Vodafone has been named as best fibre-optic network operator in Europe at the FTTH Council Europe event in Stocholm.Vodafone received the Operator Award for FTTH for its deployment in Portugal, Spain and Italy.Vodafone Portugal CEO Mário Vaz received the award at the FTTH Council Europe conference in Stockholm this week.Vodafone has committed to spend an additional €3 billion in its networks across the three countries over the next two years.“In Portugal , we strive to give the best to consumers and ensure that they have a choice. Despite all the challenges and difficulties , we are reinforcint our investment to more than €500 million within the next two years,” said Vaz.“Innovation, modernity and striving to offer the best deals to customers is part of the DNA of Vodafone and this award – which makes us very proud – is a recognition of the work that we have undertaken.”
Amazon is reportedly due to introduce a new version of its Prime music streaming service in the coming weeks.According to a New York Times report, Amazon is due to introduce a music service with a “full catalogue” that will be available in the US for US$10 per month.Customers of Amazon’s voice-activated speaker system, Echo, will be able to access the service for roughly half the price, said the NYT.Amazon currently offers Amazon Prime customers in the US, UK, Germany and Japan unlimited, access to over one million songs and thousands of playlists and stations. However, it does not currently offer the service on a stand-alone basis like music streaming rivals Spotify and Apple Music.A Prime subscription in the states costs US$10.99 per month or US$99 a year, and also includes free two-day shipping on physical goods, access to more than a million ebooks, unlimited photo storage, and access to movies and TV shows through Prime Video.Reuters reported in June that Amazon would launch a US$9.99 per-month standalone music streaming service towards the end of summer or early autumn, reporting at the time that label deals were being finalised.Amazon launched Prime Video as a standalone, pay-monthly service for the first time in the US in April, charging US$8.99 per-month for the SVOD service and undercutting rival Netflix by US$1 per-month.In the UK, a monthly subscription option for Prime Video, priced at £5.99 per-month, has been available since Amazon launched Prime Video there in 2014, as this continued over from the LoveFilm Instant package.The NYT also reported that US music streaming service Pandora will also launch an expanded version of its US$5 per-month service – possibly as early as this week.
Graham NorthSet-top box and technology provider Humax’s vice-president of sales Graham North is to leave the company at the end of this month following a period of ill-health.Rob Peacock will take up the position of sales director for the UK from November 1, retaining responsibility for the UK operator business and taking on the overall responsibility for UK retail sales and marketing. Peacock has been with Humax since early 2007, where he started as a key account manager for the independent distribution channel.North joined Humax UK in August 2005 and has been instrumental in developments including steering Humax as a launch partner of Freesat in 2008, Youview in 2012 and Freeview Play recorders in 2014. On the business-to-business side, North played a major role in developing the company’s partnership with various leading operators across Europe.Rob PeacockNorth said: “I have been lucky to work in such an exciting environment and have been a part of many new and innovative platform launches during my time at Humax. I’m confident that the company will go from strength to strength, with some fantastic new opportunities in the pipeline. It’s now time for me to hand over my responsibilities to other members of the team, in order to drive the business in new ways. I will certainly miss my valued colleagues, but will look forward to watching Humax grow in the future, and would like to express my gratitude to the management in the UK and South Korea for their support over the last twelve years.”Peacock said: “It is an honour to take on the challenges of the UK STB marketplace, and to steer and drive the business forward into new emerging market segments with smart products and improved customer experiences.”Jeff Kim, president, Humax Europe, said, “We would like to thank Graham for his dedication to Humax over the last 12 years, which has resulted in significant growth in the business, and we will greatly miss his leadership and knowledge of the market. I’m sure the entire Humax team, and the consumer electronics industry, will join me in wishing Graham our sincere best wishes for the future.”