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Eurobites: Telenor Buys DNA for Finnish Foray

Paul Rainford
4/9/2019
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Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telekom Srbija and Ericsson virtualize the core; Cisco scores in Italy and France; Vodafone Egypt goes with Red Hat for cloud-based customer service upgrade; Three UK calls on Callsign for fraud prevention.

  • Telenor is hoping to make it big in Finland by paying €1.5 billion (US$1.69 billion ) for a controlling interest in DNA, the third-largest mobile operator, second-largest broadband provider and largest cable operator in the country. The deal comprised two separate agreements with DNA's two largest shareholders, Finda Telecoms Oy and PHP Holding Oy, which hold 28.3% and 25.8% of DNA respectively. In 2018, DNA reported revenues of €912 million ($1.02 billion) and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) of €285 million ($321.3 million).

  • As part of a program of works to prepare for the arrival of 5G technology, Telekom Srbija and Ericsson have gone live with a number of virtualized core network functions, including a virtual user data consolidation function which consolidates subscriber information from different network silos into one common repository.

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is shouting today about two European network builds in which it played a key role. In Italy, the vendor is supplying Iliad with ASR 9000 and new NCS (Network Convergence System) 5500 routers for the operator's core IP network rollout (incorporating segment routing on an IPV6 data plane), NCS gear for its packet/optical backbone and Nexus switches for its data center. Iliad is pushing hard to build efficient scale in Italy as it challenges the incumbent operators. Meanwhile, in France, media giant CANAL+ is using Cisco's NCS 5516 Series platform as part of its new Content Delivery Network (CDN) rollout.

  • Meanwhile, Telecom Italia (TIM) is partnering up with Cisco Italia and Università Federico II to open a new innovation hub in Naples. 5G-based offerings from startups aimed at the "Industry 4.0," cybersecurity and the smart-city spheres will be put through their paces at the hub.

  • Nokia says that Belgium's Proximus has become one of the first operators in the world to put the Finnish vendor's biggest multi-terabit router, the Nokia 7750 SR-14s, into service at the heart of its network. It is hoped that the new IP backbone will support new broadband and mobile services with improved capacity, scalability and programmability.

  • In other Proximus news, the operator has admitted that nationwide problems with its landlines last Friday (April 5) were caused by a software problem in the operator's network equipment. From 3.30 p.m. to around 7 p.m. it was impossible to make calls from a Proximus fixed line to a mobile number or to a number from another operator. Voice traffic was also not possible in the other direction.

  • Deutsche Telekom has come up with a set of guidelines for city authorities wanting to get into the smart-cities game. Collectively called the "Smart City Co-Creation Toolbox," the guidelines focus on getting the inhabitants of the city involved early in smart-city projects, undertaking tasks such as "journey mapping" and -- get this --- "citizen roleplay" -- the results of which are fed back to the project's managers.

  • Vodafone Egypt has turned to Red Hat's Cloud Suite offering to improve its customer service, rebuilding its website using a microservices-based architecture and adopting a DevOps approach to streamline operations.

  • CKH Innovations Opportunities Development (CKH IOD), part of the CK Hutchison telecom group, has teamed up with Callsign, a London-based specialist in digital fraud prevention, to help protect Three Group's customers from online nasties. Callsign provides additional customer ID verification to banks, based on specific fraud risk triggers notified by Three UK.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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