Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Synamedia lands Vodafone TV gig; the march of the altnets; Deutsche Telekom gets on board with Azure.
The Vodafone Foundation has teamed up with scientists at London's Imperial College to look into ways of harnessing the processing power of the millions of smartphones out there in general-public land to help speed up research into treatments for COVID-19. They will use an app developed by Vodafone Foundation Australia, DreamLab, which can draw on the chips inside people's idle smartphones while they are recharging overnight to help power a "virtual supercomputer" to do the math. According to those behind the project, the mobile cloud-based approach of DreamLab can drastically reduce the time taken to analyze the huge amount of relevant data that exists. A desktop computer running 24 hours a day would, the boffins say, take decades to process the data, but a network of 100,000 smartphones running overnight could do the job in just a couple of months. No personal data is downloaded or processed from the user's device. What's not to like?
Away from the coronavirus, Vodafone Group has signed a multi-year deal with video software outfit Synamedia to help it create a unified global TV platform. In addition, Synamedia will be integrating the recently acquired Unitymedia cable TV platform and set-top boxes with the Vodafone GigaTV offering in Germany.
Meanwhile, in the UK, the march of the altnets continues: A new report compiled for the Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA) by Point Topic reveals that the UK's independent network providers have increased their full-fiber coverage by 50% in 2019, to pass 1.2 million premises. Over the same period investment has risen by £936 million (US$1.15 billion), adds the report.
Belgium's Telenet has signed a new credit facility worth €510 million ($554.5 million) over 6.2 years. This replaces its existing €460 million ($500 million) facility.
Deutsche Telekom has joined Microsoft's Azure Networking Managed Service Provider (MSP) partner program, meaning that the German giant will now be offering managed network services for the Azure public cloud platform.
Orange Business services has expanded its agreement with AkzoNobel, and will now supply software defined networking and security services to the chemicals producer. AkzoNobel is looking to centralize its network operations, connecting and managing its entire footprint from factory to store, across all regions.
UK cable operator Virgin Media reports that March was a good month for Peppa Pig, as parents turned to on-demand children's TV to keep cabin fever at bay during coronavirus lockdown. Virgin TV saw 1.6 million views of its collection of kids' shows, a 37% rise on the previous month.
EE, the UK mobile operator owned by BT, has fallen foul of the Advertising Standards Authority for claims made about its network in a number of print and online ads. One Instagram post described EE's network as " “UNBEATABLE, UNREPEATABLE, UNTOUCHABLE, UNBELIEVABLE, UNFORGETTABLE, UNFLAPPABLE, UNREPEATABLE, UNLIMITED, UNRIVALLED." Which seems a bit much. Three UK and a member of the public brought the complaint.
Never mind Peppa Pig, what about his algebra homework?
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading