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Eurobites: Telia Norway Brings in New Broom

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Openet expands; Orange launches own-brand 5G smartphone; Ofcom's CTO steps down; BT turns Purple for business WiFi; HERE signs up to 5G industry group.

  • It's all change at Telia Norway as current CEO Abraham Foss leaves to pursue unspecified "new challenges," to be succeeded by Stein-Erik Vellan, who is currently CEO of Telia Finland. Replacing Vellan at the Finnish head office (on a temporary basis) will be Jonas Bengtsson, current EVP, group general counsel and head of corporate affairs. Foss took the Norway CEO job in 2015.

  • In vaguely related news, Telia's infrastructure arm, Telia Carrier, is to provide its global IP backbone to MobiTV, a provider of white-label streaming video offerings for the pay-TV market.

  • Irish BSS vendor Openet is enjoying another growth spurt with the opening of two new offices, one in Johannesburg and the other in Montreal. The Johannesburg office represents Openet's first base in South Africa, while the Montreal one supplements Openet's existing Canadian presence in Toronto.

  • Orange is launching what it claims is the industry's first operator-branded 5G smartphone in Europe. The device, the Orange Neva Jet, will initially be available on existing networks in select markets, starting in Poland, before being made available on Orange's commercial 5G networks across Europe as and when they go live, starting with Romania in 2019.

  • Ofcom's CTO Mansoor Hanif has left the UK regulator to "take up a new role at NEOM, a new eco-friendly smart city in the Middle East" next year, Ofcom has announced. His seat will be filled by Yih-Choung Teh, group director of strategy and research, until a replacement is recruited. Hanif, who joined Ofcom in September 2018 from BT, has been instrumental in helping to develop and present the UK regulator's scheme to award spectrum licenses for private wireless network rollouts in the UK. (See UK May Get 'Thousands' of 5G New Entrants Under Proposed Shake-Up by Ofcom.)

  • BT has announced a multi-year partnership with Purple, a company specializing in WiFi analytics for brick-and-mortar businesses wanting something in return for on-premises free WiFi they provide for their customers. "Advanced customer engagement capabilities" will be incorporated with BT WiFi services early next year, helping BT's business WiFi providers better understand the innermost desires and spending tendencies of their customers.

  • HERE, the location services company that used to be part of Nokia but is now owned by a consortium of German carmakers, has signed up to the 5G Automotive Association, an industry group that sets out to collaborate on the future of connected mobility. But with more than 130 members already signed up to the association, it could be argued that HERE is a little late to the 5G party…

  • KPN Ventures, the venture capital arm of Dutch incumbent operator KPN, has invested an unspecified amount in the Dutch Security TechFund, which seeks to help cybersecurity startups bring their products to market. Over the next few years, the fund aims to invest €30 million (US$33.2 million) in such companies.

  • UK altnet CityFibre has appointed Richard Thorpe as its chief delivery officer. Thorpe has most recently worked for Caribbean operator Digicel, where he overhauled the company's business support systems, but his more relevant fiber rollout experience came with Vodafone and NBN Australia.

  • The Finnish University and Research Network (FUNET) has turned to technology from Germany's ADVA to help build its 400G-ready network, which will initially enjoy speeds of up to 200 Gbit/s.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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