Eurobites: Telefónica fires four cybersecurity execs over suspected fraud

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: network worries hit TIM's share price; telco bigwigs join European Green Digital Coalition; Rain reveals wider 5G ambitions.

  • Telefónica has fired the head of its cybersecurity unit, ElevenPaths, and three of his subordinates over alleged fraud, according to a report in Spanish newspaper El Pais. Pedro Pablo Pérez, Alicia Hurtado, Miguel Fernández Pavía and another unidentified executive received their marching orders last month as part of an investigation into suspected irregularities in the way suppliers were dealt with.

  • Comments by ministers this week over the future of the single broadband network plan in Italy appear to have dented investor confidence in Telecom Italia (TIM): Reuters reports that shares in TIM fell 5% Friday morning on the Milan exchange. The Italian government has been looking to create a national network through a complicated deal involving TIM, Open Fiber, CDP and Enel, but the whole enterprise seems to have rather lost its way. (See Telecom Italia desperate to control Italy's only fiber network.)

  • Bosses from 13 European telecom companies have joined 13 CEOs from the ICT sector to become founding members of the European Green Digital Coalition and pledging to make their companies "climate neutral" by 2040 at the latest. All the big names in European telecom are represented in the list, apart from one obvious absentee: BT. The full declaration by the 26 companies can be viewed here.

  • Rain, the South African data-only network, has revealed plans to become a full-service mobile operator and roll out more than 2,000 5G towers across the larger metropolitan areas of the country over the next few years. Rain was the first of South Africa's network operators to launch 5G, back in 2019.

  • Saudi Telecom Company (STC) is to grant all its employees who get themselves vaccinated against COIVD-19 two days' additional leave as part of a drive to raise "social immunity levels." The leave will be granted to anyone who receives their first dose of the vaccine before June 2021.

  • CityFibre, the ever-busy UK alternative network provider, has done a deal with Thirteen Group, a socially conscious housing provider based in the north-eastern town of Middlesbrough. Around 12,500 Thirteen Group customers could initially benefit from the fiber rollout. The project will continue over a number of years and will extend beyond Middlesbrough to surrounding areas.

  • For those Brits who are currently beyond the reach of fiber, mobile operator Three has reduced the prices on some of its 4G/5G home broadband packages, with monthly prices now starting at £17 (was £22) for the 4G variant, with unlimited data, and £24 (was £29) for the 5G version.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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