June 25, 2020
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telecom Italia sells Inwit stakes; Colt goes multicloud; Becks plows dough into esports.
With private industrial networks fast becoming perceived as the "killer app" for 5G, Ericsson is launching dedicated 5G standalone (SA) trial kits which will be available to enterprises through communications service providers on selected lowband and midband spectrum. The kits include a combination of hardware and software that will, says Ericsson, enable enterprises thinking of taking the plunge into the technology to give it a go. In Germany, Ericsson is collaborating with Deutsche Telekom on the trial kits.
Telecom Italia (TIM) is selling its 30.2% stake in mobile towers subsidiary Inwit to a consortium of institutional investors led by Ardian. It is also offloading a smaller stake – representing 3% of share capital – to Canson Capital Partners, a Guernsey-based investment firm. Following the transactions, TIM will continue to exercise joint control over Inwit with Vodafone. In 2019 TIM and Vodafone formalized a network-sharing agreement, pooling their combined 22,000 mobile towers in Inwit. (See Eurobites: Italy's Inwit offers rivals access to towers to allay antitrust concerns.)
UK-based Colt Technology Services has launched a multicloud access offering on its SD-WAN platform, allowing enterprises, it says, to benefit from a single connection to several cloud service providers, including usual suspects such Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. The offering is underpinned by the Colt IQ Network, which comprises 29,000 on-net buildings and more than 900 data centers.
Africa Data Centres, which forms part of the Liquid Telecom Group, has completed its acquisition of a Tier IV data center in Johannesburg from Standard Bank. This deal will add to a portfolio of data centers that already includes facilities in Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Kenya.
Orange Bank has released a study that analyzes the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on French consumer habits and payment practices. Among other findings, the study reveals that one in five people in France have already used their smartphone to make a contactless payment in a shop (up six points over 18 months) and one in ten do so regularly. And as consumers do all they can do avoid dealing in grubby cash, contactless card payments have continued to grow, with 76% of those surveyed going down the plastic-flashing route (up 11 points over 18 months).
Germany's ADVA has found a berth for its FSP 3000 technology at the Central Bank of Austria, as part of an "ultra-secure" data center interconnect (DCI) network, which can transport up to 200 Gbit/s on a single wavelength.
Nordic operator Telenor is continuing its cozy relationship with Cisco, the US networking giant, the two companies meeting up virtually to sign the third chapter of their "joint purpose agreement," in the process pinpointing areas where they hope to enjoy fruitful collaboration, such as security, 5G and open vRAN. They also announced a new round of financing for WG2, a joint venture that is touting a carrier-grade, clound-native mobile core offering.
Openreach, BT's semi-detached network access division, has appointed Roseanne Moreland to lead its full-fiber rollout in Scotland. Before joining Openreach to head up UK business improvement, Moreland held senior UK management roles in BT customer service operations, including the running of 11 call centers in the UK and India.
David Beckham, the retired soccer icon and full-time crinkly-eyed human tattoo canvas, has taken a "sizeable" minority stake in a new esports academy, according to the Daily Telegraph (paywall applies). The investment, in London-based Guild Esports, was made through Beckham's investment vehicle, DB Ventures.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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