Eurobites: Orange turns to CommScope for Slovakian set-tops

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange closes low-cost Amena brand; Jurassic Fibre expands in Dorset; fans cry foul over DAZN's Serie A soccer debut.

  • Orange Slovensko, the French group's Slovakian operator, has turned to CommScope for its latest 4K UHD set-top boxes, which are powered by the Android TV operating system. The companies are keen to stress the product's green credentials as well as its technical prowess: The casing for the new set-top is manufactured with 99% post-consumer recycled plastics and CommScope says it has eliminated all single-use plastics in its packaging, aligning with Orange's commitment to reducing its environmental footprint – as set out in its Engage 2025 strategy, the French giant is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2040. (See Orange trumpets its green credentials.)

  • Orange has also confirmed that it is closing Amena, its low-cost Spanish MVNO brand. As CVBJ.biz reports, all existing Amena customers will be absorbed into the greater Orange fold as of September 13, though they will be able to keep their current SIMs and plans.

  • Jurassic Fibre, so called because it is based near England's "Jurassic Coast" (and not because its technology dates from the pre-Cretaceous period), is extending its network to another five towns in Dorset – Dorchester, Weymouth, Lyme Regis, Charmouth and Bridport (and their surrounding villages). The network will provide speeds of up to 950 Mbit/s for homes and 10 Gbit/s for businesses. Which is good news for all the well-heeled folk who, having embraced the joys of remote working during the pandemic, have abandoned London and other big cities for beautiful coastal areas like Dorset – but maybe not such good news for some of the locals who have been priced out of the places they grew up in.

  • DAZN's first attempt at streaming Italy's Serie A soccer did not go entirely to plan. As Digital TV Europe reports, the match, between Inter Milan and Genoa, was hit by technical problems for a period of about ten minutes, sparking criticism on social media. DAZN now needs to explain to communications regulator AGCMO what went wrong and how it intends to fix it.

  • Vodafone UK has launched "charities.connected," an initiative giving any British charity the chance to apply for free connectivity – in the form of SIM cards carrying 20GB of mobile data – to help the people the charity supports to get online. According to Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, 1.5 million UK households are living without Internet access – problematic enough at the best of times but a crippling handicap during a pandemic.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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