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Eurobites: Nvidia makes advances on Arm – report

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange hooks up with Eutelsat, demos automated network slicing with HPE; will UK live to regret its OneWeb investment?

  • Arm, the UK-based chip designer bought by SoftBank four years ago for $32 billion, has been the subject of a takeover approach from graphics chip specialist Nvidia, according to unnamed sources cited in a Bloomberg report (paywall applies). SoftBank has been investigating various options for Arm to help address balance-sheet woes caused by some ill-advised investments over the last couple of years. (See Eurobites: Is it a farewell to Arm for SoftBank? Arm drops IoT; leg-up for IPO? and SoftBank's bleedin' (and Ma's not alright).)

  • Orange has bought up all available capacity on the Eutelsat Konnect satellite to provide high-speed fixed broadband via satellite throughout France via Orange's Nordnet subsidiary. Launched in January 2020, Eutelsat Konnect has a total capacity of 75 Gbit/s and is able to provide full or partial coverage of up to 15 countries in Europe and 40 in Africa, offering speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s. The agreement comes in the context of the French government's Plan France Très Haut Débit strategy, which committed to rolling out high-speed (30 Mbit/s and beyond) broadband to the entire French territory by 2022.

  • In other Orange news, the French operator has teamed up with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Casa Systems to demonstrate automated 5G network slice orchestration using a kit robot. The demo, says HPE, showed how a cloud-native 5G core network could recognize quality-of-service degradations on a common network slice for a mission-critical service or application with specific service-level agreement parameters and automatically self-correct by creating a new dedicated network slice on-demand.

  • The UK government is facing more heat after the Guardian revealed that the business secretary, Alok Sharma, disregarded the warnings of a senior civil servant when the government decided to take a $500 million stake in failed satellite-broadband operator OneWeb earlier this month. In a letter to Sharma, the then acting permanent secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Sam Beckett, said that an assessment of OneWeb's business plan by the UK space agency had identified "substantial technical and operational hurdles" that would have to be overcome for the company to be viable. London-based OneWeb went bankrupt in March, but this month the UK government joined forces with India's Bharti Global to each invest $500 million in the operator, with a view to creating a satellite navigation system that could be used as an alternative to Galileo, a European Union project. (See Bharti Global, British government consortium wins OneWeb bid and OneWeb files for Chapter 11, will pursue sale.)

  • Deutsche Telekom says it has completed the rollout of its "5G-ready" LTE-M network across Germany and is primed to bring its first commercial offerings to the market. The operator says LTE-M tariffs will be made available in both postpaid and prepaid IoT tiers, including its Business Smart Connect low-power wide-area network platform.

  • STMicro, the Geneva-based chipmaker, saw second-quarter net revenues fall 4% year on year, to $2.08 billion, due largely to a decline in its Automotive and Discrete Group. Gross profit totaled $730 million, a 12.2% decrease year on year. COVID-19 workforce-related restrictions also pushed down its gross margin to 35.0%, from 38.2% in the same period a year ago.

  • In contrast, the coronavirus pandemic seems to have helped ADVA's second-quarter figures, with revenues up 8.9% year on year, to €145 million ($167 million). The German optical vendor's pro forma operating income for Q2 2020 was €10.1 million/$11.7 million (7% of revenues), significantly up from the €4.3 million/$4.9 millon income (3.3% of revenues) in the same period a year ago.

  • UK-based Indigo Telecom Group, which provides engineering services to fixed and mobile carriers and enterprise clients, is looking to expand its network design, build and support capabilities across the UK, Ireland, France and Germany. It also plans to begin operations in Singapore and Spain. Indigo's client list includes CityFibre, Cellnex, Vodafone, Nokia, Google, Facebook, NTT and Global Switch.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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