Eurobites: Deutsche Telekom, Inmarsat boost in-flight broadband network

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT agrees security deal with MTN; Nokia shares booth space with robots; A1 Telekom Austria Group acquires Bulgarian ICT company.

  • Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat are to boost the capacity of their joint-venture European Aviation Network (EAN) in-flight broadband system through the installation – by offshore network company Tampnet – of five EAN antenna sites on oil rigs in the North Sea and two on offshore wind farms within Germany's and the Netherlands' coastal waters. The new sites, which improve passenger connectivity on flight routes between the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway, are intended to complement the 300 LTE-based ground network sites already set up across Europe. (See Inmarsat sees in-flight broadband take off.)

  • BT has agreed a deal with South Africa's MTN which will give MTN Business customers access to a range of BT's security offerings. The first will be a subscription-based security operations center (SOC) service that allows customers to monitor their cybersecurity and respond to any incidents that arise. MTN will also be able to draw on BT's range of unified communications and collaboration (UCC) offerings, including the provision of wholesale voice, Microsoft Teams voice and global SIP solutions.

  • Nokia and Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) will use next week's LogiMat trade show in Germany to demonstrate how private 5G networks linked up to robotics can help the likes of manufacturers and warehouse operators carry out tasks such as real-time fleet management more efficiently. At the show, MiR's autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) will be connected to the 5G network using Nokia industrial dongles equipped with their own SIM cards.

  • A1 Telekom Austria Group has acquired 100% of Stemo, a Bulgarian ICT company. A1 claims that this acquisition will make its Bulgarian unit the "ICT market leader" in the country. Stemo has been going for 30 years and is a local partner of several international technology companies such as HP, Microsoft and SAP.

  • Russia is hoping to fill the void left by departed tech giants with the launch, by Internet firm VK, of its own app store, to be called RuStore. As Reuters reports, the launch is just the latest in a government push to create a range of homegrown digital services. The initial version of RuStore will only be available to Android users.

  • UK altnet CityFibre has named the southern English town of Havant as the latest location to get the trenching treatment. CityFibre will invest £17 million (US$18.7 million) in a new network encompassing Havant itself as well as the neighboring areas of Emsworth, Southbourne and Westbourne. According to CityFibre's Jonathan Russell, Havant borough is currently the third-worst mainland local authority in the UK for fiber broadband coverage, with only 1.8% of properties passed.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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