Eurobites: Proximus adds to its 5G spectrum treasure chest

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ofcom publishes research on adults' and children's online behavior; Elisa releases interim Q1 results; Telefónica centenary celebrations continue with a royal cameo.

Tereza Krásová, Associate Editor

April 19, 2024

2 Min Read
Buildings in central Brussels, Belgium.
Proximus hopes to offer gold-standard 5G to Belgians with the added spectrum.(Source: François Genon/Unsplash)
  • Belgian operator Proximus has picked up an extra 20 MHz in the 3,600MHz frequency band from software company NRB, taking its spectrum holding in the band to 120 MHz. The telco says this will allow it to add more capacity, improve performance and reduce the risk of saturation. NRB bought the frequencies in 2022 with the aim to offer 5G to corporate customers but has since changed its mind on rolling out a 5G network.

  • Ofcom reports 17% of adults in the UK rely solely on a smartphone to get online, rising to roughly three in ten among those from lower-income households. The UK regulator also notes the number of households with no Internet access remains stable at 6%. These statistics are included in its latest media literacy research looking into how people in the country navigate the online universe. Surprisingly, it has found 39% of adults say social media is good for their mental health, up from 35% in 2022. Meanwhile, only 27% of adults feel confident they can tell when something is AI-generated, despite a majority saying they trust human-written content more.

  • The regulator has also published its annual study of children's relationships with media and the digital world, which among other things finds a third of five-to-seven-year-olds use social media unsupervised. Overall use of social media apps by children in that age category has grown by more than 30% year-over-year. 

  • Finnish operator group Elisa saw revenues fall by €5 million (US$5.3 million) – or 1% – to €535 million ($571 million) in the first quarter, according to an interim report released Friday. The company attributes the drop to business disposals, alongside a reduction in equipment sales and interconnection revenue. While overall EBITDA fell 2%, to €180 million ($192.1 million), Elisa says it increased by 4% on a comparable basis, meaning if €10 million ($10.7 million) in restructuring costs is disregarded.

  • Telenor is currently testing advanced automated driving systems in Stockholm as part of its research collaboration with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Xense Vision, which aims to steer self-driving cars closer to reality. The tests leverage Telenor's Swedish 5G network. 

  • The European Open Testing and Integration Centre (OTIC) – a facility specializing in testing open RAN kit – has completed its very first certification. The OTIC is located at a Deutche Telekom innovation campus in Berlin and facilitated by i14y Lab, alongside Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI Solutions. The honor of receiving this inaugural certification went to an indoor radio unit from VVDN technologies.

  • Meanwhile, Telefónica continues to celebrate its centenary in style, this time with a spot of historical re-enactment, featuring none other than the King of Spain alongside the group's CEO, José María Álvarez-Pallete. In a video reflecting on the company's past, the two men gazed upon Madrid from the group's headquarters, much like their predecessors did in 1924.

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About the Author(s)

Tereza Krásová

Associate Editor, Light Reading

Associate Editor, Light Reading

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