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Eurobites: Vodafone, Fastweb seek €1.1B in antitrust damages from TIM

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: MWC's public cloud cuckoo land; T-Systems helps fight COVID-19 infection; Berners-Lee senses change in the air.

  • Vodafone and Swisscom subsidiary Fastweb are seeking a total of €1.1 billion ($1.31 billion) in damages from Telecom Italia (TIM) following a ruling by Italy's antitrust authority over alleged abuse of a dominant market position, according to a Reuters report. The regulator fined TIM €116 million ($138 million) last March for trying to obstruct its rivals in the Italian broadband market, says the report.

  • The GSMA has confirmed that Danielle Royston – a passionate public cloud evangelist and head of TelcoDR – will be taking over what would have been Ericsson's booth at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in June. In doing so TelcoDR will become the largest exhibitor at the junket, luxuriating in 6,000 square meters of prime floorspace. As was the case at last year's MWC, Ericsson was one of the first major exhibitors to pull out, with Nokia soon following suit. Royston is reportedly looking for booth-related entertainment ideas, with wild talk of tennis legend Rafa Nadal and Colombian warbler Shakira doing the rounds. Whatever is decided, this public cloud cuckoo land (well they are taking over Ericsson's vacated nest) is going to take some filling. (See One consultant's plan to fill Ericsson's stand and save MWC21, Nokia joins Ericsson in bailing on MWC, with Oracle, Sony also reportedly out and Ericsson pulls the plug on MWC Barcelona again.)

  • T-Systems, Deutsche Telekom's IT services arm, has teamed up with Kinexon to develop a COVID-19 infection warning technology for enterprises where employees cannot carry smartphones while they work. The system uses a small device, the SafeTag, which is worn as a wristband or on a clip by employees and flashes red then beeps if they get too close to a fellow worker. The system, which Deutsche Telekom says is only imposed on a consenting basis, uses the Ultra-Wideband (UWB) radio standard.

  • Nokia has landed a 4G/LTE Field Area Network (FAN) contract with Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, a shipping company otherwise known as K Line. The deal will see Nokia deploying an IP/MPLS-based network that will allow K Line's latest car carrier, Century Highway Green (crazy name, guys), to enjoy high-speed, secure, encrypted wireless communications between ship and shore. The FAN will enable K Line to closely monitor loading and unloading in real time, and reduce the time needed for the exchange of large files during port calls.

  • Tim Berners-Lee, the Brit who invented the World Wide Web and ruined everything/brought untold joy to the masses (delete where applicable), has been telling Reuters that he thinks the era of online giants is just a "fad" and that, in the words of Sam Cooke, a change is gonna come. "I'm optimistic, because we've seen some dominant fads on the Internet before ... and then things change," he told the news agency. He also warned about the growing threat posed by the so-called digital divide, with one in three people aged between 15-24 globally still having no access to the Internet at all.

  • Blackpool, the UK seaside resort famous for donkey rides, illuminations and urban deprivation, is next in line for CityFibre's fiber rollout treatment. Work on the £60 million ($84.4 million) project is due to begin in April and be completed by 2025.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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