Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: VEON to buy remaining shares in GTH subsidiary; Zain taps Nokia's massive MIMO; Danes expel Huawei pair.
American BSS specialist Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) has landed a "digital modernization" deal with Russia's PJSC VimpelCom, the VEON subsidiary which operates under the Beeline brand. Through the upgrade, Beeline is promising its customers a "more personalized" experience. A multi-year managed services agreement forms part of the deal.
And, in related matters, VEON has announced that it plans to buy the remaining 42.31% of the shares in its GTH subsidiary -- which operates networks across Algeria, Bangladesh and Pakistan -- as a prelude to taking the operator private. Amsterdam-headquartered VEON, whose biggest market is Russia, already owned 57.69% of GTH in the 2017 fiscal year, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Zain KSA (Zain Saudi Arabia) have begun a massive MIMO pilot in the Saudi city of Jeddah. The pilot will use Zain's TD-LTE network and 2.6GHz spectrum, with Nokia deploying its AirScale massive MIMO antenna for "4.9G" calls.
In a move that is ostensibly unrelated to the ongoing allegations over the use of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd equipment for Chinese state-sponsored spying, Denmark has expelled two Huawei employees following a check on their work permits. As Bloomberg reports, the authorities maintain it was a "routine" inspection, and they have declined to specify the nationalities of the two workers.
Vodafone is bringing "4G+" speeds to the Isle of Wight, the white-hot technology spot that is both the spiritual home of Eurobites and the ideal weekend getaway. According to Mohamed Elhabiby, senior networks manager for radio optimization and planning for Vodafone UK 's South region, multi-carrier configurations will "shortly" appear at different sites on the island on Ericsson equipment.
The Isle of Wight: Sun, sea, sand... and 4G+
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is tooting its trumpet as a wealth creator, citing a new report that it says shows it generated a £22.8 billion (US$29.6 billon) contribution to the UK's economy during the 2017/18 financial year. The report estimates that the equivalent of 290,000 full-time jobs are supported through BT's direct employment, though the crack team of hairstylists that were kept busy sculpting the coiffure of departing CEO Gavin Patterson will now have to be deducted from the numbers.
Former BT CEO Gavin Patterson: His hair contributed to the UK national economy.