Eurobites: EU common-charger deadline pushed back (a bit)

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT chooses Nokia for network monitoring; Equinox 2 puts the cat among the altnet pigeons; better identity verification for business.

  • The EU has given device makers a little more time to comply with its demand for a common – USB-C type – charging port, the BBC reports. Previously, Brussels had decreed that portable devices such as smartphones and tablets would have to comply with the new law by "autumn 2024." But the exact date, which has just entered the EU's Official Journal, now turns out to be December 28, 2024. The European Commission introduced the new law in a bid to cut down on the mountains of electronic waste partly caused by a lack of product compatibility. (See EU to phonemakers: Come up with common charger.)

    (Source: Andrey Kuzmin/Alamy Stock Photo)
    (Source: Andrey Kuzmin/Alamy Stock Photo)

  • BT has chosen to go with Nokia's AVA Analytics software for the monitoring of its fixed network, signing a five-year deal with the Finnish vendor. The software will be integrated into Nokia's "dashboard" offering, Homeview, which BT's roughly 6,000 call center agents use to get an overview of the network, from individual subscribers to devices.

  • More controversially, BT has sent its new Equinox 2 wholesale broadband pricing proposals to the UK's communications regulator so they can be consulted upon. BT's fiber rivals have expressed more than a little concern about the proposals, which they believe are designed to undercut them unfairly. Responding in prepared statements to today's announcement by BT, CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch said that BT/Openreach is "exhibiting a series of behaviours straight out of the playbook of a dominant operator using its market power and advantages to maintain its dominance," while Virgin Media O2 CEO Lutz Schüler was a little more circumspect, saying only that "it's vital that these wholesale pricing proposals are thoroughly scrutinised to ensure Openreach is not using its market power and dominance to lock in providers and deter them from switching to other networks." Independent analyst Paolo Pescatore said that while Equinox "feels more like tweaks" it "will still raise eyebrows," and rivals will feel like Openreach is "trying to use its market dominance by locking in providers for longer."

  • OneWeb, the low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband provider co-owned by the UK government and India's Bharti Global, has ordered 10,000 LEO terminals, complete with electronically steered antenna, to enable networking services for enterprise and government customers.

  • The Switzerland-based Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (Eurobites loves their early stuff) has announced what it says are the first publicly available trials of a new range of organization identity services that are intended to help the telecom industry overcome the problem of fraudulent cold calls/robocalls from bad dudes purporting to be from an upstanding company. The services draw on the foundation's new verifiable LEI (vLEI) model of digital identity and are offered by the first newly qualified vLEI issuer, Provenant.

  • Users of the iPhone 14 in France, Germany, Ireland and the UK can now connect with the emergency services via satellite when cellular and Wi-Fi coverage are not available. The service was already available in the US.

  • Swedish operator Tele2 has landed a network services deal with fuel company OKQ8, with the focus on what Tele2 describes as SD-WAN-based "climate-smart total solutions." Part of the agreement sees Tele2 helping OKQ8 recycle its electronic waste more.

  • South Africa's MTN has turned to Telecoming, a Spanish company specializing in sport and entertainment monetization software, to help it better monetize its digital services in 21 African countries.

  • Truespeed, a broadband provider based in Bath, UK, has teamed up with Linksys to beef up its Wi-Fi technology. Truespeed customers will be able to use Linksys' Wi-Fi 6 router to enjoy improved Wi-Fi performance and other benefits, such as additional parental controls and being able to provide guest Wi-Fi for up to 50 people.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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