Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia collaborates with Intel, Elisa and Nvidia; ETNO impressed by EU white paper; Tele2 gets SD-WAN gig.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

February 21, 2024

2 Min Read
BT Tower at night
Out with the antennas, in with the Egyptian cotton bedsheets.(Source: BT)
  • It started life as the GPO Tower, was more commonly known as the Post Office Tower and since 1984 has been the BT Tower – but in a year or two this iconic feature of the increasingly crowded London skyline will be called something else and be home to thousands of fluffy towels and miniature toiletries. Because BT Tower, one-time revolving restaurant and all, has been sold to MCR Hotels for £275 million (US$347 million) in what the telco claims is part of a long-term strategy that sees its Media & Broadcast division ultimately moving to a "more modern and efficient premises," probably on a soulless industrial estate just outside Slough. The Tower's microwave aerials were actually removed more than a decade ago as they were no longer needed to carry telecom traffic from London to the rest of the country, says BT.

  • Nokia is teaming up with Intel to facilitate running virtual baseband capabilities on the Finnish vendor's Digital Automation Cloud, a move that Nokia says will lead to a more accessible 5G private wireless offering for small-scale industrial sites and reduce the amount of cabling and installation required to make it all work. Intel is providing its 5G-enabling technologies, including Xeon processors with vRAN Boost and FlexRAN software.

  • Nokia has also been working with Finnish operator Elisa. The pair say they have successfully demonstrated a new technology feature in 5G Advanced standalone networks called L4S (low latency, low loss, scalable throughput), which helps 5G network users stream content in congested radio environments such as at concerts and major sports events. The demonstration was held at the Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland, and used gear from Nokia's 5G AirScale range over Elisa's live 5G standalone network.

  • Yet more Nokia collaboration, this time with AI frontrunner Nvidia. The two companies are working together on cloud RAN offerings that use Nvidia's Grace CPU Superchip for Layer 2+ processing in combination with Nokia's inline Layer 1 accelerator technology. They hope that this approach will help position AI as fundamental to the future of telecom networks. Though not if Iain Morris has anything to do with it.

  • The European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) has welcomed the European Commission's new white paper on the future of European telecom, How to Master Europe's Digital Infrastructure Needs? ETNO says that it welcomes "clear recognition of scale as an essential enabler," adding that "in a software and cloud-defined world, the current levels of market fragmentation are simply against Europe's strategic interest."

  • Nordic operator Tele2 has landed SD-WAN and Internet connectivity contracts with two companies which form part of the Fonus group, one a funeral agency and the other a law firm.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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