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Cloud Services

Euronews: 'Swiss Cloud' Bubbles Up

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: AlcaLu wants to raise $2.7 billion; BASE goes 4G with ZTE's help; Nokia extends patents agreement with Samsung.

  • Following hard on the heels of Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) in Germany, Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) now claims to be developing a "Swiss Cloud," possibly as a way of protecting itself from the data-spying tendencies of foreign intelligence agencies, reports Reuters. The head of Swisscom's IT services unit, Andreas Koenig, maintains that the plan is driven more by a desire to cut costs, but Switzerland's hosting of highly sensitive -- not to mention questionable -- financial transactions makes online privacy issues particularly important there. Separately, Swisscom has been getting more active in the NFC (near field communication) sector through partnerships with Legic and Kaba, two companies working in the areas of access control and attendance recording: These partnerships mean that Swiss workers will soon be able to clock on with their smartphones. (See Another Day, Another Domestic Spying Revelation, Euronews: French Fury at NSA Snooping, and Swiss Firms Push NFC .)

  • The latest installment of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s Shift Plan sees the vendor announcing its intention to raise more than $2.7 billion from the financial markets through a combination of issuing new bonds, activating a credit facility, and offering new stock. Last week AlcaLu posted encouraging third-quarter financials, with revenues up year-on-year and operating losses narrowed. (See Alcatel-Lucent to Raise $2.7B and Euronews: Alcatel-Lucent Shifts Into Gear.)

  • Belgium's BASE , a subsidiary of KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN), has launched 4G services with the help of ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763)'s Uni-RAN system. The operator can now offer 4G in 15 Belgian cities. (See BASE Launches 4G in Belgium.)

  • As patent wars break out once again with the Rockstar consortium taking on Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has extended its patent license agreement with Samsung Corp. for five years. The new deal will involve Samsung paying Nokia "additional compensation" from January 1, 2014 onwards, with the final amount being settled by arbitration during 2015. (See Nokia, Samsung Extend Patent License Agreement and Rockstar Patent Holders Sue Google & Friends.)

  • Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), which is keen to make its presence felt in Europe's quad-play market, has appointed Graeme Oxby managing director of its European mobile operations, reports Reuters. Oxby was previously a director at Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), which Liberty acquired earlier this year. (See Liberty Makes $23.3B Play for Virgin Media and More M&A for Liberty Global?)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Carol Wilson 11/4/2013 | 12:03:19 PM
    Re: Rise of the NANs (National Area Networks) I was assuming these in-country cloud networks were being established for the data that, by regulation, isn't allowed to traverse the global internet - there's certain financial data, for instance, as well as some health records and government data, thaty may be more efficient in a cloud deployment but has to remain in-country. The NAN - love the name, Ray -- would be the uber-repository for that data and could be the focus of massive security efforts, thus becoming the immediate target for all sorts of hackers, the NSA among them. 
    mendyk 11/4/2013 | 8:26:55 AM
    Re: Rise of the NANs (National Area Networks) Being legally secure is nice, but since most security breaches are outside the law, there doesn't appear to be much to be gained with the Swiss initiative. Not to mention the potential security issues surrounding cloud services in general.
    [email protected] 11/4/2013 | 6:42:38 AM
    Rise of the NANs (National Area Networks) I'm not sure what to make of the national area networks (NANs, as I am calling them) that are being discussed in Germany and Switzerland. Is any network going to be totally secure? And who would use these networks and for what purposes? Without connectivity to the global Internet they'd be of no use to the general public and don't financial institutions already have closed networks?

    It will just provide a new challenge to the NSA...

    Of course, this situation provides an opportunity for theLuddites of the world to start suggesting non-digital communications alternatives that would provide a mpore secure way of sharing information. Sales of quills and ink may be set for surge...
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