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Eurobites: Welcome to IoT City!

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone makes case for better wholesale backhaul access; Com Hem heads for an IPO; AlcaLu looks to sell cyber-security business to Thales.

  • Milton Keynes, the UK city best known up to now for its concrete cows and endless roundabouts, is set to become a test-bed for the Internet of Things (IoT), following the signing of an agreement between BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Neul Ltd. , and other interested parties. The plan is to create a demonstration network in the city, which will test the ability of a city-wide M2M infrastructure to cope with a large number of sensors monitoring a range of public-realm urban issues such as refuse collection and parking. BT and Neul will supply a network of special basestations, which support an open long-range wireless protocol, to provide coverage for the sensors. (See BT & Partners Plan IoT Network in UK City and The Broader Impact of the Internet of Things .)

    The Internet of Crazy Things: Milton Keynes' concrete cows.
    The Internet of Crazy Things: Milton Keynes' concrete cows.

  • Mobile operators need better access to fiber backhaul if competition isn't going to diminish. That's the claim being made in a report commissioned by Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) and produced by Analysys Mason . The report found that wholesale access is not always made available, or when it is, is extremely expensive. Clutching its copy of the report, Vodafone is calling on the European Commission , Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) , and national regulatory authorities to consider the long-term effect on the mobile market of what it perceives as the lack of access to regulated wholesale fiber.

  • Swedish cable operator Com Hem AB has outlined plans for an IPO on the Stockholm exchange that would raise about US$830 million. (See Com Hem Preps $829M IPO.)

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is in talks with Thales SA (Paris: TCFP.PA) over the possible sale of AlcaLu's cyber-security and communications security business. The deal is being presented as part of a wider strategic partnership between the pair, and one that ticks several boxes in AlcaLu's so-called Shift Plan. The businesses in question are spread over three sites in France as well as sites in Germany, Belgium, and the UK. (See AlcaLu in Talks to Sell Security Unit to Thales .)

  • Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA) and Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) are both putting their hands in their pockets to help victims of the severe flooding in the Balkans region of Central Europe. Telekom Austria is donating €60,000 ($81,000) and DT €50,000 ($68,000). The flooding was caused by the heaviest rainfall in the region for 120 years.

  • Russian operator MegaFon is talking to its roaming partners about the potential repercussions for their business if sanctions are imposed as a result of President Vladimir Putin's ongoing standoff with Ukraine.

    Eurobites is taking another public-holiday comfort break on Monday May 26, and will return on Tuesday.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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