Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: more diversity at Telefónica; Vodafone sells its subsidiary in Malta; Ericsson and Microsoft team up for connected cars; Huawei frozen out of Greenland.
German operator 1&1 Drillisch is to lease two blocks of spectrum from Telefónica Deutschland to help it fulfil its 5G ambitions. Specifically, two frequency blocks of 10MHz each in the 2.6GHz band will be made available to Drillisch until December 31, 2025, supplementing the two blocks of 10MHz in the 2GHz band and five blocks of 10MHz in the 3.6GHz band that the operator acquired in Germany's June 2019 auction. Drillisch needs to use the leased spectrum to get its 5G services to market because the frequencies it licensed in the 2.6GHz band will not be available for use until the start of 2026. Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of 1&1 Drillisch AG, noted: "With this agreement, we are taking a further step on the way to setting up our own 5G network. The spectrum rented from Telefónica bridges the period until our own frequency blocks in the 2 GHz range can be used." Telefónica had to commit to making spectrum available to rivals as one of the conditions of its merger with E-Plus in 2014. (See Germany's €6B 5G Auction Should Be a Break Point for Telecom, German 5G Auction Bids Near €3B and Euronews: KPN to Sell E-Plus for €8.1B.)
Back at Telefónica HQ in Madrid, the women are making their presence felt, with Claudia Sender and Verónica Pascual joining the operator's board of directors, replacing Wang Xiaochu and Luiz Fernando Furlán, after their voluntary resignation. This increases the proportion of women on the board to 30%.
Vodafone Group has agreed to sell its Maltese subsidiary to Monaco Telecom SAM for €250 million (US$278 million). Following completion of the deal, the unit will continue to operate under the Vodafone brand for a transitional period.
On the green front, Vodafone UK has committed to sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources and reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 50% compared to 2017 levels. To help it achieve these targets, Vodafone is planning to develop its own solar farm within the next couple of years.
Ericsson and Microsoft have joined forces on connected cars, with the former building its Connected Vehicle Cloud offering on top of the Microsoft's Connected Vehicle Platform, which runs on Microsoft's Azure cloud. Ericsson claims its Connected Vehicle Cloud connects more than 4 million vehicles across 180 countries.
Meanwhile, way up north, Ericsson has won out over Huawei to supply the guts of Greenland's 5G network, according to a Reuters report. Tele Greenland's CEO, Kristian Reinert Davidsen, confirmed that the Chinese vendor had indeed been frozen out and had a snowball's chance in hell of getting the gig. [Editor's note: This is comedy gold folks!]
Huawei may be unwelcome in Greenland but its money is still gratefully received in Ireland. The Irish Times reports that the beleaguered equipment maker is to invest €6 million ($6.67 million) in Lero, a software research center, to fund a program focused on improving the reliability of software applications.
UK altnet CityFibre has been awarded a 20-year contract by the southern English city of Portsmouth to extend the area's existing public network, bringing full-fiber connectivity to hundreds of public sector sites. Construction on the project, which will add £3.8 million ($4.97 million) to CityFibre's coffers, is due to begin early next year.
And in other British FTTH news, broadband startup Swish Fibre (what a name!) has been acquired and, as part of that deal, handed £250 million (US$327 million) to build 10 Gbit/s fiber access networks in southern England. For more on this, check out this story on our sister site, Broadband World News.
It's crunch day for Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, who has for years been a fly in the ointment to online giants such as Facebook, challenging the way they handle European citizens' data. As Reuters reports, Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe, advocate general at the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice, will offer a non-binding opinion on whether the standard contractual clauses used by online powerhouses and others to transfer EU citizens' personal data to the US are fit for purpose. And if Henrik isn't happy, chances are it will have repercussions for the FAANGs. (See Eurobites: Privacy Champion Slams Web Giants Over GDPR Tactics, Eurobites: Facebook Faces Privacy Class Action and Eurobites: EU Data Watchdog Dents Privacy Shield.)
ETSI's Open Source MANO group, dedicated to the management and orchestration of virtualized networks, has unboxed OSM Release Seven, which, says ETSI, brings cloud-native applications to NFV deployments.
"I remembered we were out of ravioli, give me a break!" For the more forgetful among us, Telecom Italia (TIM) has partnered with OCTO Telematics to launch the TIM BabyPad, a Bluetooth-enabled device that can detect whether a child has been left in his or her car seat and hopefully make sure they are not left unattended. If the dozy parent/guardian does wander off for a quiet cappuccino sans bambino/bambine, the associated app triggers an alarm on their smartphone.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading