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5G

Eurobites: Ice picks Nokia for 5G overhaul

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: 5G goes agricultural in Dorset; Italy's railways get 4G; Deezer flotation falls flat.

  • Nokia has landed a five-year deal with Ice Norway to upgrade and expand the operator's 5G network nationwide. Under the terms of the contract, around 3,200 existing basestations will be brought up to date and 3,900 new basestations deployed. Nokia will also provide its NetAct software for network management. The upgrade project is already underway and is scheduled to run until 2026. Ice has more than 700,000 customers and is owned by Lyse, which also owns fiber broadband provider Altibox.

  • A pioneering project in southwest England has been awarded £5 million (US$6 million) in funding by the UK government to explore how 5G mmWave technology can make agriculture more efficient and less environmentally destructive. 5G RuralDorset is working with semiconductor company Qualcomm to test the use of 26GHz spectrum and the latest microchips to transmit the huge amounts of data required by the use of autonomous vehicles and robots for agricultural processes such as crop spraying and weeding.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) and the FS Italiene Group have completed their implementation of 4G on the Milan-Bologna high-speed rail line by bringing coverage to the tunneled section of the route. Iliad, Vodafone and WindTre all participated in the project. More 4G upgrades on Italy's rail network will be launched in the coming the months, with the high-speed lines running from Bologna to Florence, Turin to Milan, Florence to Naples, and Bologna to Venice all getting the treatment.

  • The Paris stock exchange debut of Deezer, the French-owned music-streaming service, fell rather flat on Tuesday morning, with shares sinking 11% in early dealing, Reuters reports. Deezer first attempted a flotation in 2015 but that had to be aborted due to unfavorable market conditions.

  • UK business connectivity provider Neos Networks has appointed Tim Passingham as the non-executive chair of its board. Passingham has held senior positions at BT and Colt Technology Services and is also a global ambassador for Telecoms Sans Frontières, a charity that provides communications for global disaster relief.

  • EE, the UK mobile operator owned by BT, has upgraded its 5G network at London's Wembley Stadium, extending coverage beyond the spectator stands and right across the pitch. This is being done primarily to meet the needs of music fans, who will be attending big-name outdoor gigs at Wembley in their droves over the summer. The new system delivers 5G on 3.5GHz spectrum over 12 antennas dotted around the stadium. It will also support multiple operators, with other networks expected to join after the testing of the system has been completed.

  • UK altnet CityFibre has hired Vicky Higgin to fill the newly created role of chief digital and information officer. Higgin, who has a utilities background, will be responsible for, among other things, developing CityFibre's IT strategy.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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