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Eurobites: Airline WiFi Scheme Set for Take-Off

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telefónica and Huawei test 5G-V2X; Nokia tries out LPWA tech for French power giant; Orange turns to Check Point for device protection.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Inmarsat plc (London: ISAT) and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) have together completed the ground network part of the European Aviation Network (EAN), installing around 300 basestations across all 28 member states of the EU, as well as in Switzerland and Norway. EAN is being described by its backers as the "world's first integrated S-band satellite and complementary LTE-based terrestrial network built for Europe," and will offer download speeds of 75 Mbit/s to air passengers. International Airlines Group (IAG), which includes brands such as British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus, is the launch customer for the new service and has already begun installing EAN-related equipment on its aircraft. (See Inmarsat, DT Launch WiFi-in-the-Sky Service.)

  • In what its participants claim is another world first, Telefónica and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd have completed a proof-of-concept test of 5G-V2X, a technology that, it is hoped, will one day power 5G-based vehicle communication networks. The test, which took place at the companies' 5G Joint Innovation Lab in Madrid, was based on the latest 3GPP new radio (NR) standard specification, made available in December. Specifically, the test set out to demonstrate that the ultra-reliable and low-latency communication (URLLC) mode for 5G NR can effectively support V2X. (See C-V2X: A Turbo Boost for Connected Cars?)

  • In other Huawei-related news, the Chinese vendor has announced a "major new commitment to the UK" following the chinwag between UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Huawei Chairwoman Sun Yafang in Beijing. Huawei is pledging to "procure" a total of £3 billion (US$4.1 billion) worth of goods and services in the UK over the next five years, building on an existing agreement. Huawei already has a sizeable presence in the UK, with more than 1,500 people employed in 15 offices.

  • Nokia has been chosen by French power company EDF to test low-power, wide-area (LPWA) networking technologies with a view to their use in the Internet of Things. The trials will take place at Nokia's Device Testing Lab, using real network infrastructure to compare IoT technologies recently standardized by the 3G Partnership Project (3GPP) -- including NB-IoT and LTE-M -- with other emerging, largely unlicensed IoT technologies.

  • Orange Cyberdefense, the French giant's cybersecurity unit, has launched a new service based on smarts from Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP), which is intended to protect the mobile devices used by employees of multinationals. According to Orange (NYSE: FTE), Mobile Threat Protection embeds an app that runs in the background of the user's device which can detect threats and alert the user without adversely affecting the device's performance or battery life.

  • DigitalRoute AB , the Stockholm-based data management company, has announced Johan Arpe as its new CFO. Arpe, who has worked with the likes of Deloitte and PwC, was most recently CFO at Varnish Software.

  • Slovenia's Iskratel d.o.o. is touting two new universal next-generation PON offerings, the 8-port multi-PON blade and the 16-port GPON blade, which the vendor says are designed to facilitate a "controlled upgrade" to the likes of NG-PON2 and XGS-PON. Both products will be demonstrated at the forthcoming FTTH Conference in Valencia, Spain.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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