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Eurobites: Germany's Big 3 Enter Network-Sharing Agreement to Tackle 'Dead Spots'

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson, Swisscom and Qualcomm team up on spectrum sharing; Telkom SA announcement prompts takeover talk; Telecom Italia's edge cloud takes flight.

  • Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica Deutschland and Vodafone have entered into a network-sharing agreement in a bid to tackle the issue of dead spots on Germany's mobile network. The three operators will collaborate on the setting-up and operation of 6,000 new cell sites, with the emphasis on serving rural sites and primary road, rail and inland waterway transport routes -- a condition laid down by Germany's communications regulator in its spectrum auction, much to the chagrin of the three operators. Rival operator 1&1 Drillisch has also been invited to join the network expansion party.

  • In other sharing news, Ericsson is claiming that commercial 5G spectrum sharing is a "significant step closer" following what it described as the "first over-the-air spectrum sharing 5G data call," which took place at Swisscom's labs with the help of Qualcomm.

  • Telkom SA has announced a significant dip in earnings for the fiscal first half of the year. Still, the operator's latest financial report was overshadowed by news of "discussions in relation to a potential acquisition, which if successfully concluded, may have a material effect on the price of the company's securities." Telkom didn't identify its target but all signs point to troubled mobile operator Cell C, which is proving a burden for significant shareholder (45% stake) Blue Label Telecoms. For more details, see this story on our sister site, Connecting Africa.

  • Telecom Italia's embrace of the cloud continues apace: Just days after announcing a cloud collaboration with Google, it has now teamed up with the city authorities in Turin to launch what they claim is the first 5G "edge cloud" live network in Europe. That network will initially be used in combination with a fleet of drones to monitor the city's rivers. (See Telecom Italia targets €1B in cloud sales with Google tie-up and Telecom Italia strikes edge alliance with Google as sales slide.)

  • Iliad, the French operator that has recently been making waves in the Italian market, saw third-quarter revenues climb 8.1% year-on-year to €1.33 billion ($1.46 billion). In Italy, Iliad achieved 700,000 net adds during the period, bringing its total number of Italian subscribers to more than 4.5 million.

  • UK full-fiber challenger outfit Toob has turned to the software sophistry of Sweden's Netadmin to help it automate the "entire customer journey," from registration of interest to actual service deployment.

  • Spectranet, a Nigerian Internet service provider, is to use Nokia's GPON offering to bring 100Mbit/s broadband to customers in Lagos and Abuja as part of a wider fiber-to-the-home rollout.

  • Scottish startup PureLiFi has completed an $18 million Series B funding round as it seeks investment that will enable it to provide LiFi technology to mass-market mobile device and lighting manufacturers. LiFi enables connectivity through light without the use of radio frequencies used by other technologies such as WiFi and cellular.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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