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Eurobites: Probe Uncovers Nokia Pay Discrimination

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange reports flat first-half revenues, but fiber progress; O2 data for sale on dark net; Sky buys Chinese soccer, launches Ultra HD in Germany.

  • Three Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) subsidiaries in Finland have been caught paying their foreign workers much less than their Finnish colleagues, reports YLE. The product development workers, from India, China and Poland, were in some cases paid half as much as the Finnish co-workers, picking up as little as €750 ($825) per month. Nokia claims that the anomalies were a result of a "misunderstanding of what items belong to the compensation package" when factors like housing were taken into consideration. The pay investigation, carried out by the State Administrative Agency, relates to the tax year 2014-2015, and Nokia insists that it has changed its employment practices since then.

  • First-half revenues at Orange (NYSE: FTE) edged up 0.3% year-on-year to €20.079 billion, while EBITA fell 0.6% to €5.913 billion. The operator claims that its investment in high-speed broadband is paying off, with 106,000 fiber net additions in France and 197,000 in Spain during the second quarter. On the mobile side, Orange counts 22.7 million 4G customers in Europe, almost double last year's figure. In Africa and the Middle East, mobile growth was hampered by more stringent requirements to verify the identities of customers in certain countries. (See Orange Reports Q2.)

    Table 1: Orange H1 Revenues by Territory (€M)

    2016 2015 (comparable basis) Change (comparable basis
    France 9,376 9,491 -1.2%
    Spain 2,418 2,325 4.0%
    Poland 1,306 1,358 -3.8%
    Belgium & Luxembourg 609 607 0.3%
    Central European countries 798 781 2.2%
    Africa & Middle East 2,516 2,434 3.3%
    Source: Orange

  • Customers of mobile operator Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) are having their data sold on the so-called dark net, according to a BBC report. The data is thought to have been stolen using usernames and passwords gleaned from gaming website XSplit -- a technique called "credential stuffing."

  • The operators' search for sports content to fill their TV channels is unstinting, and now Sky has bagged the rights to the Ping An Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL) for three seasons. The attraction for the UK market? Several players familiar to fans of England's soccer Premier League have been lured by the even bigger bucks and are now playing in China.

  • Live soccer transmission will also provide the lead content for a new Ultra HD channel being launched by Sky Deutschland Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG in the fall, reports Broadband TV News. Other genres of Ultra HD content may follow, subject to the success or otherwise of rights negotiations.

  • New buzz-phrase alert: It's the Internet of Things Dropped From a Great Height (IoTDFaGH). Online retail giant Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has teamed up with the UK government to trial parcel delivery by aerial drone, reports Bloomberg. According to the report, the trial, supervised by the UK's Civil Aviation Authority, will measure the drones' ability to identify and avoid obstacles, among other things. And the comms angle? Users of the service will have to send an email to Amazon asking things like: "My new espresso machine has just killed my neighbor's cat. What's my legal position?"

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    [email protected]
    7/26/2016 | 9:12:43 AM
    Quite simply one of the all time great closing lines....
    If you read nothing else today, read the final item of this Eurobites for a slam-dunk bellylaugh...
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