Eurobites: Nokia lands GSM-R gig with ProRail

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Swisscom gets into digital signage; gamers take to smartphones during lockdown; Boris is ready to take your call.

  • Nokia has won the contract to provide managed services for ProRail's GSM-Railway (GSM-R) voice and data communications network in the Netherlands. Under the terms of the ten-year deal, the Finnish vendor will provide a range of services, including network operations and capacity planning. According to ProRail, the agreement paves the way for ultimate migration to the new Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) standard that is coming down the tracks to replace GSM-R.

  • Swisscom continues to spread its tentacles in diverse directions with the acquisition of JLS Digital, a digital signage and web agency, from the Renaissance Investment Foundation. The deal adds a team of more than 90 "digital experts" to Swisscom's business-to-business division and gives it access to a client list of 80 companies in banking, retail and insurance. JLS Digital will become an independent Swisscom company with its own management board and board of directors. The JLS management board will remain unchanged in the wake of the deal.

  • BT is to provide better inter-office connectivity and cybersecurity for Orica, a company that supplies explosives and blasting systems for mines and the like. The managed network service will be based on Cisco's SD-WAN technology and help link up Orica's 13,000-plus employees across the world.

  • And BT's mobile arm, EE, reports that gaming on smartphones has become all the rage in the past 12 months, with 69% of Brits asked saying they played more during lockdown. With this mind, it's hardly surprising that data usage for mobile gaming has surged 31% on the EE network over the past six months. The smartphone is now the main gaming device for a quarter of UK gamers, according to EE.

  • UK altnet CityFibre has been named as one of the top 50 employers of women in the UK by the Business in the Community charity, the only telecom-related company to feature in the list. Criteria such as its approach to recruitment, family-friendly policies and how it has championed gender equality in the context of the pandemic were all taken into account.

  • Smartphone security: Who needs it? Apparently not UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. It turns out his personal mobile number has been freely available on the Internet – and no, we don't mean the Dark Net or some hackers' walled garden – for the past 15 years, after having been tacked onto the end of a press release that he issued when he was a comparative political nobody. As the BBC reports, Johnson is facing flak for taking calls and texts on his personal mobile from business bigwigs seeking financial favors – not least tax-savvy vacuum cleaner billionaire James Dyson.

    Boris Johnson: His number's up
    Boris Johnson: His number's up

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

    Eurobites will return on Tuesday, May 4.
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