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Eurobites: Nokia gets the nod for Ireland's national broadband plan

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Irish coronavirus app poised for deployment; Sky Germany looks ahead; InCoax lands US MoCa deal.

  • National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the state-subsidized company charged with implementing the country's national broadband plan, has chosen Nokia to supply the "active equipment" and integration services for the FTTH network. Through the NBI project, the Irish government is hoping to provide high-speed connectivity to the entire Irish population, around a quarter of whom live in the rural Intervention Area, which will be the initial focus of the project. As well as households, more than 44,000 "non-farm businesses," around 54,000 farms and 695 schools are expected to be reached by the new network.

  • Still on the Emerald Isle, the BBC reports that Ireland is set to launch its COVID-19 contact-tracing app in the next few weeks, employing the "decentralized" Apple and Google technology that its near-neighbor, the UK, has decided to also adopt after an inconclusive trial of a home-grown app based on an alternative approach. The Irish app has already been trialed by the police force and a team based at Trinity College, Dublin.

  • Sky Germany has been setting out its "content plan" for the post-pandemic era (whenever that arrives), the main plank of which is an extension of its deal with the (currently supporter-less) Bundesliga soccer league until 2025. Also promised: four new Sky channels; an extension of movie deals with MGM, Constantin and Tobis; and double the number of Sky Originals (Das Boot proved a hit).

  • Sweden's InCoax has landed an initial order worth 210,000 Swedish kronor (US$22,563) from an unnamed US fiber/LAN operator for its MoCA (multimedia over coax) Access 2.5 platform. The technology will be trialed in MDU (multiple-dwelling unit) buildings. The operator, which has a presence in more than ten metropolitan areas nationwide, has already carried out lab trials of the technology.

  • Vodacom Business and Microsoft South Africa have teamed up on a Connected Digital Education Platform, which brings remote learning within reach of more students, thanks to cheaper connectivity combined with Microsoft Office 365 Education, a cloud-based service which offers apps including Teams, OneNote, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

  • Virgin Mobile UAE has appointed Rob Beswick as its new managing director. Beswick has worked in the region for Virgin Mobile for nine years, and succeeds Karim Benkirane, who is moving to take charge of a new project at du.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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