In this monthly Best of Nordics feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of recent market developments in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.
* Ericsson on Sept. 4 said it has entered into a global partnership with Sprint Corp. to build a distributed and virtualized core network dedicated to the internet of things, as well as an IoT operating system.
* Nokia Corp. on Aug. 27 announced that it has secured a €500 million loan from the European Investment Bank to accelerate its research and development of 5G technology.
INTERNET, OTT AND MOBILE
* Ericsson said Aug. 10 that it will bolster its research and development investments to speed up 5G deployment in the U.S. and will begin manufacturing in the country by the fourth quarter of 2018 to quicken product delivery. The telecom equipment manufacturer plans in 2018 to open a new software development center with a focus on baseband, which will house more than 200 software engineers.
CONTENT, CARRIAGE AND LICENSING DEALS
* Spotify Technology SA upgraded its Spotify Premium for Students plan with the addition of CBS Corp.'s Showtime (US). The existing $4.99-a-month plan offers unlimited and on-demand access to all of Spotify's music and podcasts, along with a subscription to Hulu LLC's streaming library, according to an Aug. 29 official blog post.
* Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. entered into an output deal with Nordisk Film in Scandinavia. The long-term agreement covers upcoming titles from Lions Gate and its Summit Entertainment label, including the recently released action comedy "The Spy Who Dumped Me," the comedy "Flarsky" and the action film "John Wick: Chapter Three," according to an Aug. 15 news release.
* Telenor ASA on Sept. 4 said Berit Svendsen is stepping down as CEO of Telenor Norway and head of the telecom group's Scandinavian cluster. Petter Furberg has been appointed CEO of Telenor Norway, and Kaaren Hilsen as CEO of Telenor Sweden. Morten Karlsen Sørby was appointed acting cluster head of Scandinavia. Svendsen has been CEO of Telenor Norway for seven years.
* Sky PLC will open a new office in Berlin, which will look for startups in Germany and the Nordic region, according to a Sept. 2 news release.
* AB Electrolux (publ) expanded its partnership with Alphabet Inc.-owned search engine giant Google LLC on smart appliances with the integration of Google Assistant into Electrolux's connected kitchen products in Europe. The move will allow customers to control products using voice commands, the Swedish home-appliances maker said Aug. 30.
* Fitch Ratings upgraded the long-term issuer default ratings and senior unsecured rating of Nokia to BBB- from BB+, while maintaining its stable outlook. The rating agency cited the telecommunications company's successful implementation of its cost savings program, sufficiently strong operating margins in the current industry cycle phase and the integration of Alcatel Lucent.