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Eurobites: Euskatel goes nationwide under Virgin brand

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: top BT execs do the decent thing; TIM, Google collaborate on cloud services; Colt appoints new CEO.

  • Euskatel, the Spanish telco with its roots in the Basque region, has begun a program of national expansion under the Virgin brand. It aims to reach the 85% of the Spanish market which it doesn't yet serve and offer services to 18.4 million homes under its new flag, more than doubling its current fixed services customer base to over 1.5 million and tripling its number of mobile contracts – to more than 3 million – by the end of 2025. The Virgin telco brand will coexist with Euskatel's three established brands (Euskaltel, Telecable and R), which will continue to offer services in each of their respective regions.

  • Two BT bigwigs are to waive their cash bonuses for the next two years in a move that it hopes will mollify investors aggrieved at the suspension of their dividend from the UK incumbent telco, Sky News reports. CEO Philip Jansen and CFO Simon Lowth will have to struggle on without their combined £2.2 million (US$2.7 million) in combined bonus payments. Jansen, to be fair, had already announced in April that he would donate his salary for six months to the National Health Service and to local small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. (See BT stock plumbs new depths on dividend cut, lack of visibility.)

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) has teamed up with Google to provide cloud services to Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo. The collaboration will, it is hoped, culminate in the creation of two Google Cloud Regions, one in Turin and the other in Milan, using TIM data centers.

  • UK-based Colt Technology Services has named Keri Gilder as its new CEO. Gilder, the current chief commercial officer, replaces Carl Grivner, who has decided to step down after five years with the company.

    Keri Gilder
    Keri Gilder

  • Cable operator Virgin Media has hitched up 34,000 homes in the North London borough of Barnet to its FTTP network as part of its Project Lightning broadband rollout. Virgin is promising average top speeds of 516 Mbit/s.

  • Telefónica UK, which trades as O2, is burnishing its green credentials by announcing a tie-up with Klyk, a startup that sets out to help businesses make better environmental choices by "supplying technology in a more sustainable way," which can mean making more use of recycled devices.

  • It's not all about the Zooming. New research from fixed-line provider TalkTalk reveals that old-school calls made via landline phones in the UK have increased by 50% during the coronavirus lockdown as Brits keep in touch with their loved ones using a method that doesn't involve browser links, passwords or pre-ordained start times.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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