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Private Networks

Eurobites: Ericsson lands private network gig at Paris airports

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: STC postpones purchase of Vodafone Egypt stake; TIM and Enel told to get a move on; Virgin Media brings fiber to Warsop.

  • Ericsson is to provide the connectivity for a private network serving those working at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly and Paris-Le Bourget airports. The Swedish vendor got the call from Groupe ADP, its subsidiary Hub One and Air France. The project, described by Ericsson as a "4/5G network," will be effective across all outdoor spaces at the airports by the end of 2020 and indoors across public and reserved areas for workers at the terminals by the end of 2021. (See Eurobites: Ericsson acquisition boosts its private-network credentials.)

  • Logistical challenges thrown up by the coronavirus pandemic have forced Saudi Telecom Co (STC) to postpone the purchase of Vodafone Group's 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt by another two months. As Reuters reports, the acquisition, agreed in January, had already been delayed by 90 days.

  • The Italian government is attempting to bang heads together on the national broadband network front, Reuters reports, telling Telecom Italia and state-controlled utility Enel to settle their differences over the proposed merger of their respective fiber assets by the end of July. (See Iliad ups fixed-line ante in Italy; TIM suffers.)

  • Middle Eastern operator Ooredoo has decided to allow employees whose work doesn't require them to be physically in the office to continue working from home until the end of 2020. Sheikh Saud Bin Nasser Al Thani, Ooredoo's group CEO, is accentuating the positive: "Amid the COVID-19 situation, we are presented with a real opportunity for taking our digital transformation journey to a whole new level, which will see our company leverage digital solutions to ultimately adopt a more holistic digital culture."

  • UK cable operator Virgin Media is bringing average top downlink speeds of 516 Mbit/s to the denizens of Warsop, a town in the English midlands, as part of its Project Lightning network expansion program. While some of Project Lightning has centered on DOCSIS 3.1 upgrades to its hybrid fiber coax (HFC) network and RFoG technology (where the coax portion of the HFC network is replaced by a single-fiber passive optical network), the Warsop rollout, which reaches 4,000 homes, is full-on FTTP. (See Virgin Media makes DOCSIS 3.1 upgrade splurge.)

  • Dutch incumbent operator KPN has nominated Alejandro Plater to its supervisory board as successor to Carlos García Moreno Elizondo, who is stepping down for personal reasons. The appointment reflects the shareholding of Latin American giant América Móvil in KPN: Plater, an Argentine by birth, is currently chief operating officer of A1 Telekom Austria Group, which is owned by América Móvil.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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