Eurobites: Sparkle targets multinationals with new voice offering

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: OneWeb set to launch more satellites with SpaceX; ThinkAnalytics lands Magyar Telekom deal; UK's Labour Party joins mid-contract price rise ruckus.

  • Sparkle, the international services arm of Telecom Italia, has launched a global telephony service for business customers with "multinational needs," as the company puts it. The service, Enterprise Voice Suite (EVoS), allows companies with a multinational footprint to virtualize their presence without activating services with local operators. EVoS covers inbound and outbound calls, integration with enterprise telephony and collaboration services as well as services for call centers.

    (Source: Arcansel/Alamy Stock Photo)
    (Source: Arcansel/Alamy Stock Photo)

  • Conditions permitting, tomorrow (Tuesday) evening will see OneWeb, the low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company co-owned by the UK government and India's Bharti Global, launch 40 more satellites on a rocket operated by Elon Musk's SpaceX. OneWeb hopes the launch will enable it to significantly expand service across the US, Europe and much of the Middle East and Asia. The company was forced to turn to SpaceX when its satellite-launching arrangement with a Russia's Soyuz proved untenable following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine (See Eurobites: OneWeb turns to SpaceX as Russian rocket deal misfires.)

  • UK-based software company ThinkAnalytics has landed a content-discovery deal with Hungary's largest operator, Magyar Telekom. Magyar, a subsididary of Deutsche Telekom, has chosen the Think360 platform to provide personalized recommendations, targeted promotions and viewer engagement across its TV and OTT services. Think360 is already deployed by Deutsche Telekom and several of the German giant's other European units.

  • The UK's Labour Party has joined the chorus of concern about mid-contract price rises for broadband and mobile customers, the Guardian reports. Labour's shadow culture secretary, Lucy Powell, said: "Proposals to make telecoms pricing more transparent and easily understood are essential," and called on advertising authorities to clamp down on potentially misleading pre-Christmas "deals" being offered by service providers. Earlier this month, communications regulator Ofcom launched an investigation into the transparency or otherwise of mid-contract price rises. Current rules allow providers to ramp up charges mid-contract by the CPI (Consumer Price Index) rate of inflation – 11.1% at the last count – plus an extra 3.9% on top. (See Eurobites: UK's Labour Party commits to standardizing, mandating broadband 'social' tariffs.)

  • As children's mental health increasingly becomes a cause for serious concern, high-end Brit actor Kate Winslet has called on the UK government to make social media companies strictly enforce their published age limits. As the BBC reports, Winslet believes parents feel "utterly powerless" to control what their children are viewing via the likes of TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest. Winslet gave the interview ahead of the launch of I Am Ruth, a film in which she stars as the mother of a teenager whose mental health crumbles as her life becomes dominated by the dark side of social media.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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