Eurobites: KPN signs major solar power deal

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telia turns to solar in Estonia; KKR greases the wheels of TIM deal; VMO2 lands UK public sector deal.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

May 16, 2024

3 Min Read
Dutch flag flying over an array of solar panels
(Source: UrbanImages/Alamy Stock Photo)
  • Dutch operator KPN has signed a major solar power contract as part of a push toward sourcing two thirds of its power from renewable energy from 2027. The deal has been struck with Eneco, and the energy – which will power KPN's fixed and mobile networks – will come specifically from Eneco's new 88,000-panel solar farm in Woensdrecht. The solar farm will be built under the five existing wind turbines of the Kabeljauwbeek wind farm and is expected to be fully operational at the beginning of 2025. KPN will buy more than 47 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity from the farm annually. In 2027, KPN will add more than 200GWh of electricity from the new Ecowende wind farm, which is being built off the Dutch coast.

  • Nordic operator Telia is also looking toward the sun (don't do this at home, kids), and has in the past year built 43 solar installations alongside its mobile masts in Estonia through a joint project with Sunly City, a renewable energy systems developer. Telia hopes to have around 100 of these installations up and running by the end of the year. Telia has committed to achieving net-zero emissions status by 2030.

  • Investment company KKR has prepared a package of commitments and concessions for the EU in the hope of greasing the wheels of its fixed-line takeover deal with Telecom Italia (TIM). As Bloomberg reports (paywall applies), the "remedies," as the EU likes to call them, are expected to be filed with Brussels next week.

  • UK converged operator Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) has landed a three-year public sector deal with Crown and Commercial Service (CCS), a government-linked procurement company. VMO2 will provide, among other things, fixed connectivity, mobile shared data bundles, IP telephony and devices. The agreement encompasses central government, local authorities and so-called "arm's length" bodies.

  • The UK government has introduced two codes of practice for developers that it hopes will enhance the cybersecurity of their AI-related offerings. The codes set out requirements for developers to make their products resilient against hacking and, claims the government in its statement, "will boost confidence in the use of AI models across most industries, helping businesses improve efficiencies, drive growth, and turbocharge innovation."

  • A collaboration between InCoax Networks and Finnish network operator Pohjois-Satakunnan Seutuverkko (PSSV) is bringing symmetrical gigabit broadband to more than 500 apartments in Kankaanpää, Finland. The specific technology being deployed is InCoax's MoCA Access 2.5, which is designed for broadband providers who want to use the existing coaxial cable for connection to each apartment or unit.

  • VEON has signed a memorandum of understanding with Beeline Kazakhstan, the GSMA and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center to develop AI and language technologies for languages with "low digital resources." Out of nearly 7,000 languages spoken around the world, says VEON, only seven are considered "high-resource" languages in digital terms: English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Arabic, German and Japanese. The lack of resources in other languages results in an AI "language gap," claims VEON, which leads to a poorer user experience in AI applications, deepens the bias in AI models and risks widening the digital divide across all AI technologies.

  • Sparkle, the international services arm of TIM, says it has successfully completed the first test of an international VPN (virtual private network) protected by quantum encryption. The test was carried out in collaboration with with Arqit Quantum, a company that specializes in this sort of thing. The VPN ran between Catania (in Italy) and Frankfurt.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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