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

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

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

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