Eurobites: EU to Free Up 700MHz Band by 2020

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Sigfox rolls out in Hong Kong; UK data center tax dodge; connected fire engines; BT offers cloud route to SAP services; WiFi for France's high-speed trains.

  • European Union member states have agreed to release the 700MHz band for mobile Internet use by 2020, helping pave the way for 5G. In a statement, EU rapporteur Patrizia Toia said: "This proposal will give operators a chance to deploy 5G in a rapid and timely way. The efficient use of the radio spectrum is vital for the connected world in which we live." The 2020 deadline can, however, be extended for two years by individual member states for "duly justified reasons." Digital TV services are currently the main users of the 700MHz band.

  • Sigfox , the French IoT network specialist, has joined forces with Australia's Thinxtra to roll out Sigfox's network in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government has firmly nailed its colors to the IoT mast, and launched a new initiative, Energizing Kowloon East, which includes a pilot study into the feasibility of a smart city program. (See Sigfox to Go Public in 2018 – Report.)

  • 'Tax avoidance' doesn't usually feature in the menu of data center selling points but these are unusual times... A number of 'celebrities' in the UK are facing larger-than-expected tax bills once the authorities claw back what they have deemed is unfair tax relief gained by the celebs' investments in the construction of two data centers. As the BBC reports, the data centers, located near the northern city of Newcastle, have so far stood empty, though the project's backers insist the first tenants are expected soon. Those offloading their excess lucre in Cobalt Data Centres include fading soccer star Wayne Rooney, perma-denimed veteran Status Quo rocker Rick Parfitt and comedian Jimmy Carr, a veteran of schemes designed to avoid the kind of tax rates that most folks endure.

  • Vodafone UK 's national IoT network is to play its part in making British fire engines "smarter." The fire engines manufactured by Emergency One will have their onboard consoles connected to Vodafone's IoT network to help track the location of individual vehicles and remotely check on vehicles to see if they are in need of maintenance.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has signed an agreement with T-Systems International GmbH , Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s enterprise IT unit, that will allow BT to offer SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP) services hosted within T-Systems data centers as part of BT's so-called "Cloud of Clouds."

  • High-speed WiFi has been brought to the Paris-Lyon TGV train line in France courtesy of a collaboration between 21Net Ltd. and ENGIE Ineo. The ongoing project will see around 300 engines and 2,400 coaches kitted out with the necessary WiFi-related bits and bobs by the end of 2017.

  • The teenager who caused TalkTalk 's share price to plummet and its subscriber numbers to dip after hacking into the UK broadband provider's systems has avoided a jail sentence for his misdemeanor. Instead, he will have to pay an £85 (US$105) fine and observe a 12-month youth rehabilitation order, the Daily Telegraph reports. The hacker told magistrates: "I was just showing off to my mates." Let's hope his mates were more impressed than TalkTalk and its customers. (See TalkTalk Plummets on Security Woes.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • [email protected] 12/16/2016 | 11:20:29 AM
    more on the tax dodge data center here's more on the tax dodge data center scandal


    Mitch Wagner 12/15/2016 | 3:44:38 PM
    TalkTalk Good for the courts for showing leniency to the TalkTalk hacker, assuming he was, indeed, a good kid pulling a prank. 
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