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Eurobites: Telekom Srbija turns to Vodafone for procurement and more

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Rwandan LEO satellite rumors; Vivendi/TIM latest; faster speeds in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogoch.

  • State-owned Telekom Srbija is hoping that a sprinkling of Vodafone fairy dust will help it with procurement and more. The two operators have struck a new partnership agreement covering Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which, in the words of Vodafone's press release, will allow Telekom Srbija to "benefit from Vodafone's global knowledge and experience as well as procurement capabilities."

  • The founder of satellite broadband company OneWeb, Greg Wyler, is behind a Rwandan government plan to launch 327,000 low-Earth orbit satellites, according to industry sources cited in a Telegraph report (subscription required). Wyler, who once ran now-defunct operator Rwandatel and founded satellite firm O3B, ended his involvement with OneWeb after it was rescued from bankruptcy by a combination of the UK government and India's Bharti Enterprises. (See Eurobites: OneWeb emerges from Chapter 11, hires new CEO.)

  • Vivendi, the French media giant and major shareholder in Telecom Italia (TIM), is considering installing its CEO, Arnaud de Puyfontaine, as chairman of the Italian operator, according to a Reuters report. In recent months Vivendi has been unhappy with TIM's recent performance and that of its CEO, Luigi Gubitosi.

  • UK network service provider Freshwave has appointed Tom Bennett as its new chief technology officer. Bennett hotfoots it from BT-owned mobile operator EE, where he has been for the last ten years, most recently performing the role of director of partnerships and innovations. Freshwave is part of the Digital Bridge group of companies.

  • South Africa's MTN has expressed an interest in acquiring smaller rival Telkom, according to a Bloomberg report (paywall applies) which cites unnamed sources. Telkom has so far shown no interest in the approach, says the report. Apparently it's not the first time MTN has sniffed around Telkom – it's happened at least twice before.

  • The creation and deployment of banking malware on mobile phones is very much a growth industry, the latest Threat Intelligence Report from Nokia has found. The report, based on data aggregated from network traffic monitored on more than 200 million devices globally, showed an 80%, year-on-year increase in the first half of the year in the number of new banking "trojans," which, among other wheezes, try to steal SMS messages containing one-time passwords. The malware is mainly directed at Android phones, adds the report.

  • Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogoch. It's the longest place name in Europe, dontcha know? And what's more, this unpronounceable Welsh village will soon have better broadband, thanks to a partnership between the local community and Openreach. The improved fiber broadband infrastructure is being enabled by Openreach's Community Fibre Partnership (CFP) program, a scheme intended to help people living and working in rural communities that are not included in any current rollout plans.

    Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogoch: 56 characters – count 'em! (Source: Openreach)
    Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogoch: 56 characters – count 'em!
    (Source: Openreach)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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