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Eurobites: A1 pilots cryptocurrency payments

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Salt's second quarter is no great shakes; Serbia Broadband extends gigabit service; Safaricom's bad apples.

  • Austrian operator A1 is conducting a pilot that allows its customers to pay for goods and services with their phones using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dash in certain stores, TechXplore reports.

  • Salt, the Swiss mobile operator, saw second-quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) fall 10% to 109.9 million Swiss francs (US$111.3 million) on revenue that was down 2.3% to CHF254.5 million ($257.7 million). On a mildly brighter note, Salt's postpaid mobile customer base stood at 1,229,000, up 1,200 during the quarter, while on the fiber front Salt reached the 50,000-customer mark during the quarter.

  • Serbia Broadband (SBB) is expanding gigabit services to the city of Kragujevac as from next month, Broadband TV News reports. Kragujevac is the fifth Serbian city to get SBB's gigabit treatment, following Belgrade, Novi Sad, Subotica and Gornji Milanovac.

  • Kenya's Safaricom has revealed that it laid off 18 employees for corruption and fraud-related misdemeanors in the financial year ending March 2019. As the Star reports, this sounds bad but it is an improvement on the 43 dismissals in 2018 and 52 in 2017.

  • BT has been attacked by a Scottish politician for removing phone boxes where there may still be some demand for them and where there is possibly no mobile phone coverage. The Scotsman reports that South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: "It's fine for BT to say that most people now have mobile phones but that isn't the case for everyone and coverage isn't always great. BT should at least give a clear guarantee that no phone box will be removed in an area where there is not good mobile phone coverage from several providers in that area."

  • EE is extending its smartphone "expert set-up" and delivery service to more parts of London as well as to Birmingham and Manchester, with eight other UK cities lined up for inclusion by the end of 2019. The free service, set up in partnership with Enjoy, allows customers, via telephone or online, to tee up their new smartphone so it arrives tweaked to their preferences, with anything they want from their old phone safely transferred over to their shiny new one.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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