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Private Networks

Eurobites: Ericsson goes nuclear with private networks in France

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Etisalat and Nokia launch 5G services in UAE; A1 Bulgaria wins main 5G spectrum license; TalkTalk piggybacks on Openreach network in Ipswich.

  • Ericsson has teamed up with Thales and EDF to deploy secure 4G private networks at EDF's nuclear energy plants across France. The group claims to have already completed a successful pilot at the Blayais plant, and now plan to roll out the Connect project, as it's called, to all of EDF's nuclear sites. The introduction of the private networks will, among other things, allow EDF employees and their partners to have remote access to all required work resources via secure terminals. Ericsson says that the networks could evolve to 5G in time.

  • Etisalat and Nokia have deployed a 5G network in the UAE, providing mobile broadband services as well as revenue opportunities in areas such as virtual reality and Industry 4.0 applications. Nokia brought to the project its AirScale radio platform, which is based on 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standards. The network uses massive MIMO radio technology to improve network capacity, broaden coverage and increase network speeds.

  • A1 Bulgaria says it has been awarded the country's main 5G license in the 3.6GHz spectrum. The operator will pay €2.4 million (US$2.8 million) as an initial investment for the spectrum acquisition.

  • UK broadband provider TalkTalk is to use the Openreach network to bring its "full fiber" offering to the East Anglian town of Ipswich, allowing households to enjoy average top downlink speeds of 506 Mbit/s, should they want to. TalkTalk claims its fiber packages are up to £460 ($640) cheaper per year than those of its rivals. Internet usage on its network rose by an average of 20% in Ipswich between March 2020 and March 2021.

  • France-based Ekinops has got together with IEC Telecom Group to launch OneGate Compact, a hybrid satellite and GSM offering that delivers network optimization capabilities to regions with unstable infrastructure, such as field mission teams, and small and medium-sized ships. The idea is that if, say, a ship is caught in a major storm, OneGate Compact will help maintain connectivity and protect vital operations.

  • MTN Rwanda, is to list on the Rwanda Stock Exchange on May 4. The listing will see 1,350,886,600 ordinary shares with a nominal value of Rwf1 each being registered at an initial listing price of Rwf269 ($0.27) per ordinary share.

  • UK cable operator Virgin Media has opened applications for its customer sales apprenticeship scheme in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, with 36 roles now up for grabs. The scheme is offering a starting salary of £18,530 ($25,8060 plus bonuses, which Virgin says is well above the national average for apprentices.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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