Eurobites: BT’s Italian Bother Claims Sciolla’s Scalp

Also in today’s EMEA regional roundup: KPN invests in healthcare startup; Nokia upgrades in Cambodia; Orange expands mobile money service in Africa.

  • Following the revelations this morning about the full extent of accounting irregularities at BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)’s Italian arm, Corrado Sciolla, the head of BT’s Continental European operation, is to resign with immediate effect, the BBC reports. The details of the scandal, which it is now thought will incur a £530 million (US$661 million) write down in BT’s books, sent BT’s shares plunging more than 19% on the London Stock Exchange in Tuesday morning trading. (See Dodgy Italian Job Savages BT Earnings, Share Price Tanks.)
  • KPN Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Dutch incumbent operator KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN), has invested €5.4 million in Personal Medsystems, a German manufacturer of heart-monitoring devices. One of its products is CardioSecure, a smartphone-based electrocardiogram device that gives instant feedback on suspected heart failure symptoms. KPN has a good toehold in the healthcare market: Its E-Zorg network is already used by most doctors and pharmacies in the Netherlands to communicate confidentially on patient-related matters.
  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has got the call to help Cambodian operator Cellcard upgrade and expand its 3G and LTE network. Cellcard launched LTE services in Phnom Penh in 2015 and Nokia will deploy around 1,500 additional sites to spread mobile broadband services to other provinces.
  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) has entered into a partnership with Vivo Energy, the Shell licensee in Africa, that will allow Orange Money customers to cash in and cash out money from their account and pay for goods in any Vivo Energy gas station. The services — already available in Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Madagascar — will be extended to the rest of the two companies’ shared footprint by mid-2017.
  • Jacques Bonifay and Innocenzo Genna have been re-elected as MVNO Europe chair and vice-chair respectively for 2017. Jacques Bonifay is founder and CEO of the French MVNO Transatel, while Innocenza Genna is currently at PosteMobile. MVNO Europe was created in 2012 to represent the interests of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) active in European mobile markets.
  • A cyber attack earlier this month on UK banking giant Lloyds Bank prevented a considerable number of its customers from accessing their accounts online for several days. As the BBC reports, it has now been revealed that the National Cyber Security Centre, part of the UK government’s GCHQ intelligence operation, is working with the bank to find out more about the attack.

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