Managed Services

Eurobites: BT Considers Offers for Irish Unit

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone and Orange expand network-sharing agreement in Spain; Telia's soft start to the year; Telecom Italia claims speed supremacy.

  • BT is looking to sell its profitable Irish operation as part of a wider dismantling of its Global Services unit prompted by an accounting scandal at its Italian division. As the Irish Times reports, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is handling the bidding process. (See Dodgy Italian Job Savages BT Earnings, Share Price Tanks and BT Cuts 4% of Jobs, Plans Global Services Overhaul.)

  • Vodafone and Orange have expanded their network-sharing agreement in Spain, with a new agreement between the two operators allowing for active mobile network sharing in cities with populations of up to 175,000. Previously, network sharing was only available in towns with a population of up to 25,000. According to Vodafone, two thirds of the Spanish population will be covered by the new agreement, which the UK-based mobile giant hopes will deliver cumulative savings of at least €600 million (US$668 million) over the next ten years.

  • Allowing for one-off items and currency movements, first-quarter net revenue at Sweden's Telia fell 3% year-on-year, though in reported net currency terms revenue rose 5% to 20.84 billion Swedish kronor ($2.17 billion). In a statement, Johan Dennelind, Telia's president and CEO, acknowledged the "soft start" to the year, but expressed confidence that the second half of the year will bring a stronger performance.

  • Telecom Italia is laying claim to the fastest mobile network in Italy, following a comparative test carried out by Ookla which measures download and upload speeds of each provider using an app on customers' phones.

  • Orange has reached a deal with five of its labor unions, agreeing terms relating to pay rises, career development and workplace gender equality, among other things.

  • Yesterday's revelation that Huawei gear won't be banned from non-core elements of the UK's 5G network has prompted calls for a high-level investigation into how the news came to be leaked. As the BBC reports, it is thought the decision was taken by the National Security Council, which, as its name suggests, is supposed to be, erm, secure. (See Eurobites: UK Gives Huawei the Nod on 'Non-Core' 5G Network Elements.)

  • Kudelski Group has teamed up with fellow Swiss company SixSq on a joint offering intended to enable those charged with implementing industrial IoT systems to securely manage their edge-based software and data. The idea is that Kudelski will add device and data security capabilities to SixSq's Nuvla software orchestration service.

  • Spotify, the Swedish music-streaming service, will have to remove from its catalog all songs belonging to the Saregama India record label -- one of India's oldest -- following a failure to reach an agreement on licensing, Reuters reports.

  • Norway's Telenor has been taking part in a new study into how combining malaria genetic data with human mobility data from mobile networks can help track and predict the spread of drug-resistant malaria. The study, Mapping imported malaria in Bangladesh using parasite genetic and human mobility data, is described as one of the largest projects ever undertaken to make sense of the human mobility patterns which spread disease.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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