Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: MEPs approve cybersecurity proposals; trade bodies join forces on connected cars; Vodafone offers rural connectivity hubs in UK.
Altice , the acquisition-hungry French group that last month completed on its takeover of US cable operator Cablevision, is considering selling its Belgian SFR-branded business, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). The deal could be worth as much as €500 million (US$553 million) adds the report, citing unnamed sources. (See Altice Passes Final Cablevision Test, Could New IP Aid Altice Expansion? and Altice Sees Brighter Days in 4-Player France.)
Members of the European parliament have approved new rules that set out security and reporting obligations for what are deemed "operators of essential services" in sectors such as energy, transport, health and banking -- as well as providers of cloud services, search engines and online marketplaces. It will be up to the EU member states to identify which organizations fall under the ambit of the new regulation. Those same member states will also have to set up a network of Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) to handle incidents and risks, discuss cross-border security issues and come up with coordinated responses. Earlier this week the EU announced that it was pumping €450 million ($499 million) into a cybersecurity initiative that it hopes will foster cooperation on cybersecurity products for a range of sectors. (See Eurobites: EU Sinks €450M Into Cybersecurity.)
A number of European trade organizations, including the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) , the GSM Association (GSMA) and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association have joined forces to launch a large-scale project to test "connected driving" at the EU level. The project, which is set to start in 2017, will focus on three main areas: automated driving; road safety and "traffic efficiency"; and the digitalization of transport and logistics.
Vodafone UK has unveiled a program to establish up to 100 rural community hubs in rural areas that will offer reliable 3G indoor mobile coverage and Internet access to connectivity-challenged locals. The Community Indoor Sure Signal (CISS) project, which makes use of small cell technology, will site hubs in pubs, village halls, community shops and other suitable and easily accessible locations.
France-IX, the Paris- and Marseille-based digital gateway to the Middle East and Africa, has upgraded Iliad-owned web hosting provider Online.net from four 10Gbit/s ports to two 100Gbit/s ports. This, says the vendor, will boost the capacity of Online and enable it to offer a better service to its customers.
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has formed a cloud-based partnership with IT services company Daisy, giving Daisy and its customers access to BT's Wholesale Hosted Centrex (WHC) unified communications platform. As part of the deal, Daisy's services will be migrated to BT's cloud platform over the next 18 months.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading