad for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL). The N1, which will run on Android and feature Nokia's own predictive interface, will initially go on sale in China in the first quarter of 2015 for the local equivalent of US$249. The technology and design of the tablet has emerged from the Nokia Technologies unit, the part of Nokia that is looking to make more money from the vendor's patents portfolio. But Nokia isn't making, supporting, or selling the device -- that is all down to the OEM partner. Will it stand a snowball-in-hell's chance against all the other (often cheaper) tablets out there? Answers on a postcard (or the message boards below if you prefer). (See Nokia Unveils a New Android Tablet.)

    The Nokia N1: It's a tablet, all right.
    The Nokia N1: It's a tablet, all right.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is launching what it describes as a "symphony" of cloud services across the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Offerings include: BT One Cloud Cisco, a unified communications service with HD voice and video; BT One Cloud Lync, a managed private cloud service with enterprise telephony and video; and BT's Cloud Connect program, which allows customers to connect to SaaS providers through BT's network. (See BT Expands Cloud Services Across APAC, Africa & Middle East.)

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has unveiled a new member of its edge router family, the multi-functional 7750 SR-a, which the vendor claims is more cost-efficient than comparative products from rivals, claiming up to 55% total cost of ownership (TCO) savings in some instances. There's no doubt that this is a message the network operators want to hear -- new routers that can be deployed in fixed and mobile broadband edge networks and which are cheaper to run, small, and support up to 100GigE services. As for being more efficient than rival products, though, the operators only have Alcatel-Lucent's word, as the tests to compare the new router against rival products were conducted by the vendor's own Bell Labs, leaving the truly meaningful testing to be done by the operators themselves. The new box will be available in January 2015, just ahead of the vendor's virtual Provider Edge router. (See Alcatel-Lucent Unveils New Edge Router and Alcatel-Lucent Joins Virtual Router Race.)

  • Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) has agreed a €610 million deal with joint-venture partner Reggeborgh to take the remaining 40% stake in Reggefiber BV , an acquisition that will give KPN 100% ownership of the fiber network operator. The transaction will be largely funded by the sale of KPN's E-Plus Service GmbH & Co. KG subsidiary to Telefónica Deutschland GmbH . (See KPN Buys Remaining 40% of Reggefiber and Eurobites: Telefónica Gets EC Green Light on E-Plus Deal.)

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has produced the latest edition of its Mobility Report, an in-depth exploration of global mobile trends. In a dizzying array of charts and tables, it predicts that by 2020, among other things, 90% of the world's population over six years old will have a mobile phone and there will be 9.5 billion mobile subscriptions, with a 55% growth in mobile subs taking place in the Middle East and Africa. It also expects 5G to be commercially launched by 2020. (See Ericsson Publishes Mobility Report.)

    The only way is up. (Source: Ericsson)
    The only way is up. (Source: Ericsson)

  • Vodafone UK is considering basing its planned pay-TV service on Sky 's Now TV video streaming box, according to a Daily Telegraph report. Vodafone already has close links with Sky -- it offers the Sky Sports channels on mobile devices as part of its 4G bundles.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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