Eurobites: WIG Raises £220M for Fiber, Small Cells Expansion
News Analysis Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe 9/24/2018
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telit seeks new CEO; DT embraces robots; new book sheds light on Nokia woes.
Edinburgh-based Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) has raised £220 million ($289 million) from a group of six institutional investors and banks to support its expansion plans in the UK, with a focus on small cells and fiber. Over the last year WIG has invested in new infrastructure ranging from towers serving rural communities to Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) networks in busy city locations such as offices and shopping malls. WIG also recently flicked the switch on what it says is the UK's first fiber-connected small cell network to support C-RAN technology, and is an investor in Midlands Future Mobility, billed as the UK's largest "real-world" testbed for connected and autonomous vehicles.
IoT specialist Telit is looking for yet another new CEO following the ousting of the latest chief, Yosi Fait, after what appears to have been a shareholder revolt. Only a year ago the previous CEO, the fantastically named Oozi Cats, was dumped following revelations that he was linked to an historical property fraud investigation in the US involving an individual called Uzi Kats. Really. Fait's departure has given Telit's share price a lift -- it gained almost 9% to hit 171 pence last Friday -- and will likely light the fire under speculation that the company could be the subject of M&A action involving Sierra Wireless. (See Telit Axes Its CEO and Eurobites: Telit's CEO Probe Not Cool for Cats .)
Home in on the opportunities and challenges facing European cable operators. Join Light Reading for the Cable Next-Gen Europe event in London on November 6. All cable operators and other communications service providers get in free! Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s incubator program, hubraum, has been expanded to include CloudStorm, a Hungarian startup touting robotic process automation (RPA) software for the enterprise market. As well as financial support, the company will be granted access to DT's resources in all 13 European countries where DT operates. Though it will continue to operate on a standalone basis for the time being, CloudStorm may become "a coherent part of DT's offering" in the future, said DT's head of hubraum, Jakub Probola.
A forthcoming book from Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) board chair Risto Siilasmaa contains some juicy revelations about his predecessor, Jorma Ollila, claiming that Ollila's frequent "angry fits" created a culture of fear at Nokia that was partly responsible for the demise of the vendor's handset business in the early 2000s in the face of rivals' smartphone innovations. As YLE reports, citing the Helsinki Sanomat daily, Silasmaa claims that Ollila would not allow his methods to be questioned and withheld information that might have helped Nokia sort out some of its core problems.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has landed a RAN equipment deal with Malaysia's Celcom Axiata Berhad, helping the operator expand and upgrade its LTE network. It is also hoped that the upgrade will pave the way for Celcom's move into 5G in the near future.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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