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Eurobites: Ericsson Seeks Jail for RCom Chairman Over Unpaid Debt

Paul Rainford
1/7/2019
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Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: landlines dying a slow death in the UK; ARM boss takes home £22 million; Israeli V2X specialist lands Samsung deal; Teleste upgrades Telenet's HFC.

  • Ericsson has lost patience with India's Reliance Communications Ltd. (RCom), and has filed its second contempt petition against the operator's chairman, Anil Ambani, asking that he be jailed in a "civil prison" and be barred from travelling overseas. As the Economic Times reports, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is chasing Ambani for payment of a 550 crore rupees ($79 million) debt, a payment for which Ambani has already issued a personal guarantee in court. For its part, RCom has initiated contempt proceedings against India's Department of Telecommunications, claiming that the authority's delaying of a spectrum sale has robbed it of funds with which to pay the Swedish vendor its missing millions. For more on this, see this story on our sister site, Telecoms.com.

  • New research from UK telecom regulator Ofcom has confirmed what we already know: The use of landlines for voice calls is becoming a niche activity favored largely by the elderly, like, say, winter swimming. Brits in total now spend half as much time gabbing on the landline as they did six years ago (54 billion minutes versus 103 billion minutes), while the use of mobile data has skyrocketed (1.9 gigabytes a month versus 0.2 gigabytes). And it doesn't seem to be purely about technology: Some younger folk now appear to be nervous about making, you know, an actual call. One 18-year-old quoted in Ofcom's research says: "Calling someone is a bit daunting. It's much easier and quicker to WhatsApp my friends." Which prompts the question: Is it time for the reintroduction of national service?

  • Feeling the pinch in the post-holiday period? Simon Segars probably isn't. As the Daily Telegraph reports, the CEO of chip designer ARM Ltd. took home a £22 million ($28 million) pay packet for the year ending March 2018, his share of £35.3 million ($45 million) pocketed collectively by ARM's directors for the period. Japan's SoftBank Corp. paid $32 billion for ARM Ltd. in 2016 but promised at the time that it would not interfere with how the UK-based company went about its business. (See Eurobites: SoftBank Gives ARM a Free Hand.)

  • Israel's Autotalks, a specialist in chipsets for the V2X (vehicle-to-everything) market, has been chosen by Samsung Corp. subsidiary Harman to provide the guts for Harman's telematics platform, which is being demonstrated at this week's CES show in Las Vegas. The demo will show a vehicle communicating with a motorcycle using cellular V2X (C-V2X) technology.

  • Belgian cable operator Telenet has awarded an HFC upgrade contract to Finland's Teleste Corp. Under the terms of the deal, Teleste will supply optical transmitters from its HDO product range and optical nodes from its AC product range, enabling the delivery of new broadband services using the DOCSIS 3.1 standard.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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