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Eurobites: BT boosts security offering for homeworker army

Also in today’s EMEA regional round-up: Swisscom on a roll in H1; Brits watching even more telly in lockdown; UK operators get to grips with 5G.

  • The pandemic-prompted switch to large-scale remote working has persuaded BT to launch a new managed security service aimed at larger companies and the public sector. The idea is that it will help businesses to better manage complex security architectures – that now involve millions of former office habitués working from home, possibly permanently – in the face of relentless cyberattacks. According to the BT press release, the new offering (called, in a Ronseal-like moment of inspiration, ‘Managed Security Service’) “provides customers with proactive monitoring that immediately identifies suspicious activity in a customer’s IT environment and blocks threats and attacks before they happen.” The service incorporates software from the likes of CloudStrike, Palo Alto and IBM.
  • The Swiss are on a roll. Swisscom, that is: the operator’s group revenue rose by 2.6% year-on-year to CHF 5.58 billion in its first half-year, thanks largely to a perky performance at Fastweb, Swisscom’s Italian unit, which reported 6.9% year-on-year revenue growth of €76 million. Group EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) was 4.9% up on the previous year, at CHF 2.31 billion, prompting a raising of Swisscom’s EBITDA outlook for 2021 by about CHF 100 million, to between CHF 4.4 billion and CHF 4.5 billion.
  • Coronavirus restrictions meant that Brits’ propensity to gorge themselves on the gogglebox was only exacerbated in 2020, with the daily average for UK adults viewing TV and online video content rising by 47 minutes to a frankly catatonic five hours and 40 minutes. That’s the headline finding of a new study from Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator. The study also found that Netflix became more popular than ‘traditional’ pay-TV for the first time, with more than half of UK households now shelling out for a subscription to the streaming behemoth. However, amid all the talk of SVoD, BVoD, YouTube and what-have-you, it’s probably worth remembering that old-school live TV viewing still makes up the largest slice of daily viewing among all adults, accounting for 162 minutes of viewing time… although it’s a different story with the 16- to 34-year-olds, where SVoD now reigns supreme.
  • Vodafone Spain has expanded its CRM (customer relationship management) software agreement with Amdocs. The US company rashly promises that its box of tricks will provide a “future-proof” infrastructure platform, allowing Vodafone Spain to improve the efficiency of its CRM offering. It’s strange how many tech companies think they can see into the future…
  • Sky has landed the exclusive TV rights to the next four seasons of Germany’s Bundesliga soccer in UK and Ireland. How much Sky has paid for the privilege remains under wraps.
  • All the main UK mobile networks are getting better at 5G, but EE is top dog overall when it comes to the new(ish) technology. That’s the main finding of a new report from Rootmetrics, which found that “what separated EE’s performance from those of the other operators was its consistently broad availability plus fast speeds and great reliability”. Not to mention its extensive use of a clearly bewildered Kevin Bacon on its TV ads.
  • Deutsche Telekom is expanding its collaboration with the German trade fair company Messe München, setting up 29 new 5G sites in Munich to meet the needs of shows that are now more scattered throughout the city rather than being restricted to a couple of large exhibition halls. The new set-up will be put through its paces at the International Motor Show (which is also known as IAA Mobility) in September.
  • Neos Networks is expanding its business-grade Ethernet services to nine more UK locations, Cambridge and Swindon among them. Neos’s customers will access the services via the CityFibre network. The nine new locations will join the 15 CityFibre regions made available in 2019.

— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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