Eurobites: Orange cozies up to AWS cloud

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: KPN maps out the way ahead; Vodafone suffers German outage; MTS, Ericsson combine on private network for Russian mine.

  • Orange Business Services has taken a deep breath and announced a "global strategic collaboration agreement" with Amazon Web Services (AWS), allowing Orange's business customers to more easily migrate their operations to the AWS cloud. As part of the agreement, Orange will create a "Cloud Center of Excellence" on AWS – essentially a training program for more than 3,000 cloud, cybersecurity, digital and data operatives. The whole shebang, says Orange, will remove "multivendor complexity" for those customers with their hearts set on digital transformation.

  • Today sees Dutch incumbent KPN hosting a "strategy day" in which it spells out its various aims and aspirations, probably the most eye-catching of which is its plan to take FTTP coverage to 50% of the country in 2023 and 65% in 2025. (Coverage currently stands at around one-third of the country.) Also on the slate are more cost savings, with another €250 million (US$296 million) in cuts in the crosshairs for the period 2021-2023, some of which will be made by implementing more remote working and the concomitant shedding of expensive office space.

  • Vodafone's German mobile network was kaput for more than three hours on Monday, Reuters reports, with over 100,000 users in various locations unable to connect during the afternoon. According to Vodafone, the outage was caused by the failure of control equipment in Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin.

  • Mobile operator MTS is to deploy what it claims is Russia's first private "5G-ready" LTE network, for gold and silver producer Polymetal, at the company's Nezhdaninskoye site in the far-flung Republic of Sakha (so big it has two time zones!). The network, to be built using Ericsson's private-network platform, will be switched on by the end of 2020.

  • The CEO of Telefónica UK, Mark Evans, has used an article for the New Statesman magazine to sound off about how he feels the telecom industry is being held back by the powers that be. He identifies three areas where the "government should take action": It should modernize planning policy so that, for example, mobile masts can be built taller; it should encourage communications regulator Ofcom to focus on increasing investment; and, third, it should be more open to industry consolidation.

  • Telenor's maritime unit has agreed to acquire KNL Networks, a Finnish firm that has developed a technology that provides data access through a secure, global "mesh" network and critical on-board IoT communications at sea. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

  • Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has agreed to sell a 15% stake in STC Pay, its fintech subsidiary, to cross-border payments giant Western Union, for "up to" $200 million.

  • Sweden's largest trade union, Unionen, has recognized Telia's efforts in the diversity sphere by naming it as the country's most LBGTQI-friendly workplace in 2020. Among other efforts, Telia arranged a virtual Pride event which encouraged employees and those outside the company to celebrate and learn more about more accepting workplaces.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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