Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange trials all-IP PSTN in Poland; Telecom Italia boss defends monster remuneration; Microsoft opens UK data centers.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has landed a multi-year contract to supply an online video platform and a range of managed services for T-Mobile Netherlands ' new over-the-top (OTT) TV service, which goes by the rather fabulous name of Knippr. The Swedish vendor will provide managed OTT services for both live and on-demand TV channels, making use of its broadcast and media services hub in the Dutch town of Hilversum, as well as metadata know-how to improve the electronic program guide (EPG) of the new TV service. (See T-Mobile Netherlands Launches OTT TV With Ericsson.)
Orange Polska and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) say they have completed a pilot project which has helped prepare the Polish operator for the mass migration of Orange's legacy PSTN services to an all-IP network. Around 4,000 subscribers in a suburban area of Warsaw took part in the fixed-voice pilot, and Nokia claims that their customer experience wasn't marred by the migration. Orange is following in the footsteps of Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), which is in the midst of a transition to all-IP networks in Europe, which is due to be completed in 2018. (See Orange Polska Steers All-IP Pilot With Nokia Tech and DT's Pan-Net Picks Up the Pace.)
Telecom Italia (TIM) CEO Flavio Cattaneo has been seeking to justify his €40 million (US$45 million) pay package, which has come in for understandable flak from some shareholders. As the Financial Times reports (subscription required), Cattaneo says that the real scandal is not his monster remuneration but the fact that other big cheeses in the Italian corporate world are richly rewarded when the companies in their charge flounder. Cattaneo has begun a cost-cutting program which seems to have helped the Italian incumbent turn a corner, with EBITDA expected to grow this year for the first time in over a decade, adds the report.
The Microsoft Cloud is officially open for local business in the UK today, with the software giant's Azure cloud services and Office 365 enterprise software now available from data centers located in the UK. The Ministry of Defence, employing a quarter of a million people, has already signed up to use Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s UK-based services.
Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) is to reposition six of its data centers into a new company with its own identity within the group. KPN hopes that the move will help boost its profile in the growing colocation services market. The name of the new company has yet to be announced.
As part of its tactical withdrawal from the Eurasia region, Telia has divested its holding in Tcell, an operator based in Tajikistan. AKFED, an economic development fund that has been a shareholder in Tcell since it was created, is buying Telia's stake for around $39 million. (See TeliaSonera to Quit Eurasia, Focus on Europe and TeliaSonera: Timing May be 'Wrong' for Eurasia Sale.)
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has chosen Accenture 's AVS software platform to support its pay-TV services across a range of devices. AVS will provide BT with, among other things, analytics that help the operator pursue marketing activities on the back of its TV services.
T-Labs, the R&D arm of Deutsche Telekom, has added the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest to its EU Labs program, which sees the operator partnering up with academic institutions for (hopefully) fruitful collaborations.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading