Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: One Touch Switch pushed back till September; Nokia launches Corteca toolkit; management changes at Telia and Hyperoptic.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

March 13, 2024

3 Min Read
Two businessmen shaking hands on a deal
(Source: Old Visuals/Alamy Stock Photo)
  • Following its green light from the European Commission last month after two years of talks, the proposed merger between Orange's Spanish unit and rival operator MásMóvil has now been given the go-ahead by Spain's government. The new entity will become the largest operator in Spain in terms of customer numbers, with more than 30 million mobile and around 7.3 million fixed customers served. As Reuters reports, Spain's Digital Transformation Minister, Jose Luis Escriva, described the industrial plan laid out by the newly enlarged company as "truly ambitious." The deal is valued at €18.6 billion (US$20.1 billion).

  • The go-live date for One Touch Switch, a multi-operator scheme intended to make it easier for UK mobile customers to switch networks, has been pushed back again, this time until September 12, 2024. The original deadline had been set for April 2023, but this was pushed back until March 14, 2024. In December, the One Touch Switch Company (TOTSCo) admitted that the March date was no longer achievable. Communications regulator Ofcom criticized the delays, saying that they have "ultimately caused customers to lose out on the benefits of a quicker and more effective switching process." Price-comparison website Uswitch also chipped in, describing the consumer impact of the delays as "significant," adding that "without a simpler cross-network switching process, it's harder for consumers to consider their choices and leave for better options when price rises hit."

  • Nokia has introduced a Corteca developer toolkit, Corteca being Nokia's Wi-Fi boosting home connectivity software suite. According to the Finnish vendor, the new toolkit will help developers reduce the time and cost of creating new applications for the Corteca Marketplace, a catalog of revenue-generating applications built for the software platform.

  • There are management changes afoot at Nordic operator Telia, with Markus Messerer, its senior vice president and chief strategy and commercial officer, leaving the company to, in the time-honored phrase, "pursue opportunities outside the company." Messerer has been a member of Telia's group executive management team since December 2020. Petr Cermak, who will step down as Telia Denmark's CEO when it is taken over by Norlys in early April, will temporarily take on what was Messerer's role.

  • UK altnet Hyperoptic has brought in Caroline Rider as its new director of residential broadband. Rider's previous experience includes a spell as head of commercial at Smarty, Three's youth-oriented mobile brand.

  • Belgium's Proximus is to start distributing a new TV Box, which comes with integrated Wi-Fi 6 technology and, claims the operator, consumes up to 40% less energy than its predecessors. Initially, the new box will be given to new customers, but gradually older models belonging to existing customers will also be replaced by the latest model free of charge.

  • The UK government is talking up a £1.1 billion ($1.4 billion) package of funding that it says will be used to train more than 4,000 students in areas such as 6G and quantum computing at 65 new Centres for Doctoral Training. Almost half of the funding for the project will come from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

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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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