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5G

Eurobites: Nokia brings 5G to Kuka's robots

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Cellnex completes Polish acquisition; Deutsche Telekom and Shell head to net zero together; why you won't find CDs at Sainsbury's.

  • Nokia has landed another 5G standalone private networking gig, this time at Kuka, a German manufacturer of robots and automation systems. Nokia's Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) campus networking and application platform will support product development with immediate effect. Kuka hopes that it will be able to harness the potential of 5G's low-latency connectivity.

  • Spanish towers company Cellnex has completed its acquisition of Polkomtel Infrastruktura, for around €1.6 billion (US$1.9 billion). The deal brings around 7,000 towers and other sites into the Cellnex fold, as well as approximately 11,300km of fiber backbone and fiber-to-the-tower backhaul. The deal is the latest in a series of moves that has seen Cellnex steadily extend its European footprint over the last few years. (See Cellnex adds more Italian towers to burgeoning portfolio and A Cellnex mutation could upend European telecom.)

  • Deutsche Telekom has signed a memorandum of understanding with energy giant Shell to "advance digital innovation" as both companies attempt to get to net-zero emissions status. Specifically, Shell is supplying renewable energy to T-Mobile US, which is working towards a goal of operating on 100% renewable energy by the end of this year, while Shell subsidiaries have awarded DT-owned T-Systems a contract for DT engineers to install more than 10,000 electric vehicle chargers in Germany over the next three years.

  • BT has won its first "neutral host" customer contract in the UK, with Bruntwood SciTech's Alderley Park research site in Cheshire. At Alderley Park, all UK mobile operators will be able to share BT's infrastructure to provide indoor mobile commercial coverage to customers on an open access basis, though BT's EE is the first to switch on mobile cellular voice and data services for on-site customers.

  • The UK's three main broadcasters – BBC, ITV and Channel 4 – have completed the coming together of Digital UK and Freesat, the former facilitating the provision of the free-to-air digital terrestrial TV service and the latter its satellite-based equivalent. The hope is that the move will, in the words of a BBC statement, "help ensure viewers continue to have access to a range of high quality, free-to-view TV services in the UK and benefit from a more streamlined approach to technological innovation and product development." Jonathan Thompson, Digital UK's current CEO, will lead the combined entity, with Alistair Thom stepping down from his role as CEO of Freesat.

  • Ookla, the network performance measurement company, has awarded Telecom Italia (TIM) the gong for best mobile network coverage in Italy in the first half of 2021. TIM's 5G network was also recognized as the fastest in Italy in the period April-June 2021.

  • Eject! Sainsbury's, one of the UK's biggest supermarkets chains, has announced that it has decided to stop selling CDs and DVDs. As the BBC reports, a Sainsbury's spokesperson said that its customers were increasingly streaming their music and film choices, and that shiny silver discs no longer had a place in their hearts or their shopping trolleys.

    Some historical artefacts from the Eurobites Towers playlist.
    Some historical artefacts from the Eurobites Towers playlist.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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