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BSS (inc. billing, revenue assurance)

Eurobites: BT Mobile Gets Agile With Openet

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Brussels approves proposals to end geo-blocking; ARM's 4K chip; Swisscom pushes ID-by-video service for banks.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is looking to spruce up its mobile offerings through a deal with Openet Telecom Ltd. , a vendor of real-time BSS technology. Openet claims its NFV-based technology will allow BT Mobile, the UK operator's MVNO business, to test and introduce new services more quickly. "Openet's virtualized charging solution is perfect for our needs and ensures we have a highly competitive UK market proposition that will help us quickly grow market share," said Mark O'Flaherty, the director of BT Consumer IT, in a statement. BT launched its mobile offering last year on the network of EE , the company it is now buying for £12.5 billion. It is unclear at this stage whether Openet's technology could be extended across the EE business. (See BT Gets Final Go-Ahead for $17.9B EE Takeover.)

  • Members of the European Parliament have voted to approve a resolution to ban the use of "geo-blocking," whereby consumers are forbidden access to goods or services online within the European Union on the basis of their IP address, postcode or country of issue of credit card. The resolution forms one of 16 digital single market initiatives announced by the European Commission last May. (See Eurobites: EC Spells Out Digital Single Market, Eurobites: EC Plots Its Digital Single Market and Euronews: Single Telecom Market Is Go!)

  • ARM Ltd. has unveiled what it says is its highest-performing and most power-efficient 4K-capable display chip for mobile devices. The Mali-DP650 supports a range of display resolutions, but is optimized for 2.5K formats including WQXGA (2560x1600 pixels) for tablets and WQHD (2560x1440 pixels) for a mobile screen.

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is introducing a new service that will allow people to set up new accounts with their bank or insurance company without having to go to a branch office and fill in a ton of forms. Prospective customers will require a device with a front-facing camera and valid, state-issued ID to use the personal-identification-by-video service. After entering all relevant personal data, the applicant is connected to an identification expert at the Swisscom call center, who identifies the customer and, all being well, sets up the new account in less than ten minutes.

  • Orange Business Services has extended its contract with Geneva-based JTI, the international arm of Japan Tobacco which owns famous brands of gasper such as Winston, Camel and Silk Cut. As part of the five-year deal, OBS will deliver a range of managed services to 20,000 JTI employees across more than 300 sites worldwide.

  • UK broadband provider TalkTalk is making what it calls its Super Router available on all its packages, at no extra cost. The dual-band router, which in a test by Testronic carried out last month was found, on average, to have a stronger signal than routers offered by EE, BT or Virgin or Sky, uses "beamforming" technology that focuses the signal in the direction customers connect from.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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