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Eurobites: CityFibre bags fresh £300M investment from Mubadala fund

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson continues stables-cleaning process; VEON employees tough it out in Ukraine; Nokia's patent applications rise.

  • UK altnet CityFibre has beefed up its challenge to incumbent network access provider Openreach with a further investment of £300 million (US$394.2 million) from Mubadala, the UAE-based sovereign wealth fund. This takes Mubadala's investment in CityFibre to £800 million ($1.05 billion) in total. In the last six months CityFibre has raised £1.425 billion ($1.879 billion), with Interogo Holding, Antin Infrastructure Partners and Goldman Sachs Asset Management also pitching in. The timing, however, looks unfortunate: According to Bloomberg, Mubadala has at least $3 billion worth of exposure to Russia. Mubadala is also closely linked to Mohamed bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and reportedly a pal of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • Ericsson is continuing the process of cleaning out its stables in the wake of its little local difficulty in Iraq. In a statement, Ericsson board chairman Ronnie Leten reiterated the board's full confidence in CEO Börje Ekholm and pointed to the recent appointment of Scott Dresser as chief legal officer as further evidence that the company had turned over a new leaf, ethics-wise.

  • Amsterdam-headquartered VEON has revealed details of how its employees are "practically working" out of bomb shelters in Ukraine in a bid to maintain potentially life-saving connectivity for refugees fleeing the ravages caused by Putin's invasion. As Reuters reports, VEON owns Ukraine's largest mobile phone brand, Kyivstar, which counts 4,000 employees and enjoys a 25% market share. VEON CEO Kaan Terzioglu claimed that the network wasn't being targeted by Russian forces but that loss of power was affecting mobile connectivity in places.

  • When it comes to patent applications in Finland, Nokia rules the roost. That's the not totally surprising news revealed by Finnish website YLE, which found that Nokia Technologies filed 223 applications while Nokia Solutions and Networks filed another 58, bring the group total to 281, up from 259 the year before. In silver position was the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (with 65 applications) and picking up bronze was the Aalto University Foundation with (58).

  • Google has landed its Equiano subsea cable in Togo, bringing the promise of much faster Internet speeds and more jobs for the African country's 8 million inhabitants, Reuters reports. The cable, whose other end can be found in Portugal, is also set to make landfall in Nigeria, Namibia and South African, the report adds.

  • Sweden's Enea has revealed that its Wi-Fi Service Management Platform (SMP) was deployed by operator Batelco to provide Wi-Fi connectivity at the Bahrain Grand Prix, which was held over the weekend. The SMP authenticated and connected Batelco's customers automatically, and subscribers from other networks via a dedicated portal, on race day.

  • BT is giving employees in its Consumer and Global divisions the chance to retrain as cybersecurity experts in a bid to address the industry-wide skills gap. The program has been created in collaboration with training organization Capslock, which claims to be able to turn mere mortals into "qualified cyber professionals" in as little as four months.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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