Eurobites: EU paves way for IRIS satellite constellation

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: OneWeb strikes another deal in Africa; Nokia and KPN trial 25G PON; TIM opts for Ericsson 5G core.

  • The European Parliament has reached agreement with EU member states on the deployment of a Europe-specific satellite constellation, called IRIS (short for "Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity and Security by Satellite"). The launch of the IRIS constellation forms the core of the Union Secure Connectivity Programme, which boasts a budget of €2.4 billion (US$2.48 billion) and seeks to create a sovereign, autonomous and secured connectivity infrastructure that negates the need to rely on, well, unreliable third-party countries. The agreement is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council.

    (Source: Andrey Kuzmin/Alamy Stock Photo)
    (Source: Andrey Kuzmin/Alamy Stock Photo)

  • Elsewhere at altitude, Anglo-Indian satellite operator OneWeb has struck a five-year distribution partner deal with Q-KON Africa, a broadband provider serving a number of southern African countries under the Twoobii brand.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) has opted for Ericsson to provide its 5G core. Under the terms of the agreement, Ericsson will supply its dual-mode core, which, says the Swedish vendor, will allow TIM to modernize its existing evolved packet core and introduce the standalone variant of 5G in a single cloud-native offering. The deal also includes network orchestration and automation services.

  • Nokia and Dutch incumbent operator KPN have been collaborating on a trial of 25G PON technology at an animal hospital in Rotterdam. High-speed connectivity is increasingly important in veterinary medicine, where high-resolution images need to be frequently uploaded to and downloaded from the cloud. In this case, symmetrical speeds of 20 Gbit/s would be capable of uploading or downloading almost 100 scans of 30MB each in one second, says Nokia.

  • Sparkle, the international services arm of TIM, has appointed Enrico Maria Bagnasco as its CEO. Elisabetta Romano, chief network operations and wholesale officer of TIM, will maintain her role as board director.

  • German mobile phone providers suffered an outage yesterday (Thursday) which led to thousands of people being unable to make calls, Reuters reports, citing online news magazine Focus Online. One of the affected operators, O2, put out a statement on its website saying simply: "There are currently possible restrictions on telephony in our mobile and fixed network."

  • Vodafone UK has launched a new range of refurbished mobile phones, claiming that it is the UK's only major network to offer a two-year warranty on such devices. The refurbished phones can be purchased as part of the converged mobile/broadband Vodafone Together package. Vodafone youth brand Voxi will launch its own refurbished phone range later this month.

  • Kids just love the Deutsche Mobile brand, apparently. This is one of the findings of the Young Brand Awards 2022, in which young people voted in large numbers for the German giant. "We measure our brand values worldwide and are already a telco lovebrand in most of our countries," said Head of Brand Uli Klenke, presumably with a straight face.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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