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Eurobites: Telecom Italia foments industrial revolution

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ooredoo sells towers in Indonesia; CityFibre wants clearer broadband labelling; Nokia helps make Nicosia smarter.

  • Telecom Italia is hoping to transform Italy's industrial districts with a new project that promises state-of-the-art connectivity allied to cloud, IoT and cybersecurity services. Called "Smart District," the project will use fiber, 5G, fixed wireless access or satellite connections to bring the likes of the Carpi textile district up to speed and offer specialized digital expertise from TIM subsidiaries Noovle, Olivetti and Telsy into the bargain.

  • Qatar-based Ooredoo is disposing of more than 4,200 of its towers in Indonesia in a sale-and-leaseback agreement with PT EPID Menara AssetCo worth US$750 million. PT EPID Menara AssetCo is an Indonesian subsidiary of Edge Point Singapore, which is wholly owned by Digital Colony. Ooredoo said it wanted to "move to a more efficient and flexible asset light model and unlock the trapped value of its infrastructure portfolio."

  • A report commissioned by CityFibre, the UK-based alternative network provider, claims that clearer broadband "labelling" that addressed consumer confusion surrounding different broadband technologies could increase take-up of full-fiber broadband by more than 1.6 million additional homes by 2025. The report, carried out by WIK-Consult, found that more than half of respondents in the survey (52%) believed that they already had a full-fiber service, despite eight out of ten of them living in areas where full fiber was not yet available.

  • Cyta, the Cyprus telecommunications authority, has chosen Nokia's Integrated Operations Center (IOC) to help Nicosia accelerate its smart city transformation, improving citizen services and promoting environmental sustainability. The IOC is intended to help city authorities deliver new digital services such as intelligent street lighting and smart parking.

  • SSE Enterprise Telecoms, a UK business-to-business connectivity provider, is going back to the future and rebranding as Neos Networks, which was the company's trading name prior to its acquisition by SSE Group in 2003. According to a company statement, the rebranding exercise gives SSE/Neos a "clearer, more recognisable and relevant long-term identity in the telecoms market independent from both of its investors." Infracapital acquired 50% of the business in 2019, with SSE Group retaining the other half.

  • Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, has appointed Melissa Tatton as chief operating officer. Tatton joined Ofcom last September after a (gulp) 30-year stint at HMRC, the UK's tax enforcer.

  • Virgin Media's "Project Lightning" fiber rollout has struck Burton upon Trent, connecting 5,400 homes in the English Midlands town to average top speeds of more than 600 Mbit/s which is 15 times faster than the local average, the company claims.

  • Get yourselves a proper job. Or maybe don't bother. A new survey by O2 Business reveals that a third of Brits aged 18-24 claim they are likely to give up their current job or educational course to focus on, erm, selling stuff on their smartphones. Apparently a year of being more or less trapped indoors has given these Generation Whatevers a taste for taking to their devices to flog unwanted clothing, footwear, video games you name it. O2 is calling these people "mobilepreneurs," but we're pretty sure that's not going to catch on.

    Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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