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Eurobites: Exponential-e Takes Virgin Atlantic Into the Cloud

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Swisscom's fixed-line challenge; MegaFon on the march in Q2; O2 sees the light; Virgin's fiber-to-the-crater.

  • UK-based data networking and cloud service provider Exponential-e Ltd. has landed a five-year deal to build and manage a global data network for airline Virgin Atlantic, building on its success with another part of Richard Branson's empire, Virgin Holidays. As a Virgin Atlantic "Network Guardian," the network operator will provide the airline with "networking, management, governance, security solutions and cloud connectivity," according to Exponential-e, which last month launched its Cloud Management Platform for integrated multicloud management.

  • Half-year revenue in Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM)'s core domestic business fell by 1.9% year-on-year to 4.4 billion Swiss francs (US$4.42 billion), despite overall group net revenue rising 2% to CHF5.8 billion ($5.83 billion). Fixed-line telephony remains a "challenge" for the operator, with the number of customers in this segment falling by 12.7%, or 252,000. CEO Urs Schaeppi was cheered, however, by the performance of Swisscom TV, which now has 1.5 million customers, its highest number ever. The outlook for the full-year 2018 is unchanged.

  • There was brighter results news at Russia's MegaFon , which reported a 5.1% year-on-year revenue increase in the second quarter, to 81.94 billion Russian rubles ($1.22 billion), and an 11.5% increase in net profit, to RUB6.15 billion ($91.7 million). Mobile subscriber numbers, however, increased by just 0.1% during the quarter, to 77.5 million.

  • Mobile operator Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) has conducted a trial of a technology that uses LED (light-emitting diode) light bulbs to transfer data -- LiFi, if you will. O2 believes the technology could challenge the ubiquity of conventional WiFi and help exploit the potential of 5G. The trial, which took place at the company's headquarters in Slough, west of London, was carried out in partnership with an outfit called PureLiFi. For more details, see this story on our sister site, Telecoms.com.

  • Martin Karlsson is to leave his role as Net Insight AB (Stockholm: NETI-B)'s CTO and VP Product Portfolio at the end of this month to "pursue new opportunities outside of the company," according to a statement from the Swedish media transport company. Karlsson's specific role will cease to exist.

  • British Fibre Networks, a network infrastructure provider that only launched in January of this year, has made a start on its ambition (and it is ambitious) to connect 35% of new-build homes to "pure" fiber by 2020. Working alongside housebuilders, it has begun laying fiber to a new apartment block in north Wales, and says it has more work lined up in nearby Cheshire and Liverpool.

  • Israel is to invest $24 million in its cybersecurity industry over three years to help it maintain its leading position in the sector, Reuters reports. Eligible companies could receive up to 5 million Israeli shekels ($1.35 million) to help fund high-risk R&D. (See Ground-Breaking Tech in Tel Aviv: LR's Israel Tour 2018 and Welcome to Silicon Wadi.)

  • UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is big on speed, using sprint legend Usain Bolt in its ads whenever funds allow. However, it seems Virgin's field engineers may have been trying to work a little too fast, if the workmanship on display in this BBC report is anything to go by. You could say it's a hole new level of service…

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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