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Eurobites: Brits Head Online for TV Fix

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Magyar Telekom names new CTIO; Turkcell hits more than 2 Gbit/s in 5G speed test; Ericsson reaches 24 live 5G networks; mobile money in South Sudan.

  • The UK's couch potatoes are going online. Around one half of all UK homes now subscribe to a TV streaming service including Netflix, Amazon, Now TV or Disney Life, according to the latest data from UK communications regulator Ofcom, with the number of homes connected to at least one of those four services rising from 11.2 million in 2018 to 13.3 million now. That means the overall number of subscriptions was up from 15.6 million to 19.1 million over this period. Traditional TV still reigns supreme when it comes to viewing time, accounting for 69% of all TV consumption. While that is an average of three hours and 12 minutes per day per household, the figure was down by nine minutes in 2017 and 11 minutes last year, and traditional TV viewing among youngsters (aged 16-24) has halved since 2010. House Morris can confirm that Amazon and Netflix nearly have full control of the household TV.

  • Magyar Telekom, the Hungarian offshoot of Germany's Deutsche Telekom, said Lubor Zatko would become its new chief technology and IT officer, starting on October 1. Slovak national Zatko joins Magyar Telekom from Slovak Telekom, another Deutsche Telekom subsidiary, where he was most recently employed as the network development and delivery director. He has previously held positions at Barclaycard and Cesky Mobile (now Vodafone Czech Republic). Zatko replaces Kim Kyllesbech Larsen, who left Magyar Telekom in June last year and is today the chief technology and information officer at T-Mobile Netherlands, yet another of Deutsche Telekom's European businesses. Since Larsen's departure, Magyar Telekom CEO Tibor Rékasi has been looking after the technology and IT functions.

  • Turkcell has turned in a Usain Bolt-like performance in its latest 5G speed test, recording a connection speed of 2.283 Gbit/s on a 5G-compatible smartphone -- a display that must have had the Turkish operator's technicians roaring like an Olympic audience. Turkcell said the test was carried out using a huge allocation of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band, the equivalent of combining several Usain Bolts into one super athlete (in real-world conditions, the operator will have to make do with far less spectrum). The device on which it carried out the tests was made by China's Oppo, while Swedish equipment maker Ericsson stepped up to the block on the network side. Go Turkcell.

  • Sweden's Ericsson is up to 24 publicly announced contracts in the 5G World Championships against Huawei, Nokia and, occasionally, Samsung and ZTE (when they bother to show up). This week it spruced up its fancy little map of live 5G networks after switching on equipment in Vodafone Germany's network, with 5G services available in 20 cities and towns courtesy of Ericsson's technology.

    Antenna Man
    Gerhard Mack, Vodafone Germany's chief technology officer, shows off his new Ericsson gear in Dusseldorf.
    Gerhard Mack, Vodafone Germany's chief technology officer, shows off his new Ericsson gear in Dusseldorf.

  • South Sudan is getting its first licensed mobile money service after a local business called NilePay teamed up with Zain South Sudan, one of the country's telcos, on a launch. While mobile money is not new in the young African country, most people have been relying on "unlicensed" offerings based on platforms created by MTN Uganda and Kenya's M-Pesa, says NilePay in a statement. NilePay Mobile Money, as the new service is branded, will make it "more convenient and secure for users to withdraw and deposit money to their accounts while participating in the digital economy," said Magdi Taha, Zain South Sudan's CEO.

    — Iain Morris, International Editor, Light Reading

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