Eurobites: Airtel Africa Hopes for London Listing

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia lands GPON gig in India; Ericsson supplies 5G to self-driving test track; Swisscom Beems up ad innovation.

  • Airtel Africa is looking to reduce its debt pile through a listing on the London Stock Exchange, the Financial Times reports (paywall applies). The operator, which is the second-largest player in Africa and forms part of India's Bharti Airtel, has already raised $1.25 billion through an initial round of pre-IPO funding last October, says the report.

  • Nokia has landed a fiber upgrade deal with Netplus, a broadband provider based in India. The Finnish vendor will supply its GPON technology to help Netplus offer more capacity and better-quality services, including IPTV and quad-play packages. Initial deployments will start in the states of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

  • Ericsson is supplying 5G technology to what it claims is the first 5G-based test track for self-driving vehicles. The ZalaZone, located in the Hungarian city of Zalaegerszeg, features Ericsson's 5G installed on an existing radio tower owned by Magyar Telekom.

  • Beem, an interactive advertising platform owned by Swisscom that can receive Bluetooth signals emitted by billboards and cinema ads and translate them into related smartphone notifications, is to be rolled out in Switzerland from June 3.

  • Irish BSS specialist Openet has found a berth for its Digital Business Platform (DBP) at Indonesia's Telkomsel. DBP is a BSS "stack" that comprises offerings from Openet and its partners, which the operator plans to use to help it launch and monetize new services.

  • Telefónica is to supply IoT and network connectivity for Schindler, a manufacturer of elevators and escalators. Schindler has set up a cloud-based digital platform which uses artificial intelligence to provide "predictive maintenance" by analyzing data related to its products -- which is where Telefónica's connectivity comes in.

  • Any major sporting event is now used by technology companies as a hook for trumpeting innovation, and this month's French Open tennis tournament is no exception. Orange has joined forces with the French Tennis Federation and broadcaster France Télévisions to air what Orange says are the first ever live 8K TV images of the matches taking place on the Philippe-Chatrier court -- a breakthrough made possible, Orange says, thanks to Orange's 5G network within the Roland-Garros stadium. Meanwhile, Virgin Media says it is the first UK TV platform to broadcast an event in in 4K Ultra HD with High Dynamic Range (HDR). Using something called Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) technology, it is broadcasting all the matches on the Philippe-Chatrier court in 4K Ultra HD with HDR on its V6 set-top box, through its partnership with Eurosport.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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