Eurobites: Youfone enters Belgium, on Proximus' network

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BICS expands NB-IoT with France's SFR; Telefónica seeks 5G/edge innovation; BT connects Dutch embassies.

  • Belgium's Proximus has signed a wholesale agreement with Rotterdam-based Youfone that will allow the Dutch independent operator to start offering fixed and mobile services in the Belgian market from April 2021. Youfone, founded in 2008, claims to be the largest independent operator in the Netherlands, with over 400,000 customers.

  • Meanwhile, BICS, Proximus' international services arm, is expanding its NB-IoT connectivity to France through a new agreement with SFR. This, says BICS, will bolster its ability to directly embed 2G, 3G, 4G, NB-IoT and LTE-M/Cat-M1 connectivity in the devices of OEMs and IoT players via BICS' SIM for Things IoT global platform.

  • Telefónica has issued a call for startups working in the areas of 5G and edge computing to apply to be part of its Wayra 5G/Edge Lab, where they will gain access to the Spanish telco's computing infrastructure to test out their ideas. Those wanting to apply should visit the Wayra Activation Programme website. The deadline for registration is February 14. (See Euronews: Telefónica to Support 1,000 Startups.)

  • In what could be seen as a slap in the face for Dutch incumbent operator KPN, BT has landed a contract with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide communication services to their embassies and consulates in 120 countries using software-defined networking. The deal is worth €33 million over four years, with an option to extend to nine years.

  • Sky, the UK-based purveyor of pay-TV and more, has committed itself to a target of having 20% of employees in the UK and Ireland to be from Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background by 2025, with at least a quarter of these to be Black. Encouragingly, Sky the commitment also covers Sky's management team, which is currently 1% Black and 9% BAME.

  • After months of discussions, a group of French publishers has reached an agreement with Google over a general copyrights framework under the terms of which the search giant will pay for content online. As Reuters reports, Google has to date only signed individual agreements with a select number of high-profile publications, Le Monde and Le Figaro among them.

  • Colt Technology Services has appointed Tessa Raum as executive vice president for HR, upgrading her from mere vice president of HR. As her new moniker suggests, she joins Colt's Executive Leadership Team, reporting directly to Keri Gilder, Colt's CEO.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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