Eurobites: Sky Targets New-Builds With Last-Mile Fiber Deal

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange signs subsea deal; Telia falters in Latvia; Vodafone UK bucks the high street trend; Telefónica takes stake in alarms company.

  • Sky, the UK-based pay-TV and broadband provider, has teamed up with last-mile utility network specialist BUUK Infrastructure in a deal that offers Sky wholesale access to BUUK's full-fiber networks and gives it more muscle in the new-build segment of the UK housing market. The deal sees Sky becoming the "anchor tenant" for broadband services in developments connected by BUUK, and is an expansion of existing commercial arrangements between the two companies. BUUK is planning to connect 200,000 new-build properties during the next 12 months.

  • The final agreement between Orange, PCCW Global and PEACE Cable International for the construction of a subsea cable that will connect Europe to Asia via East Africa by 2021 has been signed, heralding, says Orange, the arrival of the first Chinese private subsea cable in France. PEACE (Pakistan and East Africa Connecting Europe) is backed by Hengtong Optic-Electric, and when complete will be 12,000km long and link France to Pakistan through a single landing point in the city of Marseille.

  • The government of Latvia has had a falling out with Telia and informed the operator that it no longer intends to implement a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed in 2018, that set out terms for cooperation between it and Telia in their position as shareholders in two Latvian operators, Tet and LMT. In a statement, Telia said that it will now "consider the situation and assess options for implementation of its strategy in the Latvian market."

  • Vodafone claims it is doing its bit for the UK's flagging high streets by converting empty retail outlets into mobile phone stores that will be offered to local entrepreneurs to run on a franchise basis. The operator says it will take on at least 24 empty premises by the end of the year, giving potential purchasers the chance to try out products and services before signing on the dotted line.

  • Telefónica has acquired a 50% stake in Prosegur, a manufacturer of alarm systems, in bid to get a bigger piece of the "connected home" action. The deal, which is yet to be approved by the relevant authorities, is worth €300 million (US$331 million).

  • Telenor has launched a new 5G pilot at its headquarters in Fornebu, Oslo, installing two 5G basestations, one of which is operating on 3.6GHz and is part of Telenor's 5G expansion in Norway, while the other is part of a wider EU research project and is operating on 26GHz. Fornebu happens to be home to several Norwegian technology companies, and Telenor is hoping that such companies will want to participate in the 5G trials -- one of them, Evry, is already slated to do so.

  • Deutsche Telekom is hoping to get closer to its municipal customers by appointing six new regional representatives who will be the central point of contact for municipalities on matters of broadband and mobile network rollouts. The operator is clearly frustrated at the time it takes to make progress on network rollouts, claiming, for example, that it takes around two years on average for a cell tower to be commissioned in Germany. For details on DT's men (and yes, they're all men) on the ground in Bavaria and beyond, click here.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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