Eurobites: KKR sells Deutsche Glasfaser for €2.8B

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Liberty Global rolls out Plume's "intelligent WiFi;" EE offers free BritBox trial; German lawmakers aren't ruling out Huawei.

  • Deutsche Glasfaser, which is building a wholesale FTTH network in Germany, has been sold by its investment firm owner KKR to another investment company, EQT and Omers, a Canadian pension fund. According to the Financial Times (paywall applies), the deal is worth €2.8 billion (US$3 billion). Last month Deutsche Glasfaser, which boasts connections to more than 600,000 households and 5,000 businesses, struck a deal with Deutsche Telekom, which will see Germany's incumbent telco use Glasfaser's fiber network in the city of Lüdinghausen.

  • Liberty Global is to roll out "intelligent WiFi" technology from US provider Plume across its European footprint, integrating Plume's tech into its Connect app. The deal also means that the cable operator will start rolling out its "Connect Pods," mesh WiFi boosters that extend WiFi throughout the home.

  • EE, the UK mobile operator owned by BT, is to start offering its postpaid customers six months "free" access to BritBox, the video streaming service launched by the two main free-to-air UK broadcasters, the BBC and ITV, as a response to the success of Netflix, Amazon Prime and others. After six months those who have sampled the service can either knock it on the head or continue paying for it at a cost of £5.99 ($7.70) a month.

  • Will they, won't they? Germany has been keeping the world guessing on what approach it will take to the use of Huawei equipment in its 5G network, but the latest twist sees lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat party lending their support to a strategy paper that pulls back from an outright ban on Huawei gear. As Reuters reports, leading lawmakers signed off on the paper on Monday after weeks of battling with hardliners who endorse the Trump administration's view that letting Huawei into your network is like welcoming a fox into a chicken coop.

  • The failure of an O2 mobile mast has apparently saved a number of Jamaican-born convicted criminals residing in the UK from being deported back to Jamaica. As the BBC reports, lawyers defending the potential deportees successfully argued that those in the Colnbrooke and Harmondsworth detention centers using an O2 SIM card could not be deported because O2's dodgy mast meant they could not get legal advice.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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