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Eurobites: Telefónica Is Still OK With UK

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Swisscom gets its 5G freak on; Dixons Carphone profits up 10%; Telia gets smart with buses; Nokia demos 4.9G in Shanghai.

  • Telefónica is keeping faith with the UK, despite the country's decision to leave the European Union and the blocking of the planned sale of its O2 network to rival Three UK in 2016, the Financial Times reports (subscription required). According to the paper, the Spanish giant is still preparing to list a minority stake in its O2 network by the end of the year, and its CEO, José María Álvarez-Pallete, says the delayed spectrum auction in the UK will give the operator a chance to consolidate its position. (See Eurobites: Telefónica Mulls O2 UK IPO, Eurobites: O2/3 Deal Facing EU Veto and Eurobites: O2 & 3 May Not Become One.)

  • On a more local level, Telefónica is also planning to open a Wayra startup accelerator in Oldham, a post-industrial town in north-west England. Housed in a former pub, it will host up to seven tech companies looking at ways of tackling the so-called "poverty premium" -- meaning the higher costs often faced by poor people for services such as electricity and loans.

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is getting frisky with 5G, announcing the launch -- next year -- of NB-IoT and LTE Cat-M1 technologies on its network as well as field trials of so-called network slicing. The operator is also currently carrying out testing of 5G speeds in one of its Zurich stores, and plans to roll out the testing facility to 15 more stores by the end of the year.

  • UK-based phone retailer Dixons Carphone saw full-year profits rise by 10% to £501 million (US$642 million), the Daily Telegraph reports, on group revenue that was up 9% to £10.5 billion ($13.4 billion). Earlier this month Dixons, which also owns the Currys and PC World retails businesses, decided to call it day in the US, bailing out of its joint retail venture with Sprint.

  • Nordic operator Telia is collaborating with Nobina, a bus company, to develop ways of using anonymized, aggregated passenger data to better understand travel patterns and ultimately improve the public transport system. The pilot program is taking place in Södertörn, a district to the south of Stockholm.

  • Orange Business Services is extending its partnership with China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA) into the Internet of Things space, allowing their respective multinational customers to deploy IoT and M2M services across each other's networks in Asia, Europe and Africa.

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is using the Shanghai incarnation of Mobile World Congress to demonstrate what it calls "4.9G" technology being used with an AirScale basestation to reduce network latency to less than two milliseconds, using a feature that, says the vendor, allows transmission time intervals to be shortened by 86%.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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