Eurobites: EU launches twin-pronged probe into its use of cloud services

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia lands security services gig at T-Mobile Netherlands; MTN Rwanda opts for Whale Cloud's BSS; CityFibre and Giganet extend their partnership.

  • The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), a European Union body, has opened two investigations into the use of cloud services by EU institutions in the light of the "Schrems II" judgement of July 2020. The investigations are intended to ensure that international data transfers by the EU and its agencies are carried out according to EU data protection law, particularly where US-based cloud services are concerned – in this case those run by Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. In a press release, the EDPS said that its analysis found that EU agencies "increasingly rely on cloud-based software and cloud infrastructure or platform services from large ICT providers, of which some are based in the US and are therefore subject to legislation that, according to the 'Schrems II' Judgement, allows disproportionate surveillance activities by the US authorities." The "Schrems II" judgement derives from the labors of Max Schrems, an Austrian data privacy activist who has long been a thorn in the side of the US tech giants. (See Privacy activist takes on Google over Android tracker, Eurobites: Privacy Champion Slams Web Giants Over GDPR Tactics, Eurobites: Privacy Shield Gets EU Go-Ahead and It's time for telecom to worry about the public cloud.)

  • T-Mobile Netherlands has chosen Nokia to supply managed security services, and will use the Finnish vendor's NetGuard Audit Compliance Manager software to improve its compliance and minimize risks. Nokia will also modernize the operator's optical network by consolidating its existing Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) networks into one new core and aggregation network that covers the entire country.

  • China's Whale Cloud is on the hook for MTN Rwanda's business support system (BSS) software needs, supplying the African operator with real-time billing and customer relationship management software.

  • UK broadband provider Giganet is extending its partnership with CityFibre to provide full-fiber services across 27 of CityFibre's city and town networks, covering 1.8 million homes. Giganet, which has recently announced the completion of a £250 million (US$353 million) funding round, has been offering its gigabit packages to residents in the southern coastal city of Portsmouth over CityFibre's network since the start of the year.

  • Orange Ventures, the VC arm of French telecom giant Orange, has launched a €30 million ($36.6 million) investment vehicle dedicated to funding startups working in the fields of the environment, inclusion and so-called "caretech." The new vehicle will target young European startups in their seed stage or with proven development potential, initially investing between €750,000 ($915,000) and €3 million ($3.6 million) in each round of financing.

  • London-based Community Fibre is launching what it calls "a COVID-19 recovery service package" for new customers on welfare benefits from the UK government. The 10Mbit/s service has no data cap and costs £10 ($14.13) per month on a year-long contract.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) has teamed up with the University of Rome to create a Communication and Digital Media Academy that will offer courses for those working or wanting to work in the digital communications sector.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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