Eurobites: EE, Nokia join forces for air-to-ground emergency network

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ekinops upgrades in Turkey; UK's Shared Rural Network clicks into action; Telia confirms Turkcell stake-sale talks.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

June 17, 2020

3 Min Read
Eurobites: EE, Nokia join forces for air-to-ground emergency network

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ekinops upgrades in Turkey; UK's Shared Rural Network clicks into action; Telia confirms Turkcell stake-sale talks.

  • EE, the mobile arm of UK incumbent telco BT, has teamed up with Nokia to build what EE claims is the world's first 4G LTE air-to-ground network for emergency services. The network, says the operator, will facilitate uninterrupted high-speed broadband coverage for emergency service personnel working above ground from 500 feet up to 10,000 feet. EE will provide the network equipment for an initial seven-site trial network, while Nokia will provide design support, network equipment, installation and commissioning services. Initial trials will take place in north Wales and London over the coming months.

    • France-based Ekinops has been chosen by TurkNet, a Turkish Internet service provider, to upgrade its core transport network. Ekinops' carrier-grade 400G DWDM (dense wavelength-division multiplexing) equipment will be rolled out across the network.

    • Devauden, a village in Wales, has become the first rural community to benefit from the UK's Shared Rural Network program, which is intended to make 4G available to 95% of the UK landmass through judicious mast sharing in rural areas where some, but not all providers, have coverage.

    • Finnish operator Elisa has joined forces with Helsinki University Hospital to launch a Sustainable Future Accelerator, inviting ten startups to come up with ideas for businesses that relate to the promotion of healthy lives, gender equality, decent education and other unquestionably good things.

    • Sweden's Telia has confirmed it is in discussions with the Turkey Wealth Fund regarding the potential divestment of its indirect stake in Turkcell for approximately $530 million. Telia has a 47.1% stake in Turkcell Holding, a holding company owned by Cukurova, LetterOne and Telia.

    • European Union member states have agreed on a set of technical specifications that they hope will ensure a safe exchange of information between their respective COVID-19 contact-tracing apps. Most member states have already decided to launch smartphone-based apps to complement manual contract tracing of the coronavirus, with the majority based on a decentralized architecture. One such is the German COVID-19 app, which, as Reuters reports, was downloaded 6.5 million times in the first 24 hours after its launch. However, it's a different story with the French app, which stores data centrally and, according to EU Commission vice-president Margrethe Vestager, may not be able to interoperate with others in use across the EU. Meanwhile, on the sleepy shores of the Isle of Wight, speculation continues to mount over what is happening with the UK's version of the coronavirus app, which is being trialed there. As the BBC report concludes, "people on the island could be excused for thinking the app is taking them on the road to nowhere."

    • CityFibre, the UK altnet, has broken ground on its £80 million ($110.5 million) fiber rollout in the English midlands city of Leicester. The company is already working with Vodafone on the delivery of broadband services, and TalkTalk is expected to join the party soon.

    • Similarly, Truespeed has started work on its network build in the historic English city of Wells, with the rollout expected to be completed by the end of the year. Protecting the city's rich heritage will be a key part of the rollout, says the company.

    • Sparkle, the international services arm of Telecom Italia, has beefed up its point of presence at Namex, in Rome, providing customers with remote peering capabilities through its Virtual NAP service.

    • DigitalEurope, an international non-profit association which describes itself as "the voice of digitally transforming industries," has elected its first female president, Nokia's Hillary Mine. She takes over the role from fellow Nokia executive Markus Borchert.

      — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Read more about:


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.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like