Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Tele2 earnings; UK and US sign AI safety agreement; Nokia's HR boss departs; Telefónica taps Tenable.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

April 2, 2024

2 Min Read
BT engineer at work
(Source: BT)
  • Openreach, BT's semi-autonomous network access arm, is lobbying the opposition Labour Party for regulation that could enable Openreach to replace its legacy copper cables in multi-dwelling units (MDUs) with fiber without having to seek the permission of the building's landlord, according to a Financial Times report (paywall applies). Openreach CEO Clive Selley told the FT that the existing process of obtaining wayleave agreements was "painful" and that it could "easily double the cost" of providing fiber to a small apartment block. The problem, said Selley, was often being unable to contact the landlord to arrange for the work to be carried out. But a government spokesperson said that giving network operators the right to enter MDUs without the permission of the landlord would "adversely impact" the rights of the property owner and the building's residents. Current polling suggests that the Labour Party will come into power in the next General Election.

  • Nordic operator Tele2 notched up full-year EBITDAaL (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, after leases) of 10.41 billion Swedish kronor (US$967 million) in 2023, a rise of 2% on 2022 in organic terms. Revenue also increased 2% year-over-year, to SEK29.1 billion ($2.7 billion). A strong performance on its home turf and in the Baltics was the primary growth driver, said the company, while net profit was boosted by a capital gain of SEK1.59 billion ($147 million) from the divestment of T-Mobile Netherlands.

  • Fountain pens were brandished and polite smiles were smiled yesterday (Monday) as the UK and the US signed an agreement to develop tests for artificial intelligence (AI) models that will help make the all-conquering tech a friend of humanity rather than an out-of-control job destroyer prone to hallucinations. (Good luck with that.) The agreement follows a much-trumpeted AI Safety Summit hosted by the UK government in London last November.

  • Telefónica Tech is looking to bolster its range of cybersecurity services for business through the integration of Tenable's exposure management platform.

  • Nokia's chief people officer, Amy "HR" Hanlon-Rodemich, is to leave the company. Lorna Gibb, Nokia's vice president for labor and employment, will assume Hanlon-Rodemich's role on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found.

  • Telia is hoping to reach 2.2 million people through its digital inclusion initiative by 2026, having already reached around 1.4 million since the program started in 2021. The program is focused on building digital skills among seniors, children, immigrants, women and those working in small businesses.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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