Tech business week: New broadband service for Ireland

13 Jul 2015

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, including new broadband for Ireland and a new chief for Fujitsu.

Ireland lands yet another broadband service, Purely Broadband

Offering ‘up to’ 100Mbps of fibre broadband, Pure Telecom has just announced its new broadband-only plan, targeting €4.3m in revenues from 10,000 customers.

Called Purely Broadband, the service comes on the back of a trial that saw 400 people sign up, with the service making fibre broadband “available to customers who don’t have a landline”.

“Broadband has come a very long way in the last few years,” said Paul Connell, head of operations at Pure Telecom.

“The world has changed, and many people are seeking high-speed broadband and don’t have a telephone landline. The majority of the people we are targeting in this segment never had a landline because they have cable TV. We believe that this is one of the best customer-driven innovations yet and we expect that it will significantly disrupt the market.”

New Fujitsu Ireland CEO Tony O’Malley succeeds Regina Moran

After nine years leading Fujitsu Ireland, Regina Moran takes up a new role overseeing UK and Ireland operations, while Tony O’Malley earns a new appointment.

O’Malley has been appointed as the new CEO of Fujitsu Ireland, taking up the position with immediate effect.

Moran, a chartered engineer, recently completed a year-long stint as president of Engineers Ireland, during which she focused on the role of women in STEM.

Former Irish Army captain O’Malley has worked with Fujitsu Ireland since 1998, holding a variety of roles within the company including, most recently, customer accounts director.

Microsoft confirms 7,800 job cuts in its smartphone division

Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia for US$7.2bn last year hasn’t exactly gone according to plan, as the company has confirmed that it is to let go 7,800 staff in its smartphone division on top of the 18,000 it had previously confirmed would be leaving the company.

News had emerged of the inevitable announcement by the company and its plans for its smartphone division, but the severity of the cuts has now been confirmed in a statement by Microsoft.

As well as the major job cuts, the company says it will record an impairment charge of approximately US$7.6bn related to assets associated with its acquisition of Nokia, in addition to a restructuring charge of approximately US$750m to US$850m.

Europe’s 5G charge will be led by Irish researchers

The TSSG research group at Waterford Institute of Technology has beaten off competition from all over Europe to win a €6m EU public-private partnership (PPP) under Horizon 2020 to help build the 5G networks of the future.

The 30-month CogNet (Cognitive Networks) project, co-ordinated by TSSG, is the only Irish-led project so far approved under the Horizon 2020-financed 5G-PPP.

CogNet will develop solutions to provide a highly automated and more intelligent level of network monitoring and management, improve operational and energy efficiencies and quality of experience for the end user, and facilitate the requirements of 5G.

Partners include Fraunhofer Fokus in Germany, Telefónica in Spain, and universities in Madrid, Berlin and Italy, as well as VicomTech in the Basque Region and Israel partners Alcatel-Lucent and WeFi.

Sugru investment sticks – surpasses £1m crowdfunding target by more than £2m

Sugru, the start-up led by Irishwoman Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh has attracted £3.3m (€4.6m) in crowdfunding – far more than its initial target of £1m.

This means that, at the time of writing, the crowdfunding campaign is 337pc oversubscribed. The campaign attracted more than 2,542 investors, with the largest single investment by one investor totalling £1m.

Sugru is a mouldable glue designed to fix almost anything. Sugru plans on using the capital to grow awareness of the brand and support its fast-moving retail expansion in the UK, Scandinavia and the US.

Didi Kuaidi, Uber’s Chinese competitor, raises US$2bn in funding

Uber’s attempts to enter the incredibly lucrative Chinese market might be scuppered somewhat by the news that the country’s own ride-sharing company, Didi Kuaidi, has raised US$2bn in a new round of funding.

While Uber’s exploits and influence in many of the largest nations is well-known at this stage, the company isstill attempting to crack the biggest market of all – China – where Didi Kuaidi is still, officially, the most-used service.

The Chinese operation is actually newer than Uber, having been formed as a partnership between two similar companies – Didi and Kuaidi – which decided to merge to fight off the might of Uber as part of a US$6bn deal back in February of this year.

Main image via Shutterstock

Brigid O Gorman is a former sub-editor of Silicon Republic.