Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone and IBM cloud JV climbs aboard the National Express; InterDigital files patent action against Lenovo; Ericsson and Nokia up the 5G R&D stakes.
UK-based Colt Technology Services has teamed up with Google to enable enterprises using its Dedicated Cloud Access (DCA) offering to connect up to the Google Cloud across Europe, Asia and the US. Colt's brand of "on demand networking" is intended to allow organizations to vary their bandwidth requirements and bypass traditional service delivery processes and lead times. The move makes sense as more and more enterprise users adopt a multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategy.
In other off-premises news, Vodafone Business and IBM's joint cloud venture has found another customer in the form of National Express, the UK-based coach operator that runs public transport services in eight countries. The eight-year deal covers the provision of cloud and digital services. For those unfamiliar with the National Express brand, think Greyhound Buses but without the romance. This explanatory video may help…
InterDigital, the US-based communications and video technology R&D specialist, has filed a patent infringement action in the UK against device manufacturer Lenovo. InterDigital says the claim has been filed after "after almost a decade of negotiations and after InterDigital has made clear that it is willing to have an impartial panel of arbitrators determine fair, reasonable and on discriminatory (FRAND) terms and conditions for a license to InterDigital's standards-essential patents (SEPs)." Patent-holders taking legal action against manufacturers is commonplace, but the big surprise here is that this is the first time InterDigital has initiated patent litigation in more than six years.
Ericsson and Nokia have been pumping additional funds into their R&D programs as the 5G race heats up and as Huawei continues to come under geopolitical pressure. See this analysis from our sister site, Telecoms.com.
Hutchison Drei Austria is trumpeting its number-one placing in an evaluation of network performance carried out by Tutela across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Among other feathers in its cap, the operator achieved the highest average 3G/4G download speed of 27.6 Mbit/s. Chinese vendor ZTE has been working with Hutchison Drei Austria since 2010 and, understandably, has been very keen to highlight the operator's service performance achievements.
Swisscom has got into a minor pickle with its email system as a result of customers and customer advisers entering what they thought were fictitious email addresses but which turned out to be actual email addresses of other people. In one of Swisscom's customer systems, 39 email addresses were found to wrongly assigned, leading to the wrong people receiving marketing material, information on bills or order confirmations (without hilarious consequences). The operator says it has not received any indication that the misdirected information has been misused.
Orange has issued a new set of bonds worth €2.5 billion in total, across three tranches: a seven-year 0.0% €750 million bond; a 13-year 0.5% €1 billion bond; and a 30-year 1.375% €750 million bond.
Over now to sports sponsorship corner. Vodafone has announced itself the "Official Communication Partner" of the Porsche Motorsport when the carmaker enters the 2019/2020 ABB FIA Formula E (for electric cars) Championship, slapping its giant quotemark on the cars and the drivers' uniforms. Meanwhile, Belgian operator Proximus is nailing its sponsorship colors to the mast of women's sport, lending its support to the Alphamotorhomes Cycling Team and the "World At Our Feet Plan" of the Belgian Football Association. It may not be a coincidence that Proximus's CEO, Dominique Leroy, is a woman.
Correction - Drei Austria item Tutela has been in touch to tell us that there were some inaccuracies in the item on Drei Austria, which came about largely because of how the study's findings were presented in a ZTE press release. Drei did not, in fact, come first in an evaluation across Germany, Austria and Switzerland - by speed, Swisscom did, and by Excellent Consistent Quality, Sunrise came top. Apologies for any confusion caused.