Video services

Eurobites: Sky Gives Netflix a Walk-On Part

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia and Ericsson win big in Japan; regulator gets tough with UK broadband providers; du gets virtualized with Cisco.

  • Sky , the UK-based quad-play heavyweight that is at the eye of a takeover storm encompassing both 21st Century Fox and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), has done a deal with Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) to include the OTT streaming giant's full service on its Sky Q platform. The Netflix content will form part of a package that also includes Sky's regular offerings, and will include, says Sky, more than 1,000 hours of Ultra HD fare. Existing Netflix customers will be able to "migrate" their account to a Sky TV bundle, or sign into the Netflix app using their existing account details. The UK and Ireland will be the first of Sky's territories to offer the Netflix deal on Sky Q, with Germany, Austria and Italy following later.

    But it's not just about Sky Q: The deal is also available to those who prefer not to have a contract with Sky and use instead the provider's Now TV OTT streaming service via a set-top box or stick.

    In the meantime, the takeover storm surrounding Sky rumbles on… (See Why Sky's the Limit for Comcast, Comcast Bids $31B to Steal Sky From Fox, Disney and 21st Century Fox Confirms $14.6B Bid for Sky.)

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has landed a big IoT contract in Japan with Marubeni Group , a multinational company with fingers in various pies, including interests in MVNO operations. The Finnish vendor will bring its worldwide IoT network grid (WING) to the table, with the aim of enabling Marubeni to provide global IoT services to its enterprise customers across its five business groups: food and consumer products; chemical and forest products; energy and metals; utilities and transporation; and industrial machinery. IoT services covered could include fleet management, remote monitoring of industrial machinery and logistics.

  • Nokia's Nordic rival Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has also scored in Japan, being chosen by NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) to automate the deployment of its Openstack-based virtual infrastructure manager offering, Cloud Execution Environment (CEE), at various commercial sites in Japan. Ericsson says that the move will improve installation, "sanity testing" and deployment times for network functions virtualization infrastructure (NFVi).

  • UK telecom regulator Ofcom has announced a new set of measures intended to provide consumers looking to sign up for a broadband contract with clearer and more accurate information about the sort of service they will receive. Under the measures, broadband providers will have to give a minimum guaranteed speed to a potential customer at the point of sale. If that customer's broadband speed drops below the promised level, the provider will have one month to improve the performance of the service. After which time -- if the service hasn't improved -- they must let customers walk away without a penalty.

  • Middle East operator Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co. (du) has called upon Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) to help it modernize, expand and virtualize its IP core network. The operator claims the upgrade will increase the capacity of the core network to 24 terabytes per node, making it fit for "ultra-broadband" services.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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