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Eurobites: Play buy boosts Iliad in Q1

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BICS hooks up to Google Cloud; Vodacom encouraged by full-year numbers; BT bills with Amdocs.

  • Revenues at France-based operator Iliad grew by 33.6% year-on-year in the first quarter, to €1.84 billion (US$2.24 billion), though the bulk of this improvement came from the integration of Polish operator Play – discounting that, growth was just shy of 5%. In France, Iliad managed to maintain mobile services revenue growth of 3.4%, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Iliad Italia added 305,000 new mobile subscribers during the period, which was pretty good going for a new entrant to the market. (See Iliad targets Pole position with €3.5B Play takeover and Iliad ups fixed-line ante in Italy; TIM suffers.)

  • BICS, the international services arm of Belgium's Proximus, has announced its support for Google Cloud's Partner Interconnect, a service that allows customers to connect to the Google's public cloud globally from their facility – if they dare... (See It's time for telecom to worry about the public cloud.)

  • Full-year group revenue at South Africa's Vodacom rose 8.3% in the year ended March 31, 2021, to 98.3 billion South African rand ($7.01 billion), while 8.2 million customers were added during the period. EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) grew 4.5%, to ZAR39.2 billion ($2.79 billion). On the strength of these numbers, Vodacom has upgraded its medium-term operating profit growth target from mid-single digit to mid-to-high-single digit. Looking ahead, Vodacom has high hopes for VodaPay, the new "super-app" it has developed in partnership with Alipay and which it is about to launch.

  • BT is hoping to make its charges more transparent to customers through the use of BriteBill, the Amdocs billing platform. Amdocs claims that its use has already reduced calls to BT Group's call centers.

  • As the thirst for ever more mobile data heats up servers to boiling point, O2 is introducing new cooling equipment at its UK data centers that uses more of that good old British fresh air (brrrr) and less air-conditioning. The upgraded systems will also incorporate new management software from EkkoSense that uses smart sensors fitted to data center equipment to monitor exactly how much cooling each site needs at any one time.

  • Ericsson is collaborating with Sigma Connectivity and Mobilaris to improve workforce safety at industrial sites through the use of 5G-connected IoT technology. While Ericsson is supplying its IoT Accelerator IoT platform, Mobilaris makes a connected device that can be worn by workers to offer collision alerts and warnings about potentially dangerous gas emissions, humidity levels or barometric pressure via sensors.

  • In a move which represents something of a departure for the Dutch operator, Ziggo is now offering broadband-only subscriptions. Prices start at €42.50 per month ($51.88) for 75Mbit/s download speeds, rising to €65.50 ($79.96) a month for the gigabit service.

  • Neos Networks – the relatively new name for SSE Enterprise Telecoms – is deploying Blue Planet's Multi-Domain Service Orchestration (MDSO) to automate on-net end-to-end provisioning across its multivendor Layer 1 and Layer 2 networks.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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