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Eurobites: TalkTalk buys Virtual1 for leased-line growth

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telenor moves closer to Cisco; Sparkle signs Nigerian deal; more support for Ukrainian refugees.

  • UK fixed-line provider TalkTalk is hoping to increase its presence in the leased-line market by buying Virtual1, a wholesaler of high-bandwidth services. The two companies combined will achieve a market share of 25%, according to TalkTalk. Virtual1's CEO and founder, Tom O'Hagan, will continue to lead the standalone business of 200 people as part of the TalkTalk Group.

  • Telenor is hoping to narrow the digital divide in some its more far-flung markets, such as Bangladesh and Thailand, through a closer collaboration with Cisco, the US-based networking giant. Cisco's Networking Academy will work alongside Telenor's existing sustainability programs in local markets toward this end. The pair also intend to expand services for enterprise customers, with an initial pilot program planned for Norway.

  • Separately, Telenor is expanding its satellite-based services for the maritime market through a partnership with ST Engineering. Since 2016, Telenor Satellite has provided a regional Ka-band VSAT service to maritime users over its THOR 7 satellite from its 1° West orbital location.

  • Telecom Italia's Sparkle unit has signed an agreement with Nigerian Internet service provider Ciudad to provide high-speed international IP connectivity. Ciudad will connect with Seabone, Sparkle's global IP transit backbone.

  • Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems MMS is to play a key role in the open source basedQ blockchain network, providing validation nodes and receiving voting rights within the network governance body.

  • The Ukrainian communications regulator, NCEEC, is in talks with the European Commission to work out a way of continuing to support Ukrainian refugees in their connectivity needs. More than 2 million of the 4 million people who have been forced to leave their country are Ukrainian "roamers," and this figure is likely to increase. It is hoped that NCEEC, BEREC and the Commission will develop a mechanism to continue the measures already taken by European operators, with a focus on reducing or eliminating charges for international roaming and calls to Ukraine.

    (Source: Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash)

  • UK-based Colt Technology Services and US software behemoth Oracle have taken their existing collaboration a step further, announcing the "deeper integration" of Colt's on-demand service with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) FastConnect. The tweak, say the two companies, allows customers to directly provision a more secure private connection from their on-premises environment to their preferred Oracle Cloud Region from the OCI portal, rather than switching between the OCI portal and the Colt portal.

  • Telefónica has used its 2021 Consolidated Management Report to trumpet just how much it is contributing to the Spanish economy. According to the operator, it adds almost €49 billion (US$64.3 million) to GDP and generates more than a million jobs in its main markets. It also burnished its eco-credentials in the report, claiming that it has reduced its carbon emissions by 70% through the use of renewable energy and more efficient technologies.

  • UK altnet CityFibre has completed the "primary build" of its £43 million ($56.4 million) full-fiber network in the city of Milton Keynes. The new network reaches around 90,000 homes – about 90% of "addressable" residential properties – as well as most businesses and key public sector sites in the city. CityFibre says it will now explore opportunities to "densify" and infill the remaining areas.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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