Eurobites: OneWeb turns to SpaceX as Russian rocket deal misfires

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Cellnex sells French towers; Iskratel targets UK FTTH market; Swisscom will kill 3G in 2025.

  • OneWeb, the satellite broadband company jointly owned by the UK government and India's Bharti Group, has had to do a deal with Elon Musk's SpaceX because it was prevented from using Russia-owned rockets to launch its latest satellites, the Guardian reports. Under the terms of the deal, OneWeb expects to be able to see lift-off later this year. According to the Guardian, a Soyuz rocket launch, which would have carried OneWeb's latest satellite into space, was cancelled after OneWeb refused a demand from the head of the head of the Russian space agency "that the satellites not be used for military purposes and the British government halt financial backing." (See OneWeb nearer to a two-horse space Internet race.)

  • Spain-based Cellnex has agreed to sell more than 3,200 tower sites in France to Phoenix Tower International to meet conditions laid down by the French Competition Authority after Cellnex completed the acquisition of Hivory last October. PTI will acquire 1,226 sites in densely covered areas of France, while simultaneously, PTI with its joint venture partner Bouygues Telecom will also be acquiring 2,000 sites. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

  • Slovenia's Iskratel has opened up an office in the northern English town of Liverpool in a bid to make its presence felt in the UK fiber-to-the-home market – particularly in rural and underserved areas. It will be touting its range of XGS-PON/GPON technology that includes optical line terminals, optical network terminals and passive equipment.

  • Swisscom has announced it's putting its 3G network out of its misery at the end of 2025. The company says that only 1.1% of mobile data traffic still runs on the 18-year-old network, even though the technology occupies around 10% of its antenna capacity.

  • Wyld Networks, the UK subsidiary of Sweden's Wyld Networks AB, has launched a new range of low-power, sensor-to-satellite LoRaWAN terminals and modules for IoT applications across areas where there is little or no alternative connectivity. The Wyld Connect hybrid devices can transfer data directly to terrestrial networks or through a network of low-Earth orbit satellites through a partnership with Eutelsat. According to Wyld, the products are geared towards use in remote areas for applications such as agriculture and environmental monitoring.

  • Nokia has extended its partnership with T-Mobile Polska in a ten-year deal that will cover network modernization and the introduction of 5G services. Nokia will supply the operator with its AirScale equipment range, including Single RAN, AirScale basestations, and 5G Massive MIMO antennas for indoor and outdoor coverage. T-Mobile Polska plans to utilize 4G and 5G dynamic spectrum sharing on lower bands and later the 3.5GHz spectrum band for 5G dense urban coverage.

  • Belgian operator Proximus has joined forces with Domus Medica, the largest association of doctors in Flanders and Brussels, to help fine-tune Proximus' teleconsultation app, Doktr. A survey conducted by Domus Medica among 350 doctors shows that a majority of them are in favor of a "hybrid" care model, in which teleconsultations are seen as a valuable addition to regular, face-to-face consultations.

  • A team comprising Telecom Italia (TIM), CDP and Sogei has submitted a bid to provide cloud services to Italy's public administration in the form of a national strategic hub. If the bid is successful, a joint venture will be set up between the three parties.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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