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Eurobites: Genish Versus Elliott Gets Personal

Paul Rainford
11/21/2018
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Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Alfa deploys Nokia's 4.5G tech; TalkTalk ups sticks, sets up fiber rollout arm; Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson provide campus network for Osram.

  • Amos Genish, recently ousted from his job as Telecom Italia (TIM) CEO, has lashed out at shareholder Elliott Management during an interview with the UK's Telegraph newspaper, describing Elliott boss Paul Singer as a "raider" who lied about his intentions. Singer promised in April that he would not push for a break-up of Telecom Italia only to reverse his position after Elliott had managed to win control of the operator's board, Genish claims. Earlier this week, Telecom Italia named Luigi Gubitosi as Genish's replacement. Gubitosi is understood to be in favor of selling Telecom Italia's fixed-line infrastructure and merging this with Open Fiber, a state-backed operator building a nationwide fiber-optic network, while Genish reportedly thinks Telecom Italia must retain control of the infrastructure business. Genish has the backing of rival shareholder Vivendi, which is now considering a legal challenge to overturn the decision to sack him, according to Telegraph report. (See Telecom Italia Caught in Clash of Clans While Rome Burns and Telecom Italia Appoints New CEO.)

  • Lebanese operator Alfa is to deploy Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s "4.5G Pro" technology using the vendor's AirScale radio platform after what is described as a successful try-out. The deployment will allow Alfa to introduce Gigabit LTE speeds for its subscribers, and is being presented as a stepping stone to the introduction of 5G services at a later date.

  • UK broadband provider TalkTalk has set up a new company, FibreNation, to, as its name suggests, roll out new fiber infrastructure. The first three towns to get the FibreNation treatment will be Harrogate, Ripon and Knaresborough, all of them in the English county of North Yorkshire. This rollout, reaching more than 100,000 premises, builds upon TalkTalk's earlier full fiber trial in nearby York.

    TalkTalk is also following in the footsteps of several other large companies by moving its headquarters out of London and into cheaper premises further north, in this case Salford, a suburb of Manchester. The move represents TalkTalk's second investment in Salford -- the company opened an office there in 2017. TalkTalk says it will help employees relocate, but as Salford is more than 200 miles from the capital, it seems likely that not everyone will want to up sticks.

    Both the above announcements were made as TalkTalk releases its half-yearly (of fiscal full-year 2019) trading update, which saw statutory revenue decline 0.6% to £822 million (US$1.05 billion) but EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) rise to £101 million ($129.3 million), from £75 million ($96 million) in the year-earlier period. The outlook for headline EBITDA for the full year remains in line with expectations.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) have joined forces to provide an LTE-based "campus network" for Osram, the manufacturer of light bulbs and more. Campus networks provide enhanced connectivity for a defined local area, in this case Osram's Schwabmünchen factory.

  • Abraham Foss, currently CEO of Telia Norway, has been confirmed as the CEO of the larger Telia Norway that will include TDC Norway and GET, once Telia 's acquisition of the two companies completes in the first quarter of 2019. Gunnar Evensen, CEO of GET, has decided to leave his position at his own request.

  • Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MSI) has landed the contract to deliver what it says is the UK's first cloud-based police control room. It has been awarded the contract by security company G4S, on behalf of the Lincolnshire Police, who will use Motorola's CommandCentral Control Room Solution to help carry out their duties.

  • New figures from UK telecom regulator Ofcom show that while smartphones, smart TVs, DAB radios and connected wearables are still growing in popularity, it's not such good news for desktop PCs, MP3 players and DVD players, which are all becoming scarcer in the nation's households. Seventy-eight percent of UK households now own a smartphone, compared to just 17% in 2008, while 42% own a smart TV, compared to 5% in 2012. For more numbers, see the graphic below.

    Source: Ofcom
    Source: Ofcom

  • In a heroic display of solidarity with our US colleagues, Eurobites will be taking a break tomorrow (Thursday) for Thanksgiving, but will return on Friday, unless we see any really cheap consumer electronics up for grabs.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    GypsumFantastic
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    GypsumFantastic,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    11/22/2018 | 8:54:08 AM
    police cloud
    Regarding the cloud-based police control room, is that so they can do even more monitoring of tweets and comments on social media or will it be used to help tackle real crime?
    GypsumFantastic
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    GypsumFantastic,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    11/22/2018 | 8:51:41 AM
    minor fact check
    TalkTalk Salford is their 'HQ North', London is 'HQ South'. It's the existing Salford HQ the roles will likely be relocated to, not a different office.
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