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Security

Eurobites: Telefónica goes large on cybersecurity

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia pledges to cut power consumption of 5G basestations; St Patrick's Day fun with machine-learning algorithms; Sky's Now no longer has a TV.

  • Telefónica's cybersecurity arm, Telefónica Tech, has launched a new, global cybersecurity services arm, NextDefense, which it is pitching to large enterprises to help them cope with the threat of cyber attacks in the post-pandemic (oh yeah?) era. NextDefense appears to be a repackaging of existing security products from Telefónica, integrating, in the words of the operator, "Vulnerability Risk Management, Cyber Threat Intelligence and Managed Detection and Response into a single solution."

  • Nokia has committed to halving the average power consumption of its AirScale 5G mMIMO basestation by 2023. It plans to achieve this through software improvements and new mMIMO product variants based on its latest SoCs. The vendor claims that in recent tests, which took place on a live commercial network, the power consumption for its 5G mMIMO BTS site was "double-digit percentage points" lower than that of its nearest competitor.

  • Today is St Patrick's Day, and, as the pubs aren't open, the day is being marked by the launch of a new transatlantic research partnership between two telecom testbeds – OpenIreland at the Connect Centre in Trinity College Dublin and Cosmos in New York City. The two organizations will physically connect, and the data generated from the testbeds will be used to develop machine-learning algorithms which could help in the creation of more reliable and sustainable networks. A yard of Guinness might be more fun though…

  • Now TV, the contract-free streaming service sold by Sky, has, like the hotel-trashing rock star of yesteryear, thrown out the TV in a radical rebranding exercise that leaves it simply as: Now. The new name apparently "reflects how brilliant simplicity meets brilliant entertainment." Oh, and what were "passes" have now become "membership." Branding guys, you totally nailed it.

  • Nordic operator Tele2 has issued a ten-year, €300 million bond on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, the proceeds of which will be used to refinance existing debt and for "general corporate purposes."

  • Uber, the company behind the eponymous, smartphone-based ride-hailing service, has finally done the decent thing for its 70,000 UK drivers and pledged to give them a guaranteed minimum wage, paid holiday and a pension. As the BBC reports, Uber's announcement comes a month after it lost its legal battle in the Supreme Court, when its drivers were reclassified as "workers" rather as self-employed sole traders, which was Uber's preferred designation. However, Uber will still only pay drivers for when they are actually driving on a job, and not for the time they are sitting waiting for that job to come through.

  • Finnish operator DNA is on the hunt for a new CEO as the current incumbent, Jukka Leinonen, has been appointed head of Telenor Group's Nordic Cluster full time from autumn 2021. Leinonen has been doing the cluster thing on a part-time basis since 2019.

  • Virgin Media, the UK cable operator that is part of the Liberty Global empire, has connected up an additional 3,500 homes in Hackney, east London, to its FTTP network, bringing average top speeds of more than a gigabit within the reach of those households – 17 times faster than the local average, according to Ofcom figures cited by Virgin.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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