Mobile services

Eurobites: Telefónica Gets Its German Act Together

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson and Zain get virtual; Vodafone's new boss in Qatar; tools launched for greener data centers.

  • Telefónica Deutschland GmbH is to begin integrating its O2 and E-Plus mobile networks, starting with GSM and UMTS in January 2016 and moving on to LTE from mid-2016. The carrier made an initial move on networks consolidation in May 2015, when it activated national roaming in the UMTS networks for all O2 and E-Plus customers. Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) sold E-Plus to Telefónica in 2013 for €8.1 billion (US$10.7 billion) in cash and stock, creating Germany's largest mobile operator by subscribers. (See Euronews: KPN to Sell E-Plus for €8.1B.)

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Zain Group have announced what they claim is the first proof of concept in the Middle East for an NFV and cloud orchestration infrastructure, comprising a virtual Evolved Packet Core and virtual IP Multimedia Subsystem. According to Trade Arabia, Zain hopes the PoC will pave the way for faster and easier deployment of services such as VoLTE, M2M and RCS.

  • A couple of bleeps from Planet Vodafone: First, the mobile giant has extended its partner market agreement with Swisscom, bringing roaming benefits and more global reach to the two companies; and, second, Ian Gray, formerly chairman of Vodafone Egypt, has taken over from Kyle Whitehill as CEO of Vodafone Qatar QSC .

  • RenewIT, a European Commission research project, has launched a range of free software tools and related research to encourage the development of renewable-powered data centers and to improve the energy efficiency of existing facilities, services and equipment. The tools and research can be accessed via the RenewIT website.

  • Telia Carrier has won the gong for best customer care at the 2015 World Communication Awards (WCA) in London.

  • A UK security specialist has concluded that the country's biggest Internet service providers are falling down on their security systems, after his research revealed numerous bugs that could be exploited by hackers, reports the BBC. Paul Moore's audit of TalkTalk , Sky , BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), PlusNet plc , EE and Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) found, among other things, passwords stored in plain text and exposed code that would allow hackers to inject their own code. His investigation was prompted by the high-profile hack of TalkTalk in October, which exposed the personal details of 157,000 of its customers. (See Eurobites: TalkTalk Rocked by Cyber Attack and TalkTalk Plummets on Security Woes.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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