Eurobites: Velcom Brings NB-IoT to Belarus

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: UK virtual reality firm wins investment from SoftBank; Starman launches 10G network in Estonia; EU approves job-search aid for former Nokia workers.

  • Velcom , Telekom Austria Group 's Belarussian subsidiary, has begun trials of what it says is the first NB-IoT network in the country. A test zone has now been rolled out by Velcom in partnership with Chinese vendor ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763).

  • A UK-based virtual reality startup, Improbable, has won $500 million (£388million) from Japan's SoftBank Corp. in a funding round that values the fledgling business at more than $1 billion, the BBC reports. Improbable was set up five years ago by two Cambridge University graduates, and it aims to build large-scale virtual worlds for use by games developers and others.

  • Estonian operator Starman has launched a 10Gbit/s ultra-broadband network in the city of Tallin. The network is based on Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s EPON technology and, according to Starman, should meet the needs for residential and business customers in the city for the next ten to 15 years. Nothing like making yourself a hostage to fortune. (See Starman Launches 10G EPON Network in Europe.)

  • The EU has approved €2.6 million in job-search aid for 821 former Nokia workers in Finland. The job losses, at the Nokia Network Systems division, came as part of the vendor's worldwide transformation program. (See Eurobites: Unions Predict Up to 15,000 Nokia Job Losses and Nokia to Slash Jobs Following AlcaLu Merger.)

  • Further from home, Nokia is conducting 5G trials with Japanese operator KDDI Corp. , using Nokia's Airscale technology on the 28GHz band. The trials, conducted in Fujimino City between the KDDI Research Building and an apartment approximately 100 meters away, achieved speeds in excess of 1 Gbit/s.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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