Eurobites: Nokia and Telefónica go public on private networks plan

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Xavier Niel confirms bid for Millicom; EU pokes its nose into AI partnerships, Meta's ads policy; remembering Roscoe Tanner's serve.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

July 1, 2024

2 Min Read
'Private' sign in hedge
(Alamy Stock Photo)
  • Nokia and Telefónica have joined forces to develop their share of the 5G private network market in Spain, with the focus on industrial applications of the technology. The three-year agreement will see Nokia's cloud, private wireless and industrial edge software and devices deployed in ports, manufacturing facilities and logistics hubs to improve productivity, worker safety and sustainability. Nokia says it has already deployed mission-critical networks to more than 2,600 enterprise customers worldwide. Telefónica, for its part, brings its 5G network capabilities to the party.

  • Atlas Luxco, an investment vehicle ultimately under the control of Iliad founder Xavier Niel, has officially put in a bid to buy Millicom for $24 per common share, or approximately $4.1 billion. Millicom, though nominally based in Luxembourg, provides telecom services in Latin America through its Tigo brand. Niel's NJJ Holding already owns a 29% stake in Millicom.

  • The respective AI coziness between Microsoft and OpenAI and Google and Samsung may come under closer scrutiny from the EU, according to a Reuters report. EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager told a conference on Friday that the authorities would be seeking clarity on "whether certain exclusivity clauses could have a negative effect on competitors." This appears to be something of a U-turn on the part of the EU – earlier this year regulators decided that Microsoft's $13 billion investment in OpenAI did not count as an acquisition and so would not face a formal European investigation.

  • Elsewhere in EU-land, the European Commission has decided that Meta's "pay or consent" advertising model fails to comply with the Digital Markets Act. Under Meta's model, the only way that Facebook and Instagram users can avoid having their personal data hoovered up for advertising purposes is by shelling out a monthly fee to enjoy access to an ad-free version of the social networks. This is the Commission's preliminary view, at least – now Brussels will continue its (in EU-speak) "constructive engagement with Meta to identify a satisfactory path towards effective compliance."

  • Belgian operator Proximus has created a new subsidiary dedicated to supplying IT services to enterprise customers. Called Proximus NTT IT, the unit will be led by Anne-Sophie Lotgering. The telecom activities and service platforms will continue to be managed by the parent company, under the responsibility of Renaud Tilmans.

  • The Wimbledon tennis champs start today and Vodafone is using that fact as a peg on which to hang a program that will see it donate Internet connections to sports clubs and individuals that find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide. Connect Better, as the program is called, will monitor the fastest serves across the men's, women's and wheelchair singles competitions each day, and match the miles-per-hour total in an equivalent amount of donated connectivity. Where's Roscoe Tanner when you need him?

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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