Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telia commits to 5G launch in early 2019; Sigfox grows its network; KPN's new hire; Orange lands in-flight connectivity deal.
Telia Company has landed what it claims is the largest NB-IoT contract in Norway to date after striking a deal with StalkIT, a waste-disposal container tracking company. The three-year agreement covers 100,000 devices, which will be connected to Telia's network.
Meanwhile, over the border in Finland, Telia has secured 130MHz frequencies in the 3.5GHz band in the country's 5G spectrum auction, and has committed to launching commercial 5G operations there in early 2019. Telia launched a pre-commercial 5G network in Helsinki last month. (See Eurobites: Telia Fires Up 5G in Helsinki.)
Sigfox , the French IoT specialist that has been going through tumultuous times of late, has expanded its global network to five more countries, namely Austria, Liechtenstein, Romania, Norway and Kenya. This brings its network reach to 50 countries and more than 949 million people. (See Sigfox Loses CFO Martineau – Sources and Sigfox Sheds More Senior Staff, Including North America CEO.)
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Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) has lured Marieke Snoep away from T-Mobile Netherlands to be its new "chief business market." (Hey, we don't make up these job titles.) She will report to CEO Maximo Ibarra.
It's hardly news that will have anyone choking on their absinthe, but Orange Business Services has bagged an in-flight connectivity deal with Air France, in conjunction with Global Eagle Entertainment, which is supplying some of the hardware. The contract initially includes the 113 Airbus A320 family of aircraft, which operate short- and medium-haul flights throughout Europe, Russia, North Africa and the Middle East.
Frank Krause and Dr Volker Ruloff have resigned as members of the supervisory board of German cable operator Tele Columbus AG . United Internet, the biggest shareholder in Tele Columbus, confirmed that it would be "constructively involved" in the selection of new supervisory board members.
Free streaming service Pluto is moving into Europe, making its presence felt initially in the UK, where the Pluto app will be made available on Sky's Now TV OTT platform. As Variety reports, Pluto has set up a European office in Berlin and is looking to establish further bases in the region.
Vipnet, the Croatian subsidiary of Telekom Austria Group , has been brought back into the parent company's A1 branding fold, and will henceforth be known as A1 Croatia. This is the latest handle-crank in Telekom Austria's rollout of the A1 brand across the group's entire operating business.
The city of Coventry, in the UK's West Midlands region, is to benefit from Openreach 's Fibre First program, joining near neighbor Birmingham in the FTTP scheme. Downlink speeds of "up to" 1 Gbit/s are being promised, which Openreach says is about 24 times faster than the UK average. (See Eurobites: Openreach Finally Puts 'Fibre First'.)
Mobile operator Telefónica Czech Republic A.S. has chosen Swiss vendor Sicap AG to take care of its customers' device configuration needs. The operator will use Sicap's Device Management Centre (DMC) software in its customer care centers.
Marieke Snoep: Goodbye T-Mobile, hello KPN
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading