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Ericsson, Sprint sign global IoT deal; eir to invest €1B in fiber expansion

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Ericsson, Sprint sign global IoT deal; eir to invest €1B in fiber expansion

TOP NEWS

* Ericsson 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. The new environment, designed to turn sensor data into immediate intelligence, is 5G-ready and primed for artificial intelligence and robotics.

* Irish operator eir Group plc will invest €1 billion in expanding its fiber-to-the-home network to 1.4 million more households across Ireland over the next five years. Announcing results for the year ended June 30, eir also said it is bringing outsourced customer service jobs "back in house."

PAN-EUROPEAN

* The finance ministers of the European Union plan to confer by the end of the year about proposals on imposing taxes on tech companies' digital turnover, Reuters reports, citing a document by the Austrian presidency of the bloc. Austria intends to propose a 3% tax.

UK AND IRELAND

* On-demand services such as Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime Video have spent £150 million on producing British-made TV shows such as "The Crown," "Black Mirror" and "The Grand Tour" for 2017, according to the annual census of TV producers group Pact. The amount has contributed to a new high of £2.7 billion for total TV production revenues in Britain as of last year.

* Cisco Systems Inc.'s Service Provider Video Software Solutions business, which is set to be acquired by a company backed by private equity firm Permira Holdings Ltd., has been renamed Synamedia. Synamedia also launched new and enhanced solutions for over-the-top video services.

* The British government has selected the West Midlands as the center for the country's first multicity test bed for 5G, according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Sky Deutschland GmbH and broadcasting company Turner Deutschland have renewed and expanded their partnership to include the rights for further linear distribution of popular station brands. The expanded deal covers channels such as TNT Series, TNT Film, TNT Comedy, Boomerang and Cartoon Network.

* Swiss operator Swisscom AG and Swedish telecom group Ericsson have enabled what is touted as the first 5G non-stand-alone end-to-end data call in Europe in Burgdorf.

* Thorsten Langheim is joining Deutsche Telekom AG's executive board, effective Jan. 1, 2019. He will take over the German telecom giant's newly created USA and Corporate Development division.

* Germany's Federal Cartel Office, or Bundeskartellamt, has fined German media group DuMont Mediengruppe and newspaper Bonner General-Anzeiger €16 million over illegal territorial agreements between the two companies.

FRANCE

* Iliad SA published first-half results with €2.4 billion in revenues, stable compared with the same period in 2017, and a consolidated EBITDA of €866 million, down 1% year over year. The operator lost 70,000 mobile subscribers and 47,000 broadband subscribers in France and gained 635,000 mobile subscribers in Italy.

* Groupe Les Échos-Le Parisien, owned by LVMH, is in advanced talks to invest in podcast platform Binge Audio, Libération reports. Details of the amount or share of capital have not been disclosed, although it is known that it will not be a buyout and current Binge shareholders will retain the majority stake.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Proximus said CEO Dominique Leroy plans to continue in her role, following rumors she was named a candidate to succeed Gavin Patterson as British Telecom's chief executive, De Tijd reports. A recent report by London's The Daily Telegraph named Leroy and Ronan Dunne, executive vice president of Verizon Communications Inc. and group president of Verizon Wireless, as candidates for the top job at BT.

* Liberty Global PLC unit Ziggo NV will transition to digital in the areas of Zuid-Holland-Zuid and Berkel en Rodenrijs on Oct. 22. It is part of VodafoneZiggo's two-year plan to phase out analog TV in the Netherlands, which started in March.

* Dutch fiber internet provider Tweak will no longer offer its Sparql TV package, and said customers will be transferred to Canal Digitaal for TV services. Commercial director Randal Peelen told Nu.nl that Tweak stopped its TV service because it cannot compete with the purchasing power of telcos such as KPN NV and Ziggo.

* The Ziggo video-on-demand and Replay TV malfunction has been resolved after three days, MediaMagazine reports. Customers who restored their Mediabox XL to factory settings, which also resulted in a phone outage, will reportedly be compensated financially or with premium options.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Ericsson is acquiring 100% of the shares in U.S. service orchestration specialist Cenx Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is expected to strengthen Ericsson's position in the ISS and managed services market.

* Finnish operator Elisa Oyj has partnered with China Broadcasting Network Co. Ltd. subsidiary China Broadcasting and Television Media to bring video-on-demand service Nordic TV to China. The agreement opens access to 245 million cable TV households. Elisa plans to launch Nordic TV, which offers Nordic content, in selected provinces at the end of 2018, and aims to develop a nationwide brand at a later stage.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Altice Europe, formerly Altice NV, has completed the sale of 75% of the newly formed company Towers of Portugal to a consortium that includes Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners and Horizon Equity Partners. The tower company's assets include 2,961 sites previously operated by Altice Portugal SA unit MEO.

* The 5G 3GPP standard antenna has been switched on in Faetano in San Marino, under the collaboration of Telecom Italia SpA, Telecom Italia San Marino SpA, Nokia Corp. and the government of San Marino. The 5G coverage in San Marino is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2018.

EASTERN EUROPE

* TransTeleKom ZAO has continued its agreement with Signal Media International OOO, allowing the latter's channels to become available on the Russian operator's internet protocol TV platform, Telecompaper reports.

* Bite Latvia has teamed up with Teliko to deploy a narrowband internet of things network, Telecompaper reports, citing Db.lv. The Latvian operator is using Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.'s equipment for the implementation.

FEATURED NEWS

Telefónica to offer 4K-quality satellite stream; fuboTV launches in Spain: In this monthly feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Turkey.

The week in OTT: Spotify upgrades students plan; Facebook Watch goes global: Spotify upgraded its Spotify Premium for Students plan with the addition of Showtime, while Facebook made its Watch video service available worldwide.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Consumer Insights: Young iPhone users most interested in smartwatches: Online consumer survey data shows that younger respondents and iPhone owners are most interested in getting a smartwatch.

Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Koen Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

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