Eurobites: A1 Telekom Austria blends Nokia, Ericsson for 5G in central Europe

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: OneWeb sends up more satellites; Ericsson heads for the Faroe Islands; Telia takes part in 5G-fueled farming robotics program.

  • A1 Telekom Austria Group has decided to keep it Nordic where 5G is concerned, opting for Nokia and Ericsson as network suppliers for its rollout of the technology in its central European markets. It's a little complicated, so pay attention: In Bulgaria, Nokia is building the radio network and Ericsson the core network; in Croatia, Ericsson is responsible for both the radio and core network; in Serbia and Slovenia, Nokia is responsible for both the radio and packet core network. Previously A1 had announced that Nokia was to be the chosen one for 5G rollout of both radio and core network domains on its home turf.

  • UK-based satellite communications company OneWeb sent another 34 satellites into low-Earth orbit over the weekend from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This latest launch brings OneWeb's total in-orbit constellation to 288 satellites, forming part of OneWeb's 648 LEO satellite fleet intended to deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity. OneWeb, which is jointly owned by the UK government and India's Bharti, says it remains on track to deliver global service in 2022. In June, OneWeb secured another $500 million in funding, bringing its total funding to $2.4 billion. (See OneWeb new chapter with northern hemisphere push.)

  • Faroese Telecom, the incumbent telco in the wild and windswept Faroe Islands, has gone with Ericsson for its 5G core and RAN needs. The Faroe Islands – part of the Kingdom of Denmark – boasts 97.2% geographical coverage of 4G, reaching even 100km out to sea. One of the Faroes' biggest challenges is the number of bridges and tunnels in the archipelago, which can be difficult to reach with a mobile signal.

  • Sweden's Telia has collaborating with Ekobot, Axis Communications and RISE on trials investigating how 5G can be used by autonomous field robots for mechanical weed control, an advance that could allow farmers to reduce their dependence on chemical herbicides. The video below shows how it's supposed to work…

  • As the coronavirus pandemic continues to bubble away like some foul broth on a low heat, Qatar-based Ooeredoo has decided to offer its employees the opportunity to work more flexibly, using the usual digital tools. There will be a number of options on offer: the chance to work from home two days a week; flexibility in daily working hours; and the opportunity to extend working hours at the start of the week to enable a shorter working day on Thursday. The group has operating companies spread far and wide, from Algeria to Indonesia, and the greater flexibility will also help Ooredoo's workers handle the awkward time differences.

  • Openreach, the semi-autonomous network access arm of UK incumbent telco BT, is expanding its civil engineering team in Northern Ireland, with the creation of 16 new positions and a new base in the north-western region of the country. The team is responsible for installing new FTTH underground infrastructure.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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