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Eurobites: Vodafone and UAE's E& get cozyEurobites: Vodafone and UAE's E& get cozy

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: MTN raises service revenue, despite load shedding in South Africa; Safaricom Ethiopia gets M-Pesa license; BT leans on Fortinet for new security offering.

Paul Rainford

May 11, 2023

3 Min Read
Eurobites: Vodafone and UAE's E& get cozy

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: MTN raises service revenue despite load-shedding woes in South Africa; Safaricom Ethiopia gets M-Pesa license; BT leans on Fortinet for new security offering.

  • Vodafone and UAE operator E& have agreed a "strategic relationship" that, among other things, establishes E& as a "cornerstone shareholder" of the UK-based mobile giant and envisages collaboration in such areas as procurement and cross-border digital services. As part of the deal, E& CEO Hatem Dowidar will join the Vodafone board as a non-executive director for as long as E& maintains its current shareholding of 14.6%. The Abu Dhabi-based firm will also be able to nominate a second non-executive director if its shareholding exceeds 20%. Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone's recently appointed Group CEO, said in a statement: "This closer alignment allows us to capture opportunities in our respective markets and brings additional telecoms experience to our Board." Figure 1: (Source: l_martinez / Alamy Stock Photo) (Source: l_martinez / Alamy Stock Photo)

    • Pan-African operator MTN saw first-quarter group service revenue rise 15.6% year-over-year, to 52.83 billion South African rand (US2.78 billion), despite the challenges presented by reduced economic activity in South Africa and the massive increase in "load shedding," or planned power outages. Group EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) was also up, by 8.6%, to ZAR24.20 billion ($1.27 billion). MTN maintains its medium-term guidance.

    • Kenya-based Safaricom increased its full-year group service revenue by 5.2%, to 295.7 billion Kenyan shillings ($2.16 billion), though group net income declined by 10.6% as a result of startup costs associated with its rollout of operations in Ethiopia. Significantly, Safaricom Ethiopia has today been granted the license to operate M-Pesa mobile money services.

    • Still in Kenya, two Internet service providers, ThinkWiFi and Mawingu, have joined forces to launch what they say is the country's first Telecom Infra Project (TIP) OpenWiFi network in the country. Managed from ThinkWiFi's headquarters in South Africa, the Wi-Fi network uses TIP OpenWiFi certified hardware and software including access points from Edgecore and CIG. Wavespot provides the cloud controller which also implements the backend analytics and location-based services. The service is being funded by advertising.

    • BT is drawing on technology from Fortinet to launch a managed networking and cybersecurity service for businesses and public sector organizations that have multiple sites. The new service, says BT, will enable customers to bring together SD-WAN, SD-Branch and security wondrousness into one place, all overseen by BT's boffins.

    • Swisscom has reached a new collective agreement with labor unions and employees, introducing a higher minimum wage, more flexible working time models as well as additional maternity, paternity and adoption leave, among other benefits. Employees aged 60 and over will be eligible for a partial retirement model of working, whereby their employment level can be reduced.

    • Apple's antics in the apps market have once again come under Euro-scrutiny – this time from Italy's antitrust watchdog, AGCM. As Reuters reports, the agency believes Apple penalizes third-party app developers by imposing a privacy policy on them that is stricter than the one it applies to itself. Specifically, the watchdog said users of third-party apps are subject to more visible prompts to block the tracking of their personal data.

      — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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