June 6, 2022
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EU looks likely to push for standard phone charger; CityFibre scores new financing package; Truphone sold for £1.
Nokia has landed a 5G standalone (SA) core gig with Latvian operator LMT to help it deliver new services such as so-called network slicing and to better exploit its network assets. 5G SA core will also, says Nokia, enable LMT to launch low-latency applications for enterprise customers. LMT already uses a number of Nokia products, such as subscriber data management and 5G signaling software.
Is the European Union about to create a massive headache for Apple? That's the suggestion in a Reuters report, which predicts that EU member states and EU lawmakers will tomorrow (Tuesday) agree on a long-mooted common charging port for mobile phones, tablets and headphones. The proposals were first aired more than ten years ago by disgruntled phone users who complained that while Android adherents were served by a near-standard USB-based connection iPhone fans needed a proprietary Lightning cable. Apple maintains that forcing all such devices over to a USB-based connection will merely add to the global mountain of electronic waste.
UK altnet CityFibre has completed a £4.9 billion (US$6.1 billion) "debt raise" in what it says is one of the largest ever single finance packages dedicated to full-fiber deployment across Europe. According to CityFibre, the financing fully funds its planned rollout to a third of the UK market by 2025. The package is underwritten by several banking giants – NatWest, Société Générale and Lloyds Bank among them – and follows £1.12 billion ($1.41 billion) in equity investments that CityFibre has closed in the last ten months from two new investors, Mubadala and Interogo Holding. The recently established UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) is also putting £200 million into the pot. (See Eurobites: CityFibre bags fresh £300M investment from Mubadala fund.)
Truphone, the UK business telecom company part-owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, is to be sold for £1 to two European tech entrepreners, the Financial Times reports (paywall applies). The fire sale is another repercussion of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which led to those deemed associates of Vladimir Putin, Abramovich among them, to be sanctioned. Abramovich has already had to sell his Premier League soccer club, Chelsea FC.
Saudi Arabia-based STC Solutions has agreed to acquire 89.49% of systems integrator Giza Systems for $158 million. The deal is expected to complete in the third quarter of this year.
Virgin Media is hoping to tempt people to shell out for a bigger broadband or mobile bundle by throwing in a "free" Xbox Series S gaming console – though the offer only applies until midnight on Wednesday. The console, says Virgin, is worth £249.99 ($314).
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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