October 6, 2021
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia targets Industry 4.0; Deutsche Telekom exploits 5G in the factory; Thales teams up with Google for cloud services.
Eutelsat, the France-based satellite company, has raised its stake in Britain's OneWeb from 17.6% to 22.9%, shelling out $165 million to make it happen. Just last week Eutelsat shareholders rejected an unsolicited takeover bid from Patrick Drahi, the billionaire controlling shareholder in operator Altice. OneWeb itself has a somewhat turbulent history: It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2020 before being resurrected by an unlikely combination of the UK government and Bharti boss Sunil Mittal. (See Eutelsat grounds Drahi's takeover bid and OneWeb new chapter with northern hemisphere push.)
And in related news, Eutelsat's Konnect Africa satellite has been chosen by Globacom to bring broadband to underserved regions of Nigeria. Globacom, trading under the name Glo, is the second-largest operator in Nigeria, with a market share of around 28% and more than 51 million subscribers.
Nokia has taken the wraps off its MX Industrial Edge offering, which it describes as a "one-stop industrial edge digitialization platform." The hope is that it will make life easier for enterprises embarking on their journey to the nirvana of so-called Industry 4.0, where cleverly applied connectivity means that everything in the factory/distribution center/whatever works like magic. If you're playing buzzword bingo, MX Industrial Edge is also described as "future-ready" and "mission-critical." House!
Deutsche Telekom has teamed up with industrial machine manufacturer Trumpf to try out "localization technology" (it helps you find things on the factory floor) on a 5G campus network. Previously, this technology would typically rely on fixed cables to transmit the necessary data from Omlox satellites, but this sometimes restricted the flexibility required in production processes: The use of a 5G campus network instead makes it possible to install and reposition the localization infrastructure within a factory with minimum upheaval.
French aerospace company Thales has teamed up with Google to offer "state-vetted" cloud services for the storage of particularly sensitive state and corporate data. As Reuters reports, the two partners will jointly create a France-based company (with Thales as the majority shareholder) which will provide the usual Google Cloud services with the key difference that its network and servers will be kept separate from those used by other Google customers.
Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, has issued new guidance to video-sharing platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat and Vimeo in what is probably a forlorn attempt to get them to clean up their act on content and make it, well, just less harmful. The guidance sets out an expectation that such platforms should provide clear rules around uploading content, have easy reporting processes and restrict access to "adult" sites.
Irish operator Eir says its 5G rollout has now brought the technology within reach of more than 70% of the Irish population, spanning 336 towns and cities across 1,110 sites. Eir has also extended its 13-year partnership with NTT Data UK. Most recently, Eir awarded NTT Data UK the managed services contract of its IT operations.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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