Vodafone confirms €7.2bn Ono buy
After months of speculation, Vodafone on Monday confirmed that it will acquire Spanish cable operator Ono for €7.2 billion, continuing its push to build up fixed assets in Europe. The deal, which will see the mobile group acquire 100 per cent of Ono’s share capital, is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, subject to regulatory and antitrust approvals. “The combination of Vodafone and Ono creates a leading integrated communications provider in Spain and represents an attractive value creation opportunity for Vodafone,” said Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao, in a statement.
Carphone boss Pin Points the firm’s future on the high street
Graham Stapleton said mixing the online and the physical buying process with Pin Point, Carphone’s price comparison-style tablet, is big news for the high street. He told Metro the firm’s £20 million investment, bringing in tablets to allow customers to compare up to 92,000 tarriff combinations with the help of an expert in-store, will change the way complicated products are sold. ‘I think any business with a need for a very complex and effective assisted sale, this is the way they will do it in the future,’ said Mr Stapleton, who carries two phones at any one time, but ‘couldn’t possibly say which two’.
Telefonica signs up to sell Samsung Knox ahead of Galaxy S5 release
Telefonica has partnered with Samsung to push the Korean company’s upgraded Knox 2.0 Android security service to its enterprise and public sector customers. Telefonica confirmed that it will offer Knox on a range of Samsung devices including the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition and soon-to-be-released Galaxy S5. Samsung unveiled Knox 2.0 alongside the Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. The upgraded version of Knox retains the same sandboxing powers as the original, letting IT managers set up separate work and personal areas on the device. This allows IT managers to enforce policies and manage the work side of the device without affecting the user’s personal side.
CIOs too busy fire-fighting to plan IT strategy
A new survey by Calyx reveals that Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and IT Directors believe they are no longer playing a major part in shaping business strategy. Although technology is central to many key business strategies, from maximising internet presence through to data mining and business intelligence, the survey’s findings suggest that CIOs are still heavily focused on ‘keeping the lights on’, instead of outsourcing day-to-day maintenance and support tasks. As a result, many organisations are failing to exploit the full potential of ICT – and are losing out on creating a competitive edge. When over 200 CIOs and IT directors were asked to name their most important responsibility, only around one third (33 per cent) saw it as driving strategic growth through technology. Perhaps more significantly, even fewer (16 per cent) actually spend their working day driving the development of business through IT while only (11 per cent) say they mainly focus on developing strategic concepts around IT to move their organisation forward.
BT email system being investigated over data security
The UK Information Commissioner Office (ICO) is investigating an email system used by British multinational telecommunications services BT for allegedly exposing ‘user credentials en masse’. As part of the investigation, the UK data regulator is looking into the telecom company’s data practices during its process of shifting consumers’ email accounts from a Yahoo-based system to its customised set-up developed by Openwave Messaging. The agency is mainly is mainly aiming to find out whether BT implemented insecure protocols for the messaging platform and stored data such that it exposed e-mail addresses and passwords.
New survey finds war for talent hotting up in the IT sector
Skills gaps, high demand and concerns surrounding staff retention are driving pay rises in the IT arena, the latest ReThink Recruitment IT directors’ survey has found. The specialist IT recruitment consultancy also found a gap between resourcing capacity and expected activity in its survey of over 1500 director level professionals. Figures in the seventh annual survey highlight that salaries have continued their upward trend after a challenging period during the global recession. The majority of directors (65 per cent) reported salaries grew in the last 12 months, with a further 95 per cent reporting contractor rates had either increased or remained stable during this time.
Chromecast UK launch tipped for Wednesday March 19
You might be able to get the official UK version of the Chromecast from Wednesday, if these leaked internal documents are correct. Some internal communications from Dixons Retail have been shared with Android Police, which outline a brand new Google product will be available in stores from Wednesday, March 19 at 9am. Form the looks of it, the Dixons Retail group began receiving Chromecast stock on Friday March 14, but has signed a non-disclosure agreement with Google.
US government to relinquish control of Internet address system
The US government has announced it is ready to relinquish control of some of the most important technical functions of the Internet. In September 2015, the US Commerce Department will hand over coordination of the Internet’s domain name system (DNS), which translates numeric Internet Protocol addresses into human-readable domain names, to non-profit organisation the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
EU votes yes to universal mobile phone charger
Late last week the EU voted on whether a common charger should be developed for all mobile phones sold in the EU. Such a move would reduce e-waste and reduce the hassle of needing different chargers with different brands of mobile phones. The vote was massively in favour of the draft new Radio Equipment Directive laws, being approved by 550 votes to 12 with 8 abstentions. The new draft directive is also said to be an efficient tool to prevent interference between different radio equipment devices. Under the new law there will be harmonised rules for placing radio equipment, including cellular telephones, car-door openers and modems, on the market. This will prevent such devices interfering with each other’s operations while also meeting health and safety requirements.