Eurobites: Virgin flops in latest Ofcom complaints survey

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: A1 has a decent first quarter, faces possible trouble in Belarus; Airties bought by private equity firm; Orange Business Services completes Siemens' SD-WAN.

  • It's not a great day for the Virgin telecom stable as the latest survey of customer complaints by UK communications regulator Ofcom places both Virgin Mobile and Virgin Media at the bottom of the customer satisfaction pile, the latter for its pay-TV performance. Conversely, Sky has come up smelling of roses, getting the fewest complaints for its broadband, pay-TV and landline services, and sharing the mobile laurels with EE and Tesco Mobile. Overall, complaints between October and December last year were down slightly and, according to Ofcom, "remain at all-time low levels."

  • Maybe Virgin's new TV offering, "Stream," will help it improve its ranking. Like streaming rivals Now TV and Amazon Prime, Stream uses a box that plugs into a TV's spare HDMI port, and brings the usual app suspects – BBC iPlayer, Netflix and so on – under one Wi-Fi powered roof. A one-off activation fee of £35 (US$44) is charged; after that users just pay for the streaming services they choose to subscribe to.

  • A1 Telekom Austria Group saw first-quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) rise 7.9% year-on-year (before restructuring charges), on revenues that rose 2.7%, to €1.16 billion ($1.23 billion). Looking ahead, A1 foresees potential trouble at its Belarus unit, as the Belarusian currency could well be adversely affected by sanctions imposed on the country for its support of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

  • Istanbul-based Wi-Fi specialist Airties, which counts AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and Singtel among its customers, has been acquired by Providence Equity Partners. Airties will continue to be led by CEO Philippe Alcaras. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

  • Orange Business Services has completed a large-scale SD-WAN deployment for Siemens, migrating 1,168 of the German giant's sites across 94 countries to the new infrastructure with the help of Cisco hardware.

  • T-Systems, Deutsche Telekom's IT services arm, has appointed Laura Vantellini as its senior vice president of sales in Germany. She hotfoots it from Adobe, where she was most recently responsible for strategic alliances with Accenture. Fun fact: she's an "enthusiastic scuba diver."

  • A number of telco and telecom-related companies have made it into the upper echelons of the UK's "best workplace" rankings compiled by Great Place to Work. In the "super large" company category, Cisco tops the chart, while in the "large" category Red Hat makes fifth, Nvidia seventh and Zen Internet 39th. Big-name operators seem to be conspicuous by their absence, however…

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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