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Eurobites: Ericsson Appoints Heads of New Units

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT recruits more engineers; Orange sells Ugandan unit; Ofcom boss cool on net neutrality.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has found bosses for the two new business units, "Radio" and "Cloud & IP," it announced last month as part of a new growth strategy. Arun Bansal, currently head of Ericsson's region South East Asia & Oceania, is appointed Senior Vice President and head of business unit Radio, while Anders Lindblad, currently head of Ericsson's region Middle East, is appointed senior vice president and head of Cloud & IP. (See Ericsson Creates Cloud & IP Unit and Ericsson Looks to Future as Q1 Sales Slump.)

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has announced a recruitment drive at its Openreach access unit, which has come in for a lot of flak for the speed at which it addresses customers' connectivity problems. The operator hopes to sign up 1,600 additional engineers, and plans to offer a good proportion of the roles to former members of the UK's armed forces, as part of an ongoing program of jobs for ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen.

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) has agreed the sale of its majority stake in Orange Uganda to Africell. Orange Uganda is the third-largest operator in the African state, with 620,000 customers (as of December 2013).

  • The head of UK regulator Ofcom has warned the pending European legislation enshrining the principle of net neutrality risks creating uncertainty in the market, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). Ed Richards, chief executive of the organization, said that companies should be allowed to employ traffic management techniques to optimize the customer experience, though he agreed with Brussels that "outright blocking [or] throttling" was not desirable.

  • Italy's competition authority is investigating Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), and French game developer Gameloft over alleged unfair commercial practices, reports Reuters. The probe centers on concerns that mobile game apps are being advertised as "free," when in fact players (or their parents) of the games are required to part with money if they want to continue beyond a certain level.

  • Israeli systems integrator Modulo has teamed up with packet networking module specialist Adax Inc. with the aim of delivering deep packet inspection (DPI) capabilities to Israel's mobile operators, several of which are in the process of building out their 4G/LTE networks. Cellcom Israel Ltd. , Partner Communications Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; London: PCCD), and Pelephone Communications Ltd. are all preparing to launch 4G services once the government allocates the required spectrum and licenses.

  • Paris-based Tokheim, which provides managed services to the retail oil and gas industry, has deployed routers from OneAccess to upgrade its global network. Tokheim Net connects thousands of petrol service station customers worldwide.

  • Wananchi Group , the African triple-play operator, has extended its partnership with SPIT vendor Verimatrix Inc. to help protect the revenues generated by its Zuku TV multiscreen digital services.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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