5G and Beyond

Eurobites: Cellnex lands plum EU 5G transport projects

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: green light for Bluevía; EE goes underground in London; Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the new Thursdays.

  • Spanish tower company Cellnex has been awarded six projects by the European Commission for the deployment of 5G along key European cross-border transport corridors. The areas of work will include two road corridors linking Spain with France (Barcelona-Montpellier/Toulouse and Bilbao-Bordeaux) and two corridors linking Spain with Portugal (Salamanca-Porto-Vigo and Mérida-Évora). Cellnex will deploy 34 new sites (including distributed antenna systems in tunnels), where it plans to work with mobile operators using its "neutral host" model, complemented by a V2X communications infrastructure network and edge computing nodes to provide 5G connectivity to more than 1,400km of these routes. The fundamental aim of the projects, which form part of the European Commission's Connecting Europe Facility Digital program, is to provide high-quality, uninterrupted 5G connectivity for road safety services and for drivers and passengers using these corridors.

    (Source: Cellnex)
    (Source: Cellnex)

  • Bluevía, the Spanish rural fiber vehicle that is co-owned by Telefónica España, Telefónica Infra and a consortium formed by Crédit Agricole Assurances and Vauban Infrastructure Partners, has begun trading. Beginning with an initial footprint of 3.9 million premises acquired from Telefónica España, Bluevía plans to expand its network to reach 5 million premises by the end of 2024. Telefónica originally launched the Bluevía brand as a global developer platform in 2011, but apparently abandoned the venture a few years later. (See Telefónica forms rural fiber JV under Bluevia brand).

  • And in related news, engineering firm Sacyr has chosen Telefónica Tech to manage its public cloud contracts with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure for the next three years. Since it started life in November 2019, Telefónica Tech has looked to strengthen its cloud knowhow with four acquisitions, namely Cancom UK&I, Incremental, BE-terna (all three specializing in Microsoft cloud technology) and Altostratus (a Google Cloud guru).

  • EE, the mobile operator owned by UK incumbent carrier BT, is minding the connectivity gap on the London Underground, bringing 4G to six more stations on the Central and Northern lines. The deployment is being carried out in partnership with BAI Communications, which runs a multi-carrier network linking the tube's tunnels and stations.

  • Also owned by BT, Openreach has announced price increases on its Ethernet services that will take effect in April 2023. As ISPreview reports, the new charges largely reflect the current rate of inflation in the UK (11.1%).

  • When it comes to office working, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the new Thursdays. That's one of the just-run-that-past-me-again "learnings" from research carried out by Virgin Media O2, part of which has used crowd movement data from its O2 Motion platform to look back on the behavioral trends of 2022. In other data-related revelations: Amazon Prime Video's streaming of more top-flight soccer matches tested VMO2's broadband network, and Brits stopped using their phones for a few minutes while they watched the Queen's funeral on the respectful proper telly. In similar territory, Openreach estimates that last year's 62,700-petabyte broadband data total looks set to be exceeded on its fixed network this year on December 26, leaving a whole week's worth of browsing, video-consuming and what-have-you to be added on top to create a new Openreach data-guzzling record.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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