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Eurobites: Telekom Austria turns a corner

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telenor Sweden gets industrial with Ericsson; OBS wants all of systems integrator B&D; Vodafone makes the case for in-car telematics.

  • A1 Telekom Austria Group is understandably pleased with itself, having recorded full-year EBITDA growth in all of its segments for the first time in 15 years. Revenues increased by 2.9%, while net profit increased to €327.4 million (US$357.3 million), compared to €243.7 million ($265.9 million) in the previous year. "Solid development" in Austria played a part, as did growth in its central European operations and efficiency-saving measures. Since 2014, Telekom Austria has been owned by Carlos Slim's América Móvil.

    We have absolutely no idea what's going on here
    From left to right: Jenny Lindqvist, head of Northern and Central Europe, Ericsson; Kaaren Hilsen, CEO, Telenor Sweden; Asa Tamsons, SVP and head of business area technologies and new businesses, Ericsson; Andreas Kristensson, business innovation lead, Telenor Sweden
    From left to right: Jenny Lindqvist, head of Northern and Central Europe, Ericsson; Kaaren Hilsen, CEO, Telenor Sweden; Åsa Tamsons, SVP and head of business area technologies and new businesses, Ericsson; Andreas Kristensson, business innovation lead, Telenor Sweden

  • Telenor Sweden has joined Ericsson's Industry Connect program, a move which allows the Nordic operator to resell Ericsson's LTE-based industrial connectivity offerings for use in smart manufacturing applications, or "Industry 4.0," as some style it.

  • Orange Business Services, which currently holds 93.62% of the share capital and 93.42% of the voting rights of systems integrator Business & Decision, has announced its intention to file a buyout offer, followed by a so-called "mandatory squeeze-out" (under which minority shareholders are forced to sell their stock), for the remaining shares of the company.

  • New research from Vodafone concludes that the average driver in the UK could save as much as £230 ($298) a year on car insurance costs by having telematics technology fitted into their vehicles. The operator calls for the introduction of a "Smarter Driving Fund" to encourage more drivers to go down the telematics route, while also claiming that wider use of the technology would also benefit the environment by reducing emissions and improving air quality.

  • Sparkle, the effetely named international services of Telecom Italia, has been chosen by chiller manufacturer Daikin to provide private Internet connectivity and voice offerings to its German and Italian branches. Under the terms of the agreement, Sparkle will interconnect Daikin offices and industrial sites in the two countries with redundant IP-VPN networks as well as voice-over-IP services and Internet access.

  • The UK government is to extend the remit of its communications regulator, Ofcom, to cover "online harms," giving it, in theory at least, the power to clamp down on those providing a platform for offensive and harmful content through social media networks and the like. The idea is that organizations such as Facebook and Instagram will have a legal "duty of care" imposed on them to force them to take a more responsible approach to the delivery of content. However, it is unclear as yet what penalties Ofcom will be able to enforce on companies who are seen to be falling foul of the proposed legislation.

  • Colt Technology Services is expanding its range of cloud offerings by providing dedicated, private and on-demand access to Oracle Cloud through Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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