5G and Beyond

Eurobites: O2, Vodafone strike 5G spectrum deal

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Com Hem brand disappears into Tele2; Ericsson sets up private network for Airbus; Telia uses data center heat to warm up homes in Helsinki.

  • Telefónica UK (O2) and Vodafone have struck a band-trading deal which they say helps them create more efficient blocks of 5G spectrum, especially in the case of O2, which will get itself a contiguous block of 80MHz should regulator Ofcom approve the proposed swap. The news comes as part of Ofcom's announcement of the final results of the auction for spectrum in the 700MHz and 3.6-3.8GHz bands, which also saw BT-owned EE more than double its 5G spectrum holdings, winning 80MHz overall of the 700MHz and 3.6GHz bands that were on offer.

  • Com Hem is no more. The Swedish company's former customers (Com Hem became part of Tele2 in 2018), all 1.7 million of them, have now been completely absorbed into Tele2. (See Sweden's Tele2 to Swallow Com Hem in $3.3B Deal.)

  • Plane maker Airbus has turned to Ericsson for a 4G private network running on midband 700MHz and 2600MHz TDD (Time Division Duplex) spectrum. The network is being deployed at Airbus's Toulouse site, where aeronautical engineering and final assembly takes place. It will, among other benefits, allow different engineering teams to securely transfer data to each other.

  • Nordic operator Telia has struck a deal with energy company Helen which will see waste heat collected from Telia's data center in the Helsinki suburb of Pitäjänmäki being used in the district heating network for distribution to homes. Using a heat pump, the data center can produce at least 1.3 times the heat that it consumes as electricity, says Telia. Helsinki homes will be able to feel the benefit as from June 2022.

  • BT has landed a multi-million-pound cloud services deal with UK housebuilder Avant Homes. The operator will hook up Avant's five regional offices as well as its group head office operation and its various development locations. The deal includes 5G mobile access for all of Avant's employees, with the ability to use EE's Rapid Site technology to set up virtual offices or contact points.

  • Spotify, the Sweden-based music and podcast streaming service, is raising the prices of some of its plans in the UK from April 30. As Reuters reports, its Student and Duo (for two accounts) monthly plans go up by £1 (US$1.39), to £5.99 and £13.99 a month respectively, while its Family Plan (for up to six accounts) shoots up £2 to £16.99. Prices in Ireland will also increase. Perhaps Spotify owner Daniel Ek is thinking of all those players he'll have to buy if he succeeds in his attempt to buy Arsenal, the once-mighty London soccer club that is currently languishing mid-table in England's Premier League…

  • UK connectivity provider Neos Networks has launched a cloud-based unified-communications-as a-service (UCaaS) platform, which can work with industry-standard collaborative software such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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