Eurobites: Telecom Italia chairman steps down following pressure from Vivendi

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Norway the latest to ignore US advice on Huawei; Telenor and Ericsson run 5G pilot in Elverum; CityFibre starts digging in Northampton.

  • In the latest twist to a long-running telecom feud, Fulvio Conti has resigned as chairman of Telecom Italia (TIM) following Vivendi's demand that he be removed. Conti had been brought in last year when US activist investor Elliott Management seized control of the TIM board from top shareholder Vivendi. Michele Valensise will replace Conti on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is appointed next month. (See Eurobites: Summer Lovin' at Telcom Italia, Elliott ups Telecom Italia stake as It battles Vivendi for control and Telecom Italia Molders as Shareholders Feud.)

  • Norwegian cabinet minister Nikolai Astrup has told Reuters that his government has no intention of banning Huawei from the country's 5G network, despite the best efforts of the Trump administration in the US. "We have a good dialogue with the companies on security, and then it is up to the companies themselves to choose suppliers," said Astrup, who heads up the Norwegian government's digital strategy. Huawei equipment is currently used to power 5G in Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. (See Trump is losing the European war against Huawei.)

  • Telenor and Ericsson have switched on a 5G pilot network in Elverum, Norway, offering more than 50 residential and business customers in the town the chance to test out 5G-enabled services such as fixed wireless access (FWA) and "smart home" applications. The network will operate on the 3.6GHz band.

  • UK altnet CityFibre has begun work on its full-fiber network in Northampton, which Vodafone will use to deliver near-gigabit broadband services. Construction work has officially commenced in the Hardingstone area of the town, with Wootton, Grange Park and Collingtree to follow soon.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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