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Cloud Services

Eurobites: Pound's Plunge Pushes Up Price of Microsoft's Cloud Services in UK

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone launches SME cloud marketplace, trials Massive MIMO; new MTN CEO's start date brought forward; BT boss hits back at rivals over Openreach.

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) has warned that it is jacking up the price of its cloud services in the UK by 22% in the new year as a result of the plunge in the value of the pound. As Reuters reports, it also plans to raise the cost of its enterprise software by 13%. Sterling has fallen 18% against the dollar since the UK's vote to leave the European Union, and several computer makers are already charging more for their wares in Britain.

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has launched a new cloud-based marketplace for applications aimed at small and midsized businesses, initially going live with it in Italy but with plans to extend it to Germany, the UK and South Africa in the near future.

  • In other Vodafone news, the UK-based mobile group has, according to technology partner Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , successfully conducted the first trial of so-called Massive MIMO 2.6GHz TDD in Europe, on its commercial network in Newbury.

  • South Africa's MTN Group Ltd. has announced that Rob Shuter, the prospective new CEO it hired from Vodafone in June, will start in his new role at the carrier three months earlier than originally planned. As Bloomberg reports, Shuter will take up the reins on March 17. The news came as MTN reported its third-quarter results, revealing, among other numbers, that its data traffic rose 142% in the nine months to September.

  • Inmarsat plc (London: ISAT), the satellite communications specialist, has appointed Satcom Direct as a global distribution partner for its new SwiftBroadband-Safety offering, an IP-based service that Inmarsat claims will transform cockpit and aircraft operations through applications such as flight data streaming, also known as "black box in the cloud."

  • Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (NYSE: TKC) is postponing the IPO of its tower unit a matter of days before shares were due to start changing hands, Bloomberg reports. A spate of cyber attacks convinced the company that now was not a good time to attempt the sale.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) CEO Gavin Patterson has dismissed his rivals' demands for the separation of BT from its Openreach network access unit as a "populist message." Speaking in a Financial Times interview (subscription required), Patterson said that now wasn't the time to "do radical things," pointing out that the enforcement of a similar separation in Australia has proved massively expensive and of questionable value. (See BT, Ofcom & the Battle of Britain.)

  • Telefónica has landed the contract to upgrade the digital infrastructure of Meliá Group, which owns hotels around the world. The agreement runs to the provision of a set of cloud-based "plug and play" services.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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