Eurobites: Openreach fiber frenzy reaches 6M premises

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: TIM may renegotiate DAZN contract; Ooredoo and Snap combine on augmented reality; Orange IoT tech helps Safran finds its tools.

  • Openreach, the semi-autonomous network access arm of BT, has added another 170 locations to its fiber rollout program, which is aiming to poke fiber within range of 25 million UK premises by December 2026. The company says that 6 million homes and businesses can now place an order for its full fiber broadband; 1.3 million of them have already done so. The UK government has committed to getting gigabit-capable broadband to 85% of the UK by 2025. (See BT ups FTTP target to 25M premises by 2026 and Eurobites: UK rows back on gigabit ambitions.)

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) may be looking to renegotiate its contract with DAZN, the sports streaming company that supplies TIM with coverage of Italy's Serie A soccer league, according to a Reuters report citing Italian daily Il Messaggero. TIM's CEO, Luigi Gubitosi, is currently feeling the heat from Vivendi, the French media giant that holds a 24% stake in TIM, following two profit warnings in three months. (See Telecom Italia embroiled in escalating boardroom row – report and TIM scores with DAZN in revised guidance, but sees EBITDA wall breached.)

  • Qatar-based Ooredoo has signed a three-year partnership deal with Snap, the outfit behind the Snapchat messaging service, that will see the two companies collaborate on developing "augmented reality experiences" for Ooredoo customers across its ten operating units. Some of the work will be aimed at keeping the hundreds of thousands soccer fans attending next year's World Cup in Qatar entertained and informed.

  • "Hey, Jean-Paul, have you seen my spanner?" Smart-tracking technology from Orange Business Services has been chosen by France's Safran Aircraft Engines to help its engineers keep track of their tools at the company's plants in Villaroche and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. The tracking devices, which rely on IoT technology, were placed on more than 15,000 tools, and 250 antennas were installed at the two plants.

  • A consortium made up of seven companies has launched a private 5G enterprise connectivity pilot that will test out various 5G "use cases" at the La Défense building in Paris, including the creation of immersive experiences for the workplace of the future. Colt Technology Services is coordinating the pilot, which also includes Icade, ADVA, Airspan Networks, Athonet, Accedian and Tibco.

  • Nokia has landed a private LTE network contract with Bahrain's Electricity and Water Authority (EWA), which is looking to modernize its distribution network. The project will start in the Al Muharraq area and once that phase is complete thousands of secondary substations and hundreds of primary substations spread across the entire country will be connected. The network will be based on the 410MHz Band B87, which is specifically intended for industrial use for private LTE connectivity.

  • Telenor has appointed Rita Skjærvik as EVP for group strategy and external relations, reporting to President and CEO Sigve Brekke and becoming a member of Telenor's group executive management team as of December 1. Skjærvik has been with Telenor since 2014.

  • Emtelle, a Scotland-based manufacturer of fiber, cabling and ducting systems, has won a multi-million-pound contract with broadband provider Upp. The agreement sees Emtelle supplying Upp with all of its passive infrastructure products to roll out its networks across the east of England over the next five years.

  • The number of unique malicious URLs detected and blocked in Kenya and Nigeria by cybersecurity company Kaspersky increased to 6.5 million combined during the second quarter of 2021, compared to 5.2 million in the previous quarter.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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