Eurobites: Openreach to recruit 4,000 this year for fiber frenzy

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telefónica Tech gets on Oracle's Cloud; Zain KSA picks Nokia for network expansion; Seacom bags Ugandan assets.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

February 10, 2022

3 Min Read
Eurobites: Openreach to recruit 4,000 this year for fiber frenzy
  • Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telefónica Tech gets on Oracle's Cloud; Zain KSA picks Nokia for network expansion; Seacom bags Ugandan assets.

    • Openreach, the semi-autonomous network access unit of UK incumbent operator BT, says it will create more than 4,000 new jobs this year as it looks to accelerate its full-fiber broadband rollout and hit its target of reaching 25 million homes and businesses with fiber by December 2026. The trainee engineering roles offered come with a starting salary of £21,845 (US$29,643) and, says Openreach, recruits can be earning up to £28,353 ($38,475) after 12 months of training. The company is aiming for at least 20% of its trainee engineer recruits to be women this year – and half of its external hires into management roles also to be women by 2025. (See BT ups FTTP target to 25M premises by 2026, Eurobites: Openreach fiber frenzy reaches 6M premises and Eurobites: Openreach pushes UK fiber further into the sticks.)

    • Telefónica Tech is to start offering Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) services as part of its range of managed cloud services it sells to large companies and public sector organizations. Telefónica will also become the host partner for the Oracle Cloud Madrid Region, Oracle's first "cloud region" in Spain and one of seven such "regions" Oracle is opening across EMEA, Asia-Pacific and Latin America over the next six months.

    • Saudi Arabia's Zain KSA has picked Nokia to expand its digital infrastructure and boost its capabilities throughout the country. Nokia's usual grab-bag of technologies will be involved: AirScale Radio Access, Wavence Microwave, NetAct and massive MIMO all feature in the mix. The network overhaul is being presented as a key part of the Saudi Vision 2030 program, which seeks to "create a more diverse and sustainable economy," amongst other things.

    • Seacom, the pan-African service provider, is to acquire certain infrastructure assets from Africell in Uganda as part of a more general connectivity push into East Africa. Recently Seacom acquired the metro fiber network of Kenyan provider Hirani Telecom.

    • Dutch operator KPN has introduced the "ecosim," a SIM card made from recycled refrigerators, which it says will soon be the standard for all its new physical SIMs. The plastic found in old fridges is perfect for the job, says KPN, because it is strong and flexible, and it can be reprocessed for new purposes even after its second life as a SIM card.

    • The first €3 million ($3.4 million) of a €12 million ($13.7 million) national fiber rollout program in Ukraine has been spent, according to Ukrtelecom, the operator working with Iskratel and a number of Slovenian banks on the project. The program, launched last year, is intended to provide connectivity to 300 localities in various regions of Ukraine.

    • Ethiopia's Ethio Telecom has chosen Subex's HyperSense AI platform to help it on the revenue assurance front as it looks to make a move into 5G digital services. Ethio Telecom has more than 50 million subscribers.

    • Fresh thought-leadership research from UK mobile operator EE reveals that Brits' favorite snack to eat whilst watching video on their mobile phone is... cheese and onion crisps (or "chips" if you're in Idaho). But pies come way down the list. You don't get this sort of quality information from Omdia, you know...

      — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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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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