Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia lands networks deal in Iraq; Ericsson surveys 5G readiness; LoRaWAN collaboration.
Sky (NYSE, London: SKY), the pan-European pay-TV giant, saw like-for-like revenues rise 5% to £3.3 billion (US$4.3 billion) in its fiscal first quarter, while EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) rose 11% to £582 million ($764.8 million). This was achieved, says Sky in its earnings statement, despite "headwinds" in the UK advertising market. The company claims its increased investment in fresh content is paying dividends, with customer viewing on Sky's pay channels up 10%. (Game of Thrones helped in this department.) Looking ahead, Sky plans to launch its Sky Q set-top box in Italy, Germany and Austria, as well as increasing its investment in original programming by 25% this year. Overarching all the numbers, however, is the uncertainty over whether 21st Century Fox 's bid for Sky will get the go-ahead from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority: All necessary clearances from other authorities have been received, but the deal could still fall at this final hurdle. (See Eurobites: EU Gives Blessing to Fox-Sky Deal.)
Industry chatter might make you think otherwise, but it isn't all about 4G and 5G. Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has landed a deal in Iraq to modernize Zain Group 's 2G and 3G networks across Karbala, Najaf and Basra, with a special focus on the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf as they prepare for an expected surge in voice and data traffic during Zeyara, a time of religious pilgrimage.
But meanwhile… a "5G Readiness" survey from Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has found that operators are much further along the road to 5G preparedness than they were a year ago. Seventy-eight percent of respondents -- more than double last year's figure -- said that they were currently in the throes of full-on 5G trials, with concurrently fewer stuck at the base camp of the 5G mountain just thinking about the implications of the technology. And the timelines seem to be getting shorter: The number of operators believing that they will deploy 5G commercially in 2018 has risen to 28%, from 18% last time round.
Germany's Giesecke & Devrient 's Mobile Security unit has teamed up with Senet of the US to offer a cloud-provisioning solution that, the companies claim, enables improved levels of security when using LoRaWAN connectivity across the IoT ecosystem. LoRaWAN is a low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) specification intended for wireless battery-operated devices in regional, national or global networks.
OK it's dry stuff, but it's probably important stuff: The Estonian presidency of the EU's European Council has been granted a general mandate to begin negotiations with the European Parliament over new rules for the telecom sector, a set of rules that are known collectively as the European Electronic Communications Code, and cover areas such as consumer right and operators' access to rivals' networks. The legislative process relating to the Code has already raised the concerns of the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) , which believes that, among other complaints, measures intended to encourage investments in high-capacity networks have been weakened as the Code begins its passage through the EU's law-making labyrinth.
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.
During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.
She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.