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Eurobites: Nokia strikes patents deal with Samsung

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT boardroom latest; Orange signs renewables deal; Tele2's 5G powers home-delivery droid.

  • Nokia has agreed a patents deal with Samsung, granting the South Korean device maker the right to use certain video technologies registered by the Finnish giant. As Reuters reports, full financial details have not been disclosed, but Samsung will pay royalties to Nokia. Nokia lays claim to around 20,000 patent families, more than 3,500 of them deemed essential to 5G. (See Why 5G patent rankings are not to be trusted.)

  • Peace has still not broken out in the BT boardroom, at least according to a report on Bloomberg (paywall applies), which says that the directors of the company remain divided into two camps, with one lot – headed by CEO Philip Jansen – wanting BT to accelerate decision-making relating to its Openreach network access arm and the other wanting more certainty regarding issues such as regulation. Last week BT announced that its chairman, Jan du Plessis, was to step down as soon as a successor could be found, which was followed by reports that Jansen had demanded the removal of du Plessis, reports that BT more or less denied. (See Eurobites: BT rejects reports of boardroom rift and Eurobites: Jan du Plessis to step down as BT chairman.)

  • Orange has signed a renewables deal with energy company Total, which will see the construction of a dozen new solar plants spread throughout France. Total will supply Orange with 100GWh a year of electricity over a 20-year period. Orange is aiming to bring 50% renewables into its electricity mix by 2025, and be "net zero carbon" by 2040 at Group level.

  • Meanwhile, on the less renewable front, Orange Business Services has expanded its partnership with satellite operator SES to extend satellite connectivity to "smart mines" in Africa. Such enhanced connectivity in remote areas facilitates access to exploration metrics and video surveillance systems, among other things.

  • Sweden's Tele2 has begun a pilot with delivery company Foodora to test the use of a 5G-connected, self-driving "droid" for home deliveries in Stockholm. The droid, called Doora, has a battery life of eight hours and trundles along at a stately 6km/h – let's hope that pizza's still hot when it reaches its destination.

  • And here's another pilot involving 5G: Students at a school in North Lanarkshire, Scotland are getting the chance to experience what it's like to be in outer space, under the ocean or on the plains of Africa thanks an initiative led by BT, North Lanarkshire Council and Interactive Immersive Classroom, which uses "immersive" technology to enhance education. A digital projection uses all four classroom walls and the ceiling to bring the "real world" into the classroom, drawing on the EE 5G network.

    More fun than algebra: Kids in Scotland enjoy the immersive learning experience.
    More fun than algebra: Kids in Scotland enjoy the immersive learning experience.

  • Telefónica UK (O2) has launched a new "Device as a Service" offering intended to making it easier for companies to manage the devices of their largely remote-working employees. The service will, claims O2, eliminate set-up time, with devices delivered direct to employees, wherever they may be, and ready to use straight out of the box.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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