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Eurobites: CityFibre extends backhaul deal with Three UK

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: France's Free not free to use Huawei; TIM does smart-speaker voice calling; Google responds to EU on Digital Services Act.

  • CityFibre, the UK alternative network service provider, has landed a multi-million-pound full-fiber backhaul contract with Three to connect an additional 1,300 mobile masts across 59 towns and cities. This is an extension of an existing contract between the two companies – under an agreement announced earlier this year, CityFibre was named a "preferred provider" of backhaul connectivity outside London for Three, and has already provided backhaul for Three at more than 100 locations across the UK. The partnership means Three has access to small cell access points throughout each of CityFibre's city-wide networks. (See Eurobites: Three chooses CityFibre for backhaul beyond London and CityFibre to Raise £200M, Ramp Up FTTH Challenge to BT.)

  • Free, the mobile subsidiary of France's Iliad, says the French government has refused give it the authorization to use equipment from Huawei, despite rivals Bouygues Telecom and SFR getting the green light to do so. As Reuters reports, CEO Thomas Reynaud said: "This breach of equal treatment is problematic," adding that Free was considering a switch to Nokia for its 5G deployment.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) has teamed up with Google to allow customers to make voice calls through Google Nest voice-controlled devices, using the same phone number as their smartphone subscription. The match-up has been made possible through TIM's decision to extend its IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) partnership with Ericsson.

  • Don't be evil, or long-winded. Google has submitted its 135-page (count 'em!) response to the European Union's consultation for the European Digital Services Act, encouraging policymakers to "build on the success of the e-Commerce Directive" and focus on three key areas: the introduction of clearer rules for notifying platforms of illegal content while protecting fundamental rights of expression; the encouragement of economic growth by enabling Europeans to build the next generation of businesses and services; the bringing forth of competition regulation which supports product innovation and allows businesses to grow.

  • OK, it's the end of the week, so it's time to kick back and enjoy some UK-centered dress-down-Friday research results.

    First we have Vodafone, whose study has found that 40% of pandemic homeworkers say they've been more productive since they stopped commuting to an office.

    Next up is BT, which concludes that smart technology has the potential to boost the rural economy in Wales, but only if "early adopters" are supported.

    And finally it's a billing breakdown from O2, which reckons that consumers are paying an average of £508 (US675) a year on TV packages and streaming services, not to mention £17.56 ($23.32) a month on their mobile phones and £15.38 ($20.43) a month on their landlines. And £23.03 ($30.59) a month on their broadband. (OK, you can stop now, it's getting depressing – Ed.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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