Eurobites: Vodafone, Qualcomm combine on iSIM

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: counting the cost of GDPR transgressions; shareholders back Vodacom's Egyptian deal; Proximus in poles position.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

January 18, 2022

3 Min Read
Eurobites: Vodafone, Qualcomm combine on iSIM

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: counting the cost of GDPR transgressions; shareholders back Vodacom's Egyptian deal; Proximus in poles position.

  • Vodafone has joined forces with Qualcomm and French defense giant Thales to demonstrate a working smartphone featuring iSIM, a new technology which its backers say enables the functionality of a traditional SIM card to be integrated into a devices's main processor. It differs from the more familiar eSIM technology because it does not require a separate chip. The proof-of-concept demo took place in Samsung's European R&D labs, using Vodafone's remote management platform. Vodafone says iSIM's main attraction is that it enables customers to easily hold multiple accounts on one device, while doing away with the need for a separate SIM card also reduces the amount of plastic consumed. Figure 1: (Source: Vodafone/Qualcomm/Thales) (Source: Vodafone/Qualcomm/Thales)

    • EU regulators imposed a total of $1.3 billion in fines related to the bloc's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws during 2021, according to a Bloomberg report. The two largest fines were handed out to Amazon ($851 million) and WhatsApp ($256 million) – the former incurring the wrath of the Luxembourg data protection authority and the latter upsetting the Irish equivalent. The worrying stat for the tech titans is that the overall fines total represents a sevenfold rise on the equivalent figure in 2020. (See Europe's GDPR: Don't Get Lost in Translation.)

    • The minority shareholders in South Africa's Vodacom have overwhelmingly voted in favor of the company's acquisition of a 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt for approximately 41 billion South African rand (US$2.738 billion). The proposed deal is conditional upon approval from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the National Telecom Regulatory Authority of Egypt (NTRA) and Egypt’s Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA). According to Vodacom, more than 80% of Egypt's 100 million population are "unbanked," so the operator sees great potential in digitally-based financial services there.

    • Proximus has signed an agreement with ORES which will allow the operator to use ORES' electricity poles to roll out fiber in Belgium's Wallonia region. According to Proximus, the deal will accelerate the creation of a multi-gigabit network open to all interested telcos, even in less densely populated areas of the region.

    • Neos Networks has won the contract to deliver a new dark fiber network serving the higher education and research sector in the north-west of England. The new network – which has been commissioned by Jisc – will replace the existing Janet North network and will provide gigabit capability to all sites covered.

    • In what is an extension of an existing contract, Norwegian mobile operator Ice has chosen Asset network planning software from Teoco to help it deliver 5G services.

    • UK altnet CityFibre has announced plans to extend its full-fiber network in the Scottish city of Aberdeen, pumping an additional £19 million ($25.8 million) into the project. Vodafone, TalkTalk and Zen are among the Internet service providers already using CityFiber's network in the so-called Granite City.

    • The government of Oman has signed a cooperation agreement with Huawei that will see the Chinese vendor work in tandem with local operator Omantel to "promote the development of ecosystem partners through 5G innovative solutions and platforms" in the Arab state.

      — 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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