Eurobites: Nokia Lands 5G Deal With Iliad

Also in today's EMEA round-up: Sky linked to Liberty Global hook-up on fiber; Pence talks 5G security in Poland; 4G in Ethiopia; TalkTalk lands schools' MPLS deal.

  • Iliad, the aggressive competitive operator with operations in France and Italy, has struck a 5G infrastructure deal with Nokia, its existing supplier for 3G and 4G technology. The operator, which made a point of noting its vendor choice represented "a clear choice for European technology and strategic independence," said it will start its 5G rollout next year. Iliad, which offers services under its Free brand, has more than 13.4 million mobile customers in France and more than 3.3 million mobile customers in Italy.

  • Sky, the UK-based provider of pay-TV and more, is in discussions with Liberty Global over possibly investing in the US cable giant's recently formed fiber joint venture in the UK, according to the Financial Times (paywall applies). The joint venture, known as Liberty Fibre Ltd, was officially registered in UK last week, with Virgin Media, itself owned by Liberty Global, earmarked as the "anchor tenant" for the new business. Fiber is very much front and center in Britain right now: the country's new prime minister, Boris Johnson, recently promised full-fiber networks for every UK property by 2025, eight years sooner than a previous government target. (See Eurobites: Virgin Media Mulls Wholesale Access Offer as UK Fiber Market Heats Up and BoJo's UK Broadband Plan Looks Barmy, but Don't Write It Off.)

  • US Vice President Mike Pence has brought his 1,000-yard stare and improbable hair to Europe over the weekend for the start of a trip that will see him, amongst other things, attempt to convince Poland's leaders to get on board with America's interpretation of 5G security. As Reuters reports, no names are being named, but certain Chinese companies beginning with the letters "H" and "Z" may find it harder doing business in Warsaw and beyond in the coming months.

    Ol' Screw-Eyes Is Back
    US Vice President Mike Pence is attempting to persuade Poland that, when it comes to cybersecurity, America knows best.
    US Vice President Mike Pence is attempting to persuade Poland that, when it comes to cybersecurity, America knows best.

  • 4G may on its way to parts of Ethiopia, courtesy of state-owned Ethio Telecom, according to Reuters. The news comes as the Ethiopian government makes moves towards liberalizing the telecom market there, with the promise of two telecom licenses to multinational mobile companies coming up for grabs.

  • TalkTalk Business has landed an MPLS network contract with the Stowe Valley Multi-Academy Trust, which runs a group of primary and secondary schools in the English midlands. The schools chain believes that the move will help it create a more centralized network that will prove an aid to inter-school collaboration, as well as reducing costs. The project is being coordinated by HBT Communications, one of the Trust's regular IT partners.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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