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Eurobites: Is it a farewell to Arm for SoftBank?

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telia Carrier lands Norway interconnect gig; Vodafone Ireland uses Enea for mobile video; another fine mesh from Wyld Networks.

  • UK chip designer Arm, bought by SoftBank four years ago for $32 billion, could be on the block again, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal (paywall applies). The report says that SoftBank is exploring various options, including a full or partial sale or an IPO. SoftBank has found it hard going lately, recently confirming plans to reduce its 24% stake in T-Mobile US as part of its efforts to fund a $41 billion share buyback and debt reduction plan. A disastrous investment in office-sharing startup WeWork was largely responsible for SoftBank's balance-sheet woes. (See Arm drops IoT; leg-up for IPO?, SoftBank's bleedin' (and Ma's not alright) and Power struggle at Arm might mean giving China the elbow.)

  • The Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom) has chosen Telia Carrier to establish a new secure route for data between Norway and the rest of the world. Currently, most Internet traffic from Norway follows two paths through neighboring Sweden, and Nkom wanted an alternative in case connections through Sweden are affected by serious incidents. The new route will run from the Norwegian capital, Oslo, via Kristiansand to Esbjerg in Denmark, where it will connect into the wider Telia Carrier pan-European network. The new route will include two new point-of-presence locations, both owned by Bulk Infractructure, which has begun planning the new Havil subsea cable between Kristiansand and northern Denmark, with a view to having the system ready for service by the end of 2021.

  • Sweden's Enea is keen to tell the world that Vodafone Ireland has been using its Openwave Traffic Management software for several months now to deliver a better video experience for its mobile customers. The software, says Enea, helps address the issues caused by different video encryption protocols, enabling transparent classification of encrypted traffic flows to balance picture and playback video quality in real time.

  • Wyld Networks, based in Cambridge, UK, has launched Wyld Mesh and Fusion, a new mobile mesh networking technology and content delivery platform. The technology connects smartphones directly to other smartphones using the device-to-device capability of P2P Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built into both Android and iPhones, and is being pitched by Wyld as both a marketing tool – for delivering "relevant" content to potential customers in contexts such as major sporting events and music festivals (remember those?) – or as an aid to businesses wanting to return to work safely, creating "virtual geozones" to manage access to buildings and restricted areas and delivering location-aware messaging and safety information.

  • Not content with becoming a bank, France-based Orange has now become an insurance broker, adding 24h Mobile Insurance to the Orange Bank portfolio. For those not wanting to trust to a tub of rice and crossed fingers, the insurance covers theft, breakage, and oxidation of customer equipment.

  • OTN Systems, the Belgium-based industrial networks specialist, is teaming up with Germany's ADVA to help customers in transportation, oil and gas, mining and electrical power utilities to make the transition from their legacy SONET/SDH infrastructure to a packet transport setup.

  • A major EU court ruling is due on Thursday, one that could force the likes of Facebook to rethink the mechanisms they use to transfer Europeans' data around the world. As Reuters reports, this is the latest twist in a long-running saga involving Max Schrems, an Austrian privacy activist who has been a thorn in the side of US tech behemoths for longer than they would care to remember. (See Eurobites: Privacy Shield Gets EU Go-Ahead, Eurobites: EU Data Watchdog Dents Privacy Shield and Eurobites: Facebook Faces Privacy Class Action.)

  • UK altnet CityFibre has begun work on its £50 million full-fiber network in Wolverhampton, a city in the English West Midlands region. CityFibre has already signed up Vodafone as an Internet service provider on the network, and expects TalkTalk to join the party soon. Comex 2000, based in Derby, is the company doing the digging.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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