Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia's HERE unit seeks new CEO; TeliaSonera network-shares in Finland; Kate Bush latest.
Nordic operator Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) has admitted that it has been unwittingly using child labor to help it build Myanmar's new mobile network, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). In a sustainability report published this week, Telenor said that its unannounced inspections of sites where subcontractors were building transmission towers had discovered, amongst other cases, two 12-year-olds and a 13-year-old carrying out excavation work.
HERE, the mapping and location applications unit of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), is to lose its CEO. Michael Halbherr has decided to step down from the role, effective September 1, to pursue his own "entrepreneurial interests" outside the company. Cliff Fox, currently senior vice president, Core Map Group, at HERE, will take over the reins while a search for a permanent successor to Halbherr is carried out. HERE, which was one of the three business units Nokia had left following the sale of its handsets unit to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), provides the technology for about 80% of car navigation systems. (See Nokia Ushers In New Era, Retires NSN Name.)
Telia Company 's Finnish arm, Sonera, has agreed to a network-sharing venture with local operator DNA Oy in the sparsely populated northern and eastern regions of Finland. The hope is that the collaboration, which is expected to begin operating in 2015, will allow for a more efficient buildout of the network in areas that currently only offer 15% coverage by population.
Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is boasting success with its TV services, with the number of its TV subscriber lines growing 21% year-on-year during the first half of 2014, to 1.09 million. Net revenues grew 0.6% to 5.7 billion Swiss francs (US$6.2 billion) during the period, though net income was down 1.6% to CHF806 million ($884 million).
The West African state of Ghana has got its first 4G network, courtesy of local operator Surfline Communications and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), reports Reuters. Ghana is the sixth sub-Saharan African country to benefit from 4G services.
Should the industry be worrying about a smartphone backlash? Caterwauling songstress Kate Bush has made it clear that she does not want fans touting their top-of-the-range handsets at her forthcoming gigs in London, her first since 1979. Bush used her website to tell her followers: "I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iPhones, iPads or cameras." That's all very well, Kate, but how will their friends know they are ACTUALLY THERE!!!?
Kate Bush: Loves a bit of gothic imagery, hates smartphones.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading