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Eurobites: Three, EE get onboard London's tube connectivity plan

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Elisa Estonia chooses Nokia for 5G open RAN; Telefónica tries liquid-cooling for its data centers, central offices; Fastweb speeds up with Infinera.

  • UK mobile operators Three and EE have agreed a deal that will bring greater 4G and "5G-ready" connectivity to their customers using London's underground rail network. The pair have become the first mobile operators to join up with BAI Communications, which this year landed a 20-year concession with the authority that runs the public transport network in the UK's capital, Transport for London. Three and EE will be able to access the network's WiFi, as well as BAI's "neutral host" cellular network. Work at some of London's busiest stations, including Oxford Circus and Euston, is underway to get them ready to be among the first to be connected, by the end of 2022.

  • Elisa's Estonian unit has chosen Nokia to be its new 5G RAN supplier, replacing the unnamed incumbent vendor. Deployment is expected to roll out next year following the completion of Estonia's spectrum auction in early 2022. Under the terms of the deal, Nokia will be supplying gear from its ReefShark-powered AirScale range.

  • Telefónica has been trying out a new approach to keeping the servers at its central offices and data centers cool by submerging them in an electrically non-conductive non-toxic liquid that, says the operator, improves heat transfer and is biodegradable. The system, devised by Submer, has been tested at Telefónica's Bellas Vistas central office in Madrid. The project forms part of Telefónica's stated commitment to reducing carbon dioxide emissions to help limit the rise in global temperature. (See The greenwashing of telecom.)

  • Italy's Fastweb reckons it has broken some sort of record with its successful trial of a single-wavelength 600Gbit/s connection across its network, courtesy of a tie-up with Infinera. The trial included the 1,372km portion of its network that forms the route between the cities Milan and Bari. Using Infinera's ICE6 800G technology, Fastweb was able to double its network capacity, says the vendor. Fastweb is now set to launch new 400G Ethernet services across its existing infrastructure.

  • Orange Business Services is looking for a new CEO following the decision of the incumbent, Helmut Reisinger, to move to pastures new. Reisinger has been with OBS for 14 years, and has been CEO since 2018. Aliette Mousnier-Lompré, EVP of operations and customer service, will take over as CEO on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found.

  • BT is supporting its push into digital healthcare with the creation of a Clinical Advisory Board made up of healthcare professionals. The hope is that the assorted doctors and professors will provide crucial feedback when it comes to testing BT's healthcare-related offerings.

  • Wirlab has become the latest broadband provider to sign up to the FiberCop FTTH co-investment program in Italy. Under the terms of the agreement, Wirlab will use FiberCop's network to develop the FTTH market in nine municipalities in the Campania region. (See FiberCop is go after KKR and Fastweb firm up stakes.)

  • Chinese vendor Huawei may face an uphill struggle getting its gear into European networks these days but at least it is still making its presence felt on the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, which ranks the research investment levels of 2,500 companies around the world. Huawei has risen one place on the scorecard compared to last year, reaching the number-two spot. (See ECTA fights Huawei's corner.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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