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Eurobites: Ericsson Upgrades Airtel's Core in Nigeria

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson cuts jobs in Finland; Deutsche Telekom cozies up to Netflix; Swisscom addresses online customer security; the smart ski resort.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has got the call from Airtel Nigeria to upgrade the operator's packet core network and make it fit for faster mobile broadband services. The three-year contract will see Ericsson supply its Evolved Packet Core product, along with other related offerings. According to Ericsson's latest Mobility Report, smartphone subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa are predicted to grow to 850 million by 2023 -- a figure that represents an compound annual growth rate of 17%.

  • In less positive Ericsson news, Finnish website YLE reports that the Swedish vendor is planning to cut 51 jobs in Finland, though this is not as many as had been feared. Ericcson employs around 800 people in Finland, mainly in the town of Kirkkonummi. In August there were reports that Ericsson had a worldwide headcount reduction of 25,000 in its sights -- some 23% of its total workforce. (See Ericsson Plans 25,000 Job Cuts – Report.)

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has announced a partnership with Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) that will see all of the German giant's subsidiaries making content from the streaming service available on their various TV and mobile video services. Deutsche Telekom customers in Germany, Poland, Croatia, Greece and Romania will be able to enjoy unlimited streaming of Netflix over mobile networks in the operators' respective "zero-rated" video streaming offers, such as StreamOn in Germany.

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is one of nine Swiss companies hoping to benefit from participation in the SwissID consortium, which will allow the companies' customers to use just one login profile in order to safely buy goods and services online. As Reuters reports, the Swiss government intends to introduce legislation to facilitate the system by the middle of next year.

  • Raise your glass of steaming Glühwein and drink a toast to… the smart ski resort! Orange Business Services has announced its first "smart resort," in Montgenèvre, in the French Alps. Actually, "smart resort" may be pushing it: The project at this stage appears to involve free WiFi, a mobile app and analytics to help skiers check information such as snow reports, ski-lift opening times and piste conditions. Still, it give us an excuse to use this lovely photo…

    'Smart ski resort'? It's a slippery slope.
    'Smart ski resort'? It's a slippery slope.

  • The UK data regulator has said that the fact that Uber concealed its massive data breach until now raises "huge concerns" about the cab-hailing company's data policies and ethics. As Reuters reports, the marvelously named James Dipple-Johnstone, deputy commissioner of the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, said: "Deliberately concealing breaches from regulators and citizens could attract higher fines for companies." Under current British law, the maximum fine for organizations failing to notify affected customers when data breaches occur is just £500,000 ($662,350).

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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