Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: AlcaLu takes to the skies; Ericsson trials WiFi in Turkey; Vodafone fears cost of TV content.
Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF)’s Global Services division is offering enterprise users a secure IP/MPLS connection to select Equinix Cloud Exchange data centers in Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America, which in turn provide direct access to multiple clouds and multiple networks. The move will help Telefonica’s enterprise customers source cloud services from multiple providers, including Amazon Web Services Inc. , Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud Platform, that have signed up to the Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) program. (See Telefónica Offers Secure Line to Equinix Cloud Exchange and Cloud Exchange Gathering Steam.)
Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has teamed up with satellite operator Inmarsat plc (London: ISAT) to develop a network that can deliver high-speed broadband services to air passengers. Scheduled to enter commercial service by the end of 2016, the network would be based on LTE technology and consist of an S-band satellite and a Europe-wide S-band ground network. The project partners are promising downlink speeds of up to 75 Mbit/s.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has carried out a test of its WiFi offload solution, dubbed Real Time Traffic Steering, over Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (NYSE: TKC)'s network. The live trial, carried out in an Istanbul shopping mall, allowed users to be steered between Turkcell's 3G network and WiFi, depending on what worked best. Real Time Traffic Steering constantly assesses key performance indicators in both networks before shifting the user's smartphone connection.
Meanwhile, in another part of its empire, Ericsson has seen its Converged Wallet mobile money offering deployed by MTN Uganda, which has 7 million subscribers making use of phone-based financial services.
Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA), which is now controlled by Mexico's Carlos Slim, may have to set aside up to €40 million (US$50 million) to cover the consequences of a European court ruling on the pay and pensions of thousands of its staff who are still classed as public sector workers. Reuters reports that more than half of Telekom Austria's 9,000 employees are on public sector contracts, and the Court of Justice ruling will determine how their annual pay increases are calculated.
Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) CEO Vittorio Colao has admitted that the operator may find itself having to bid for TV rights to ensure it has the sort of exclusive, quality content to help it compete with TV offerings from the likes of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), reports the Financial Times (subscription required). Vodafone has said it will launch its own fixed broadband and pay-TV services in the UK in 2015. (See Eurobites: Vodafone Unveils UK Quad-Play Plans.)
Telekom Slovenia, the state-owned operator that was put up for sale by the government last year, has seen its nine-month group net profit fall 19% year-on-year to €37.7 million ($47.3 million), reports Reuters.
The European Court of Justice has issued a ruling on the patent battle between Chinese rivals Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763), which centers on ZTE's use of Huawei's patented LTE software in the basestations it sells in Germany. The court has ruled that it is down to the national regulator to decide on this particular case, but that in future such cases, which revolve around a "standard-essential patent" (SEP), require the holder of the SEP to alert the offending company to the infringement and present it with a written offer of a license on FRAND terms, before seeking an injunction. (See Euronews: ZTE Gets One Over Huawei.)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading