Eurobites: CityFibre homes in on third stakeholder deal

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: OneWeb's satellite space-hopper; Tele2 cuts SIM holders in half to save plastic; fiber rollouts in the UK and Belgium.

  • CityFibre, the UK's closest rival to BT on the fiber broadband rollout front, is close to selling a £1 billion (US$1.4 billion) stake to fund its continued expansion, according to report in the Mail on Sunday. CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch told the newspaper that his company is in talks with 20 pension funds and infrastructure funds from the UK, North America, mainland Europe and Australia. The two current main shareholders are West Street Infrastructure Partners and Antin Infrastructure Partners, which each hold a 35% stake. (See CityFibre to Raise £200M, Ramp Up FTTH Challenge to BT.)

  • A consortium led by OneWeb, the UK-based satellite broadband contender that returned to the fray from the brink of bankruptcy, has received more than £32 million ($45.2 million) from the UK Space Agency for a project to develop new "beam-hopping" technology that will allow satellites to switch which part of the world they cover in response to surges in demand. A demonstration satellite, nicknamed "Joey-Sat" because of the hopping thing, is due for launch in 2022. SatixFy, Celestia UK and Astroscale UK are the other companies involved in the project. (See OneWeb hails funding boost from Eutelsat and OneWeb nearer to a two-horse space Internet race.)

  • Tele2 says it is doing its bit to address the ecological crisis caused by plastics waste by halving the size of the SIM card holders it sends out to customers, and it plans to keep the good work going by conducting a pilot using SIM cards and half-sized holders made solely from recycled plastics.

  • TalkTalk is bringing its full-fiber offering to the southern UK coastal city of Bournemouth, riding on the networks of CityFibre (see above) and Openreach and promising average top speeds of 506 Mbit/s.

  • Belgium's Proximus has begun construction on its fiber network in the city of Mons, with the ultimate aim of covering more than 50,000 homes and businesses there by the end of 2028. The rollout, which is being carried out in partnership with Eurofiber, will cover both existing homes and new building developments.

  • Arc Solutions, a joint venture launched by Middle Eastern operators du and Batelco, has signed an agreement with BSO, a network and cloud services firm, to interconnect network footprints in the Middle East and elsewhere. BSO's network connects 240 data centers and local exchanges in 33 countries across the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

  • New research from Colt Technology Services reveals that customer relationship management (CRM) applications are a key focus for enterprises embarking on cloud migration projects. Fify-seven percent of those asked said that CRM topped their priority list, while 54% said enterprise resource planning (ERP) was their main headache. The full research report can be found here.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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