Private Networks

Eurobites: Vodafone, Bayer take 5G into the greenhouse

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Enea lands $5.9 million messaging security deal; Telkom turmoil in South Africa; TDC Group sees mixed bag of results.

  • Vodafone has supplied Bayer with a 5G private network that will help the German pharmaceuticals and biotechnology giant with its research into insecticides. The network has been installed at Bayer's greenhouse campus in Monheim, which covers 11,000 square meters. Autonomous robots, artificial intelligence and digital imaging will all be involved.

    (Source: l_martinez/Alamy Stock Photo)
    (Source: l_martinez/Alamy Stock Photo)

  • Sweden's Enea has agreed a $5.9 million mobile messaging security deal with an unnamed North American company described by Enea as a "communication platform-as-a-service" (CPaaS) provider. The agreement includes software licenses and threat intelligence services, as well as support and maintenance. Enea claims more than 2.2 billion subscribers worldwide.

  • The South African government has received an unsolicited bid for its 40.5% stake in operator Telkom from investment firm Toto Consortium. According to Bloomberg, the offer is valued at $433 million. The bid comes in the wake of an announcement by MTN Group that it planned to acquire part of Telekom. (See Why MTN wants to buy Telkom SA – analysts.)

  • In related news, Reuters reports that South Africa's Takeover Regulation Panel has censured data network provider Rain for offering a proposal to merge with Telkom without seeking prior approval from the regulatory body.

  • TDC NET, the Danish fiber wholesaler, saw first-half EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) rise 1.8% year-on-year, to 2.31 billion Danish kroner (US$319 million), on turnover that was up just 0.3%, to DKK3.36 billion ($464 million). The results were hit, says the company, by a decline in "traditional infrastructure platforms" and rising energy prices.

  • Nuuday, the broadband/pay-TV provider that is also part of the TDC Group, saw EBITDA tumble 9.2% year-on-year in its second quarter, to DKK426 million ($58.9 million). Increased costs, mainly related to content rights, took some of the blame. On a brighter note, service revenue grew by 1.6%, to DKK3.32 billion ($459 million).

  • BT has landed a £32 million ($39 million) network services contract with Sellafield, the UK's largest nuclear energy site. The five-year deal covers the operation and maintenance of the company's entire network services portfolio, as well as upgrades and updates to current equipment. It is hoped that the network upgrades will allow Sellafield to take advantage of up-to-date technology such as the Internet of Things and 5G.

  • Eighty-one percent of companies admit that they made "expedient" ICT purchases to adapt to the pandemic that they now believe will not prove to be of strategic value in the long term. That's one of the findings from a Telefónica Tech survey of 810 IT professionals in Spain, Brazil, Germany, the UK and Ireland. More encouragingly, 57% of the companies surveyed plan to invest more in ICT over the next two years.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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