Eurobites: KKR et al put in bid for Deutsche's towers unit – report

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Wi-Fi trials in Dublin; Jurassic Fibre extends UK rollout; Telia brings 5G to the Norwegian military.

  • Up until now, Deutsche Telekom has not followed the likes of Telefónica and Orange in selling off its towers unit. But is that about to change? Business Times reports that investment firms KKR, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Stonepeak Partners have put in a joint, binding bid for a controlling stake in the German operator's €20 billion (S$29.1 billion) towers arm, competing directly against a consortium made up of Canada's Brookfield Asset Management and Spain's Cellnex. Other bidders may still emerge, according to the report. (See Deutsche Telekom in no rush to join towers frenzy, Telefónica goes towerless with €7.7B sale to ATC and Orange joins towerco spinout crowd.)

    (Source: Deutsche Telekom)
    (Source: Deutsche Telekom)

  • The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has teamed up with Virgin Media, Commscope and the Dublin city authorities to carry out a trial of the WBA's proprietary OpenRoaming technology in the Irish capital. According to the WBA, OpenRoaming allows residents and visitors to log in to the public Wi-Fi only once and then maintain "seamless" connectivity as their devices automatically switch between the different public Wi-Fi hotspots around the city center, freeing them from need to constantly re-register or re-enter login credentials. Incidentally, trivia fans, did you know that today (June 20) is World Wi-Fi Day? Let's all switch our routers off and then back on again to celebrate.

  • UK altnet Jurassic Fibre has announced plans to extend its rollout to cover half a million homes and businesses across southwest England by 2026. To date the company says it has provided 100,000 premises with fiber broadband in Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Cornwall, creating 350 jobs in the process.

  • Telia has agreed a deal with Norway's defense procurement authority, the Norwegian Defense Materiel Agency, to develop private 5G networks as well as a virtual private network implemented as a "slice" of Telia Norway's national 5G network. Telia says that the use of so-called network slicing allows data relating to the military to be kept separate from other traffic in the public mobile network and given priority if necessary.

  • Nordic Semiconductor has entered into a patent licensing agreement with Huawei. The agreement grants a "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) royalty-bearing component-level license of Huawei's low power wide area (LPWA) cellular IoT standard essential patents (SEPs) to Nordic and its customers. Marianne Frydenlund, SVP Legal & Compliance at Nordic Semiconductor, said in a statement: "Both sides approached the negotiation in a reasonable and practical manner and recognized that simplification would help boost market growth to the benefit of all parties involved: Huawei, Nordic, and above all else, Nordic's cellular IoT customers."

  • Telecom Italia's Fondazione TIM is to make a donation of $2 million to the World Health Organization to help provide immediate assistance to those affected by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. In particular, it will go towards managing the influx of refugees in neighboring countries so that they are guaranteed COVID-19 tests and vaccinations as well as the most appropriate medical care.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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