Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Iliad on a roll in 2023; Boldyn and G.Network link up in London; TalkTalk rebrands wholesale arm.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

March 14, 2024

2 Min Read
CityFibre technician working on broadband installation
(Source: Ian Georgeson/Alamy Stock Photo)
  • Consolidation in the UK alternative network provider (altnet) sector continues apace with CityFibre's acquisition of Lit Fibre from Newlight Partners, a deal which will in time add another 300,000 premises to CityFibre's fiber network. Lit Fibre's current footprint covers more than 200,000 premises across the English counties of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Worcestershire, Essex and Suffolk, and its retail subscriber base has reached around 9,000. According to CityFibre, Lit Fibre uses a compatible 10Gbit/s XGS-PON network architecture, which will help accelerate the integration of its network. This deal, says CityFibre, is the first of several it intends to close over the next couple of years as it looks to hit and possibly exceed its target of 8 million UK premises covered. No financial details of the deal have been disclosed.

  • France-based Iliad saw consolidated group revenues grow by 10.4% in 2023, to €9.24 billion (US$10.09 billion), with EBITDAaL (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, after leases) rising by 4.6% in France and 17.2% in Italy but falling by 0.1% in Poland. Over the course of the year, Iliad added an impressive 1.16 million mobile subscribers in Italy, while on its home turf 787,000 mobile newbies came on board. According to its CEO, Thomas Reynaud, Iliad intends to be Europe's fifth-largest telco by the end of this year – an ambition helped by its acquisition of a 19.8% stake in Tele2 last month.

  • Boldyn Networks and G.Network have joined forces to improve connectivity in London. Specific projects include the creation of a high-speed fiber network across the city, improving mobile coverage through the deployment of small cells in busy areas and bringing 4G and 5G to sections of the underground rail network and the Elizabeth line for the first time.

  • UK fixed-line provider TalkTalk has joined the "X" party, rebranding its wholesale arm as PlatformX Communications, or PXC for short. The new entity is a combination of TalkTalk's own wholesale services and Virtual1, the high-bandwidth wholesaler TalkTalk acquired in 2022. PXC will be led by CEO Tom O'Hagan.

  • EU lawmakers have voted in favor of rules intended to govern the use of AI, Reuters reports. The AI Act will, among other things, restrict governments' use of real-time biometric surveillance in public spaces. EU member states are expected to formally green-light the legislation in May, though it probably won't come into force until early next year.

  • UK business connectivity provider Neos Networks has appointed David Bruce as its new chief revenue officer. Bruce's resume includes stints at Virgin Media and Vodafone. Meanwhile, Matt Rees, Neos' current chief technology officer, sees his job title expanded to chief technology and operating officer.

  • BT has opened its new Welsh headquarters in the center of Cardiff, providing a workspace for 1,000 employees. The building forms part of BT's Better Workplace Programme, a five-year project that will see the company's current 300 or so locations across the UK shrink to around 30. BT employs around 4,000 people in Wales.

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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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