Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: MTS uses vendor financing for Huawei deal; Tele2 erects IoT Portal; Safaricom upgrades with Ericsson.
Tesco, the UK-based retailing behemoth that has drifted into choppy waters in recent times, is set to put its mobile unit up for sale, according to a Financial Times report (subscription required). The retailer uses Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2)'s network under an MVNO agreement, and is reckoned to be the largest such "branded" mobile service in the UK by research group Ovum Ltd. , with around 4% of UK mobile subscribers. As it seeks to steady the ship by getting rid of non-core assets, Tesco has already sold its TV streaming service, broadband and fixed-line voice business to quad-play provider TalkTalk . (See Quad-Play Cheerleader TalkTalk Falls Further Behind BT.)
Russia's Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) has signed a seven-year, US$200 million loan facility agreement with China Development Bank Corporation in order to fund the purchase of network equipment and services from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. .
Sweden's Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO) has launched its IoT Portal, which the operator says enables the aggregation of various IoT solutions into a single, convenient interface. The first partners that have agreed to integrate their IoT offerings into the Portal are Telit (with its deviceWISE Application Enablement Platform), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) (Azure) and ThingWorx.
Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom Ltd. has signed a multi-year agreement with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) for the upgrade and expansion of its network. As part of the contract, Ericsson will deploy WiFi technology for the first time on the Safaricom network to help boost broadband app coverage in densely populated areas.
The amount of time UK users are online while they are away from home has increased fivefold over the past ten years, from just 30 minutes a week in 2005 to nearly two and a half hours a week in 2014, according to new research from regulator Ofcom . Good news for mobile operators and, possibly, chiropractors specializing in neck pain.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading