Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia goes underground; Openreach predicts full-fiber jobs bonanza; Börje Ekholm turns the volume up to 11.
Nokia has landed another chunk of work with long-time customer Telefónica Spain, deploying its 7250 IXR routers in the operator's IP network to support edge cloud and providing support for advanced IP routing protocols that facilitate network slicing. With this upgrade of its network, Telefónica Spain says it will be able to provide increased network coverage for rural and remote sites in particular.
Nokia is also busy underground, completing the testing of a private LTE/5G-ready private network for metal-mining company GMK Nornickel at what is described as Eurasia's deepest mine – the Skalysty operation in Russia. The pilot network had to perform at a depth of 875 meters below ground, using 4.9G/LTE and 5G core hardware and software, Flexi Zone Micro LTE and Nokia AirScale 5G basestations, among other elements.
A study commissioned by Openreach claims that up to a million Brits could return to the workforce as a direct result of the nationwide rollout of full-fiber broadband as the nature of work changes in the (hopefully) post-pandemic world. The report, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, updated previous research based on expected future levels of home working. (See BT to build fiber 'like fury' after Ofcom ruling.)
Orange Business Services is teaming up with Agdatahub, an operator of agricultural data exchange and consent platforms, and SUEZ, an environmental services company, to support the data-driven digital transformation of the agricultural sector. The companies hope to develop technologies that will, among other things, allow farmers to benefit more easily from schemes that reward them for practices deemed by the European Union to protect the environment.
A1 Telekom Austria Group saw group total revenues inch up 0.8% year-on-year in the first quarter, though mobile services declined by 0.4% following slumps in Austria, Belarus and Slovenia. Fixed-line service revenues, however, rose by 1.8%, driven by higher revenues in Austria, Bulgaria, Slovenia and North Macedonia. Group EBITDA increased by 4.7%, adjusted for restructuring. According to CEO Thomas Arnoldner, the roaming losses brought about by the cancellation of winter tourism were offset by improved product offerings, digitalization projects in companies and higher demand for bandwidth.
He may come across to the casual observer as a middle-aged telecom executive who looks after himself but Börje Ekholm is actually "one down-to-earth rock star." Kerrang! Well that, at least, is the verdict of Boyden Executive Search and Interim Search, who have named the Ericsson boss as a "Change Leader of the Year" for 2020. The award recognizes what it describes as Ericson's "successful R&D-led business turnaround strategy, which the company completed in 2020 through sustained profitable growth." Just leave the leather trousers and bandana in the dressing-up box, Börje. (See Ericsson: Reasons to be cheerful.)
The Spanish government's decision to double the duration of radio frequency licenses to 40 years has been welcomed by the country's mobile operators, according to a Reuters report (paywall applies). A spokesperson for Spain's economic and digital affairs ministry said: "Lengthening the duration of these concessions [is] a way of guaranteeing stability, predictability and adequate return on investment for the operators."
Ericsson's Börje Ekholm: He rocks! (Allegedly)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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