Eurobites: Virgin Media O2 heads indoors with Vilicom

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: TIM does hotels deal with DAZN; Cadoo plans UK expansion; Vodafone raises awareness of digital divide.

  • Virgin Media O2 has joined forces with Ireland-based Vilicom to launch a dedicated in-building 4G network at an unnamed commercial site. The network is built on "neutral host" open RAN principles and draws on Vilicom's cloud-based network platform – which itself uses technology from Mavenir – to enhance indoor coverage for Virgin's business subscribers. Vilicom claims that its service, which adheres to specifications laid out by Joint Operators Technical Specifications for Neutral Host In-Building (JOTS NHIB) systems, will bring significant cost savings to companies and help reduce their carbon footprint, as much of the power-intensive infrastructure is hosted off premises in Vilicom's data center.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) has reached a three-year deal with sports streaming specialist DAZN under the terms of which the Italian operator can use DAZN content such as Serie A and Europa League soccer in its TIMvision service for hotels, restaurants and bars. DAZN has become a major player in the sports content arena: Around 15 million people globally have now subscribed to its service, according to a recent BBC report.

  • Cadoo, an Irish-owned business bulk messaging service that is based upon the venerable SMS platform, is looking to expand into the UK market. As the Irish Examiner reports, Cadoo is hoping to notch up UK revenue of €2 million (US$2.3 million) within two years, and has opened an office in Birmingham to set its plans in motion. According to the report, one of the many consequences of the coronavirus pandemic has been a marked increase in "critical business messaging," with Cadoo sending 2 million messages a month, up from 1.2 million a month before the pandemic struck.

  • Nokia is offering a web-based course that aims to help network professionals address the vulnerabilities faced by industries, governments and individuals as they seek to secure 5G systems. The course forms part of the Nokia Bell Labs 5G Certification Program.

  • Vodafone is hoping to raise awareness of the so-called "digital divide" with an installation in London's Leicester Square that seeks to illustrate how access to technology and connectivity is as vital in today's world as access to the basic necessities of life, such as food and water. The installation takes the form of a supermarket aisle, and features QR codes that tell people how they can donate their unwanted devices so that they can be redistributed to people who need them but can't afford them. According to regulator Ofcom, 1.5 million UK households – roughly 6% of the population – are currently living without Internet access.

    Mock-up of the 'supermarket aisle' installation that will appear in London's Leicester Square (Source: Vodafone)
    Mock-up of the 'supermarket aisle' installation that will appear in London's Leicester Square
    (Source: Vodafone)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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