Eurobites: Colt buys Lumen's EMEA business for $1.8B

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Belgian cable maneuvers; Capgemini joins open RAN project; TikTok dips into European data.

  • UK-based Colt Technology Services has agreed to buy Lumen's EMEA business for $1.8 billion in a deal that is expected to close in late 2023, subject to the usual approvals. In a statement, Lumen President and CEO Jeff Storey said: "This transaction would enhance our focus so we can invest more efficiently in our most strategic opportunities – our key Enterprise and Quantum Fiber initiatives – and partner with regional leaders like Colt in Europe and Cirion in Latin America to continue serving our multinational enterprise customers." For Colt, the proposed deal would extend its reach "across existing and new geographies," said CEO Keri Gilder.

  • Telenet, the Belgian cable operator owned by Liberty Global, is in talks with Orange over gaining network access to VOO, a Wallonia-based rival to Telenet, which Orange is planning to acquire, Reuters reports.

  • Capgemini has joined the UK government-backed SONIC (SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre) Labs program to explore the potential of open RAN technology. SONIC is a two-year program intended to allow new providers to enter the telecom supply chain in the UK.

  • Amsterdam-based VEON, which earlier this week announced plans to pull out of Russia, saw third-quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) remain flat year-on-year, at $889 million, on revenues that climbed 3.6%, to $2.07 billion. The company said that it had managed to keep around 90% of its Ukrainian radio network operational at quarter end, though it admitted that recent damage to Ukrainian power infrastructure has had an impact on network availability.

  • Work on a 5G private network pilot at the Port of Duisburg in Germany has begun, with Deutsche Telekom equipping the Logport I port site with its own 5G campus network for the project. The hope is that 5G-driven automation will increase the capacity of the cranes, which in turn would increase container turnover, without the port having to add extra floorspace.

  • UK cable operator Virgin Media has agreed a multi-year distribution deal with Paramount that will see the Paramount+ streaming service appear on Virgin TV in 2023. Under the terms of the new deal, Pluto TV will also gain wider UK distribution on Virgin Media's TV360 and Stream services.

  • Chinese-owned TikTok has revealed that it allows "certain employees" in such far-flung, non-European locations as Brazil, Canada and China remote access to European users' data, while simultaneously stressing that the company is committed to "limiting the number of employees with access to European user data, minimizing data flows outside of the region, and storing European user data locally." The apparent paradox comes in an update to TikTok's privacy policy, which itself is part of a stated strategy of greater transparency on the part of the video-sharing giant.

  • Vodafone is encouraging its customers to donate their smartphones' processing power to a project that plans to help tackle climate change by modeling millions of virtual tropical cyclones. Those behind the DreamLab project say the resulting data will help scientists and the public understand the risk of cyclones on communities, and how climate change is worsening their effect around the world.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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