Eurobites: Orange Signs Satellite Broadband Deal

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Colt expands Inbound Voice Services; Deutsche Telekom rolls out fiber in Mansfeld-Südharz; Facebook faces flak.

  • Orange has signed a deal with Eutelsat to act as a distribution partner for connectivity services running on Eutelsat's Konnect VHTS satellite system, which is due to enter into service in 2021. According to Orange, the satellite will support the development of its European fixed broadband and in-flight connectivity businesses. Orange is partnering with defense company Thales as part of the deal.

  • Colt is expanding its Inbound Voice Services footprint to ten new territories, taking its global footprint to 23 countries in total. Colt's voice services enable businesses to provision "freephone" or other local numbers and automate complex call routing via a single online interface. Included in the expanded coverage are Norway, Finland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Luxembourg.

  • Deutsche Telekom is rolling out fiber in the Mansfeld-Südharz district of Germany, offering more than 25,000 households and 1,600 businesses speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s. The rollout will be part state-funded and part EU-funded.

  • Facebook is still facing European fallout from the Cambridge Analytica controversy on several fronts. As Reuters reports, the social media giant is co-operating with the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) as the body looks at how a number of organizations have used personal data, but the ICO said it is "too early to say" whether the changes Facebook is proposing are "sufficient under the law." In Germany, meanwhile, Justice Minister Katarina Barley is planning another meeting with Facebook to "discuss the question of algorithms" and how they are used to categorize people, usually for advertising purposes. (See Facebook: The Sick Man of Silicon Valley.)

  • Swisscom has, for the third time in a row, been rated as having the best network in Switzerland in a test carried out by trade magazine CHIP. The operator says 80% of the country already enjoys 4G+, and that it plans the introduce "the new 5G mobile generation" at the end of this year.

  • New details have emerged about an extortion incident that hit Nokia in 2007. As YLE reports, the extortionist in question emailed a random Nokia employee, telling him or her that a crucial digital encryption key file for many of its Symbian-based devices had been stolen, giving countless hackers the potential to maliciously take control of Nokia's then-ubiquitous phones on an industrial scale. The ransom money, all €1.6 million (US$1.95 million) of it, was put in a sack and left at the designated pick-up spot, and duly collected by the extortionist. Those responsible were never found.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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