Also in today's EMEA roundup: AlcaLu targets MSOs; Spanish mobile market bounces back; Bernabe leaves GSMA.
Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has put some flesh on the bones of the UK investment plan it announced last year with the decision to build a $200 million R&D facility in the UK focusing on smartphone design, software, and broadband technologies, reports The Guardian. The location of the facility has not been revealed, though the vendor says it will boost the number of Huawei's British engineers to 300 by 2017. Huawei already has a team of 80 carrying out photonics research in Ipswich, in the east of England.
Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has introduced a new EPON broadband access system targeted at cable operators, particularly those in North America. Bright House Networks , the sixth-largest cable operator in the US, is already planning to use it, says the vendor. Naturally, the launch is being presented as part of AlcaLu's "Shift Plan." (See Alcatel-Lucent Builds Future Around IP and Cable Is Key to 'New' Alcatel-Lucent.)
Franco Bernabe, who earlier this month stepped down as chairman of Telecom Italia (TIM) , has now resigned as chairman of the GSM Association (GSMA) . Telenor CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas will take on the role of acting chairman until a new permanent chairman is announced in November. (See Euronews: Telecom Italia Boss on the Brink.)
Unemployment might still be rampant on the Iberian peninsula, but Reuters reports that the Spanish mobile market is staging something of a comeback. According to data published by the Spanish telecom regulator, the number of mobile connections increased for the fourth month in a row, though, not surprisingly, the growth area is concentrated at the "cheap deals" end of the market. As of August, Spain had 52.19 million mobile connections, still 4 percent fewer than the same period a year ago.
Is it time to put away those ear trumpets? BT has unveiled its new conference-call product, MeetMe with Dolby Voice, which it claims makes call participants feel like they are "in the same room." BT has already conducted 10,000 trial conferences using MeetMe with Dolby Voice, and it claims that nine out of 10 participants in these trials preferred the system to their normal audio conferencing product.
Charm offensive: Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei with the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, who visited Huawei's Shenzhen headquarters on his trade mission to China.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading