Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone completes sale of Dutch fixed-line business; Liquid Telecom gets approval for Neotel acquisition; Telia and Huawei do smart agriculture in Norway.
Belgium's Proximus is to invest €3 billion (US$3.1 billion) over ten years in the accelerated rollout of fiber on its fixed network. Under the "Fiber for Belgium" plan, the operator aims to cover more than 85% of all enterprises and more than 50% of households with fiber, starting in six of its major cities -- Antwerp, Brussels, Charleroi, Ghent, Namur and Roeselare -- in early 2017. Proximus started building a national fiber network in 2004, and now boasts more than 21,000km of fiber connecting its street cabinets. For more details and background, see this story on our sister site UBB2020.
South Africa's Liquid Telecom has gained approval from its national regulator for its planned acquisition of Neotel from Tata Communications Ltd. According to Liquid Telecom, the $470 million deal will make it the largest pan-African fiber network and B2B communications service provider. For more details, see this story on our sister site Connecting Africa.
Telia Norway and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. are claiming a double Nordic first with their launch of a commercial NB-IoT network and a "smart agriculture" offering. The agriculture system was developed for monitoring irrigation systems: the water irrigator has a mounted sensor that is connected to the mobile network with an NB-IoT module that sends data at regular intervals.
UK altnet CityFibre has signed a new agreement with Peterborough's GreenCity Solutions, which will see the latter invest £1.5 million ($1.8 million) to help more local businesses connect to CityFibre's gigabit network in the UK city. CityFibre began building the pure fiber network two years ago, and it now extends to 120km. (See Eurobites: CityFibre Forges Ahead.)
Team Eurobites can never resist some twinkly lights at Christmas. So it's good that the German city of Monheim am Rhein has collaborated with Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) on an "intelligent" street lighting scheme, which allows the energy-saving LED lights to be dimmed from a distance via a light management system provided by DT.
Intelligent lighting in Monheim am Rhein: Pretty or what?
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is claiming that its iconic, 180m-high BT Tower in London has become the highest building in the world to host an Internet of Things basestation. The BT Tower installation forms part a LoRa-based network that BT is in the process of setting up in conjunction with Digital Catapult and Everynet. Of course, here at similarly iconic Eurobites Towers, we can recall the days when the BT Tower was the Post Office Tower and it had a revolving restaurant near the top. Now that's impressive.