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Eurobites: 9M UK broadband users unaware of impending price hike – study

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Transsion chooses HERE for location services upgrade; Helios eyes African fintech; 5G for cycling, sausages.

  • More than 9 million broadband customers in the UK are unaware that their monthly bills are set to rise by up to 9.3% as early as the end of March, according to research carried out on behalf of fiber player Hyperoptic. Every year, says Hyperoptic, broadband heavyweights such as BT, Vodafone, TalkTalk and others raise their in-contract prices in line with the rate of inflation, which recently leapt to 5.4%, and then add up to 3.9% more on top. Sixty-three percent of customers affected by the price hike feel the increase is unfair, found the research, while nearly half (47%) feel misled by their broadband provider. The research was based on a poll of more than 2,000 customers across the UK. Of course, the main point of the research is to highlight the fact that Hyperoptic – which is big in new-builds and social housing – won't be increasing its prices this year.

  • HERE Technologies, the location data technology company that used to be part of Nokia, has been chosen by Transsion, a Chinese provider of smart devices and mobile services, to improve its location services accuracy in emerging markets such as Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Bangladesh and India. The hope is that by deploying HERE network positioning, Transsion will be able to identify accurately the positioning of its devices both indoors and outdoors. For example, Transsion's smartphone users will be able to locate devices, people and objects with greater precision, says HERE. (See Eurobites: Nokia Seals HERE Sale.)

  • Investment firm Helios is looking to make inroads into the digital payments sector in Africa and is in talks with telcos and banks to this end, Bloomberg reports (paywall applies). Helios Co-Founder and Managing Partner Tope Lawani told Bloomberg: "Companies are trying to find ways of letting these [digital payments] units flourish and not essentially be suffocated by the traditional parts of the business."

  • A report by IDC Marketscape has named BT as a "leader" in the European managed security services market, an accolade that, says IDC, reflects BT's "combination of pan-European network assets and proven experience and capabilities in security." But in terms of Europe-based telcos, BT is not out on its own: Orange and Telefónica also appear in the "leader" category.

  • Nokia is supplying a mmWave-based 5G private network to the organizers of the 2022 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Championships, which will be held in October at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines National Velodrome near Paris. The deployment, says Nokia, will facilitate an "immersive digital experience" for the 25,000 or so cycling nuts who are expected to show up over the five days of the event.

  • Telefónica's non-standalone 5G technology is being used to further digitize the industrial processes being carried out at Viscofan's factory in Navarre, Spain, which specializes in casings for meat products (hmmmmm!). According to Telefónica, this is the first example of a Spanish industrial company operating in the food sector to use 5G in this way. During the first phase, Telefónica will deploy 5G infrastructure and connectivity throughout the industrial complex in Cáseda in the 3.5GHz band.

  • A group of leading South African telcos – MTN, Vodacom, Telkom and Cell C among them – have joined forces to establish a non-profit organization, Communication Risk Information Centre (COMRIC), to help carry the fight against those who vandalize and otherwise harm the country's network infrastructure. The group has set up a Critical Infrastructure Monitoring Operations Centre which will work in tandem with the South African police force to tackle the issue.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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