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Eurobites: Proximus targets SMEs with Odoo's help

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: A1 bags 5G spectrum in North Macedonia; Google versus the regulators, part 94; UK online safety legislation hits the buffers while government implodes.

  • Belgian operator Proximus has struck a deal with Odoo, a purveyor of management software to small businesses and the self-employed, that allows its customers access to Odoo's various digital tools. Odoo's software will complement Proximus' existing tools it promotes through its Business Booster range. As part of the deal, Proximus customers will be entitled to two two-hour consulting sessions with Odoo experts free of charge and will receive a 50% discount on certain Odoo services.

    (Source: Proximus)
    (Source: Proximus)

  • A1 Telekom Austria Group has bagged itself more 5G spectrum in the Balkan country of North Macedonia. The spectrum in question, which cost A1 €8.15 million (US$8.15 million), covers the 2x10 on 700MHz and 100 on 3.6GHz frequency bands on a 15-year license. To date A1 has 5G coverage established in Austria, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Croatia.

  • Like an elephant being bothered by the occasional mosquito, Google is facing more regulatory nuisances that it will no doubt swat away in time. This week it's the turn of South Africa and Italy. South Africa's Competition Commission, reports Bloomberg, has provisionally concluded that Google Search's practices tip the competition scales in Google's favor and recommended that the difference between paid-for search results and "organic" ones is made much clearer. In Italy, the AGCM competition authority has launched an investigation into Google for allegedly hindering interoperability with other platforms, potentially constraining the "economic benefits that consumers can derive from their data," in the words of the watchdog. As Reuters reports, AGCM, working with Italy's finance police, entered Google's Italian premises on Wednesday to carry out inspections.

  • The UK's Online Safety Bill, which sets out how platforms should seek to protect the young and vulnerable from harmful Internet content, has been temporarily stopped in its tracks. The BBC reports that it was due to be discussed and progressed by lawmakers this week but, as the ruling Conservative party enters a whole new world of self-inflicted pain and tries to find a new leader, the bill has been put on the back-burner until September 5, when a new party leader and prime minister will be named. Not all are in favor of the bill in its current form, by any means. One prime ministerial hopeful at the time of writing, Kemi Badenoch, tweeted: "If I'm elected prime minister I will ensure the bill doesn't overreach. We should not be legislating for hurt feelings."

  • Fiber provider Sure has been updating on its rollout on Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands, which many people think of as part of the UK though they technically aren't. According to Sure, 3,000 homes – more than a tenth of the island's properties – can now connect to fiber broadband. The hope is that all homes will be "fiber ready" by the end of 2025. The project represents an investment of £37.5 million ($43.3 million), £25 million ($29.5 million) of which is coming from Sure with the rest provided by the Guernsey government.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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