Digital Infrastructure

Eurobites: Cellnex WIGs out to clear path for Three UK deal

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ofcom softens its stance on net neutrality, BT's Allera concurs; Comarch scores with GlobalConnect; Nokia gear passes GSMA security test.

  • Spain-based Cellnex is to sell approximately 1,100 of its UK mobile tower sites to Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) as part of measures agreed with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in May to clear the way for Cellnex to acquire Three UK's passive infrastructure. The CMA had raised objections to the Cellnex-Three UK deal because Cellnex was already the largest independent supplier of mobile towers following its acquisition of Arqiva's telecom division in 2020. Cellnex expects to complete the WIG deal by the end of the year, and the Three UK deal by early/mid November. (See Eurobites: UK's competition watchdog gets its teeth into Cellnex-Three deal and Cellnex emerges as Euro mobile tower power player.)

    (Source: Cellnex)
    (Source: Cellnex)

  • Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, appears to be softening its stance on net neutrality, putting forward a number of proposals that it thinks will free up broadband providers to develop new services and protect their networks when data traffic rises to challenging levels. Among other suggestions, Ofcom believes that providers should be able to use traffic management measures to avoid network congestion and offer "premium quality" retail broadband or mobile packages with lower latency than standard offerings. The full consultation paper can be seen here.

  • All of which will be music to the ears of Marc Allera, CEO of BT's consumer business division. In a blog that references the Ofcom consultation, Allera makes the case for "new models" that will allow the likes of BT to gain more control of what's flowing over their networks and how to stop these networks being brought to their knees by, say, the simultaneous update for an online multiplayer game and the "dropping" of a new blockbuster series on a streaming channel. "Without change," claims Allera, "our investment will increasingly get sucked up into meeting the capacity needs of the largest players, leaving less for other priorities, such as expanding infrastructure to digitally enfranchise more people."

  • Nordic connectivity provider GlobalConnect has turned to Poland's Comarch for a complete overhaul of its business support systems (BSS). GlobalConnect says the integration of Comarch's software into its overall offer will help simplify the process of digitalization for its customers, providing a more intuitive user experience.

  • OneWeb, the satellite broadband operator co-owned by the UK government and India's Bharti Global, launched another 36 satellites over the weekend from its Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC-SHAR) in Sriharikota, India. OneWeb's 14th launch brings its "constellation" to 462 satellites.

  • Coming back down to earth, Freshwave and Clear Channel UK have teamed up with Virgin Media O2 to bring 4G-connected bus shelters to the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

  • Nokia's single RAN basestation range as well as its 5G Cloud RAN offering have received the thumbs-up from the GSMA's Network Equipment Security Assurance Scheme (NESAS) audit.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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